The elder has a long history of medical uses. Its been used for coughs, colds, arthritis, and respiratory problems. Back in ye olden times they made a wine out of the berries to fight off colds and coughs.
Studies on elder flower show it reduces inflammations and increases sweating as well as increases the production of urine, which is good because it flush out toxins from the body. The flower from the elder tree helps thin mucus in the lungs and relieves congestion and allergies.
It reduces fevers and can be a mild laxative but at the same time it helps relieve diarrhea. A wonderful healing herb to have in your cupboard.
Black elder, American elder, Sambucus spp (Nigra for berries and Canadensis for flowers), Common Elder, Black Elder, Bour Tree, and European Black Elder
The flowers or berries
Diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, the fruits have antioxidant properties.
Teas, tinctures, capsules, syrups, wine, cordials, and even ketchup, often combined with propolis or echinacea. The berries make an excellent home-made wine and winter cordial, which improves with age, and taken hot with sugar, just before going to bed, is an old-fashioned cure for a cold.
Topical Uses / Applications:
Can be added to apple, strawberry, peach, and other fruit jams and jellies. You can also add elder flower to salads or soups.
Potassium nitrate, sambucin, sambunigrin, sugars. Traces of a volatile oil, albumen, resin, fat, wax, chlorophyll, tannic acid, grape sugar, gum, extractive, starch, pectin and various alkaline and earthy salts.
GRAS: Generally Recognized As Safe. This herb can be safely consumed when used appropriately.
You can bet your great grandmother and grandmother had a bottle of elder flower water n their toilet table. It was used to keep the skin fair and white. It was the best thing they knew for freckles and sunburn and keep their face free of blemishes.
Culpepper states: ‘The first shoots of the common Elder, boiled like Asparagus, and the young leaves and stalks boiled in fat broth, doth mightily carry forth phlegm and choler. The middle or inward bark boiled in water and given in drink wortheth much more violently; and the berries, either green or dry, expel the same humour, and are often given with good success in dropsy; the bark of the root boiled in wine, or the juice thereof drunk, worketh the same effects, but more powerfully than either the leaves or fruit. The juice of the root taken, causes vomitings and purgeth the watery humours of the dropsy.’
These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2000. Medical Economics Company, Montvale, New Jersey.
The New Holistic Herbal. David Hoffmann, 1990. Barnes and Noble Books, New York.
A Modern Herbal, Mrs. M. Grieve, (Dover Publications, New York, 1971)
Major Herbs of Ayurvedic.Compiled by Dahur Research Foundation and Dahur Ayurvet Limited, Ghaziabad, India., 2002. Churchill Livingstone, London, England.
Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, Third Edition, Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble, 1986. Eastland Press, Seattle, WA.