Uses & Benefits:
◦ Available as a liquid, tincture, syrup, tea, capsules, and lozenges;
◦ Expectorant & anti-catarrhal - Used to treat common cold, sinus congestion, sore throat, fever, coughs, flu, tonsillitis;
◦ There is an awesome recipe for an Elderberry syrup to “fight flu-like symptoms” that includes elderberries, cinnamon, ginger cloves & honey – see www.wellnessmama.com (thank you, WellnessMama!)
◦ Rich in carotenoids, flavanoids (contains anti-oxidant properties) and vitamins A, B, C and amino acids to help keep you healthy;
◦ Used topically to treat wounds on the skin;
◦ Reportedly used to treat rheumatism;
◦ Assist in weight loss & lower cholesterol;
◦ Improve vision;
◦ The berries can be used in making jams, pies, jellies and wines. Matter of fact, a trip to Kentucky last year brought me to a quaint little Amish store where I found a product called “TOE Jam” consisting of tangerine, orange & elderberries, but unfortunately they confiscated it at the airport, leaving me upset indeed (I’ve since created my own version :-)
● There are different species of Sambucus, and you do have to be careful to not just pick any random ‘elderberry’ plant berries you come across as the uncooked fruit and other parts of several of the species are poisonous (e.g. Sambucus ebulus or Dwarf Elder), as they contain a compound similar to cyanide. This particular elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is okay for consumption, but I would still caution you to cook the berries first to enhance their digestion.
● Don’t self-prescribe if you are on chemotherapeutic agents, immune-suppressants, steroids, diuretics, anti-diabetic agents, respiratory drugs, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Please speak with your physician first! And again, I will reiterate: this blog does not constitute medical advice and is intended for educational purposes only.
Here’s to your health! Happy weeding, Happy healing!
J Alt Compl Mod 1995: 1:361-69 2. Youdim KA, Martin A, Joseph JA. Incorporation of the elderberry anthocyanins by endothelial cells increases protection against oxidative stress. Free Radic