Elder Sambucus nigra

Sambucus nigra
Elder berry wine
  • Common Names
  • Elderberry , Elderberry
  • Botanical Name
  • Sambucus nigra
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Elderberry

remedyHow to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden| Folklore

How to Use: Elder

Leaves of the elder tree are used in an ointment that is a folk remedy for bruises, sprains, chilblains and hard-to-cure skin irritations. The flowers are used to make infusions to treat bronchitis and colds, and cooled elder flower tea is a soothing medicine for eye irritations, and of course, the tasty berries are used to make elderberry wine and cordials. Elderberries have had many traditional healing uses throughout the ages, and have been used for constipation, colic, diarrhea, colds and rheumatism.

The dried berries make a tart and tasty, purple elderberry tea that is a family favorite at my house, especially in the winter. Combines well with hot spicy accents like cinnamon and ginger for a good cold remedy.

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Elderberries can be made into homemade syrups, and herbal teas. Both the flowering tops and berries can be used. Sambucol is a popular commercial preparation made from elderberry extract.

see remedies

Elder Remedies

Elder Side Effects: Bark and root are emetic and should not be taken internally, (they will make you throw up).

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Plant Description

  • Flowers:Cream colored
  • Plant Class:Deciduous tree
  • Leaves:Oval shaped
  • Fruit: Purplish-blue berries
  • Preferred Habitat:
  • Flowering Season:
  • Distribution: Native to Europe, elder is especially common in England, where is it is a popular hedge tree. A member of the honeysuckle family, this small tree has been cultivated since ancient times. Valued in making musical instruments, weaving needles, and of course elderberry wine. There is some confusion among the different species, but the best studied is the European elder, S. nigra. Americans used S. candensis for the same medicinal purposes.

Regional Traditions :North America *

How to Grow Elder

Gather elder flowers when they are in early bloom and dry them is a warm, dry place. Elder flowers are delicate, and will discolor if you apply too much heat.

Related Species S. candensis, North American sp