Elderberry

Other Names

Sambucus spp (Nigra for berries and Canadensis for flowers) American Elder, Common Elder, Black Elder, Bour Tree, and European Black Elder, Arbre de Judas, Baccae, Baises de Sureau, Black-Berried Alder, Black Elder, Black Elderberry, Boor Tree, Bountry, Elder, Common Elder. Elder Berry, Elderberries, Elderberry Fruit, Ellanwood, Ellhorn, European Alder, European Black Elder, European Black Elderberry, European Elderberry, European Elder Fruit, European Elderberry, Fruit de Sureau, Grand Sureau, Hautbois, Holunderbeeren, Sabugeuiro-negro, Sambequier, Sambu, Sambuc, Sambuci Sambucus, Sambucus nigra, Sambugo, Sauco, Saúco Europeo, Schwarzer Holunder, Seuillet, Seuillon, Sureau, Sureau Européen, Sureau Noir, Sus, Suseau, Sussier, Alhorn, Backholder, Betschel, Eiderbaum, Elder, Eller, Ellhorn, Flieder, Hölder, Holder, Holderbusch, Hollerbusch, Holler, Hollunder, Huskolder, Keilken, Kelkenbusch, Kischke, Schwarzholder, Bazga, Zova, Bzova, Bazovika, Bzovika, Boz, Zovik, Obzovka, Crna Zova, Zofa, Crna Zovika, Баз, База, Базговина, Crna Базга, Cma Зова, Зова, Зовика, Common Elder, Black Elderberry, American Elder, Canada Elderberry, Black Elder, Bourtree, Judas Tree, Pipe Tree, European Black Elderberry, European Elderberry, European Elder, Sweet Elder, Sambucol, Sambucus, Sureau blanc 

Description

Elderberry is a small tree that rarely exceeds a 10 meter height. Its bark is grey when young and changes to a coarser and dark gray when older. Its leaves are arranged in opposite pairs and have a serrated margin. Its flowers are 25 centimetres in diameter and are ivory white in color, usually with five petals and are pollinated not by bees but by flies. The fruit is a dark, glossy berry that is purple and is produced in clusters that droop during autumn. The berry is a source of food for birds. 

Ingredients

Potassium nitrate, sambucin, sambunigrin, sugars. The complex sugars of the berries are the immune-active fraction. Organic pigments, amino acids, tannins, flavonoids, carotenoids, rutin, sugar, viburnic acid, vitamin A, B, C, guercetin, anthocyanin

Used Parts

Stembark, flowers, fruit and leaves. Most commonly the flowers or berries. Dried fruits are less bitter than fresh. The branches and leaves are poisonous. The small stem which is sometimes left on the berry is safe.

Uses

“The flu,” also called influenza. A specific syrup containing elderberry juice (Sambucol, Nature’s Way) taken by mouth seems to reduce the symptoms and length of flu symptoms when given within 24-48 hours of the first symptoms. Some research also shows that an elderberry lozenge (ViraBLOC, HerbalScience) also reduces symptoms of the flu. Symptom relief seems to occur within 2 to 4 days of treatment for most people.

Cancer. Constipation. Nerve pain. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). H1N1 “swine” flu. Hay fever. HIV/AIDS. Colds, Stimulating, Blood Purifier, Haemostatic , Anti-Inflammatory, Softening , Diuretic, Antispasmodic, Fungicidal , Expectorant, Sweaty, Immune Deficiency , Abscesses,  Acne,  Angina Pectoris, Atherosclerosis, Arthritis, Asthma, Respiratory Diseases,  Inflammation Of The Eye , Conjunctivitis , Bloating, Cystitis, Bronchitis, Cellulite, Diabetes , Eczema, Cold , Exhaustion , Erysipelas, Fold,  Fever, Boils, Sweaty Feet , Arthritis , Swollen Feet , Gout, Flu Shingles, Hemorrhoids, Sore Throat, Urination, Skin Inflammation, Skincare, Hoarseness, Herpes, Hay Fever , Lumbago, Cough, Insect Bites, Sciatica, Itching, Laryngitis, Knee Joint Inflammation, Knee Pain, Bone Weakness , Headache, Circulatory Insufficiency , Liver Weakness , Tracheitis , Gastrointestinal Inflammation, Migraine, Milk Production , Fatigue, Sinusitis, Nervousness, Neuralgia, Renal Insufficiency , Edema, Earache, Orange Skin , Osteoporosis, Contusion , Rheumatism, Sleep Disorders, Pain, Rhinitis, Athletes Foot, Freckles, Sunburn, Eye Strain , Overweight , Burns, Sprain, Constipation, Dropsy , Wounds, Toothache.

Properties

  • Laxative

  • Diuretic

  • Diaphoretic

  • Expectorant

  • Antibacterial 

Application

Teas, tinctures, encapsulations, syrups, wine, cordials, and even ketchup, often combined with propolis or echinacea.

The flowers can be used to make tea as a treatment for colds, fever and inflammation that it brings. The fruit is picked ripe and made into jellies, syrup or juice to treat respiratory tract disorders. 

Side Effects

Taking an elderberry juice extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when used for up to five days. It’s not known if taking elderberry juice extract is safe when used for long periods of time. The cooked elderberry fruit seems to be safe. But raw and unripe fruit might cause nausea, vomiting, or severe diarrhea.(WebMD.com)

Elderberry when uncooked and other parts of the plant are poisonous. It should be picked ripe and then cooked. 

Summary

Known for its antioxidant activity, Elderberry lowers cholesterol, boosts immune system, fights cough, fever and flu, improves the vision, as well as heart activity and fights bacteria. Its juice is significant for also treating flu epidemic. 

References

Elderberry

Sambucus Nigra

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