Elderberry’s scientific name is Sambucus and is often simply referred to as an Elder. Sambucus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae that is native to Europe, Africa, parts of Asia, and is now commonly found all over The United States of America. Sambucus Nigra, often called the Black Elder, the European Elder, European Elderberry, and/or the European Black Elderberry, is the most common variety of Sambucus that is used for medicinal purposes around the world today.
The Elderberry, an adaptogenic herb, is known as one of the top antiviral herbs on Earth and was actually employed by the government in the 1995 Panama Flu Epidemic when nothing else was working. Elderberry was credited with greatly reducing the time and severity of the flu and with helping end the epidemic. Elderberry has so much to offer, and not just in the medicinal world. Humans have long known the many uses of the Elderberry as there is strong evidence that it was even cultivated by prehistoric man. We also know that Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine”, referred to Elderberry as his “Medicine Chest” due to the wide range of health issues it seemed to cure with little to no side effects. Recipes for elder-based medicines have also been found in Ancient Egypt and the Romans used Elderberry juice as hair dye and they used the wood to make combs, toys, skewers, pegs, and more. Natives have long used Elderberry for many things including medicine, food, drinks, charms, ceremonial items, dyes, body paint, inks, jewelry, hunting whistles, and musical instruments.
Benefits, Uses and Properties of Elderberry
- Contains higher amounts of antioxidants than blueberries, cranberries, goji berries, and black berries
- Considered one of the most effective herbs used to treat hay fever and hay fever-like symptoms by many herbalists
- Treats allergies
- The anti-inflammatory properties help fight sinus infections
- Detoxifies the body by aiding liver functions
- Is a natural diuretic that promotes urination
- Encourages bowel movements
- Lowers blood sugar and is used to treat diabetes
- Boosts the immune system
- When taken within the first 48 hours of flu symptoms the extract has been shown to reduce the duration of the flu by 4 days on average
- Improves colds
- Fights nerve pain
- Improves Chronic Fatigue
- Prevents and improves cancer due to high content of anthocyanins that are shown to have many anti-carcinogenic, therapeutic and pharmacologic properties
- Is a chemopreventive; meaning it inhibits, delays or reverses cancer formation
- Naturally high in Vitamins C, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Iron, Potassium, and more.
- Encourages healthy skin due to high Vitamin A content as well as antioxidants and bioflavinoids
Although fresh Elderberries should never be eaten raw due to the cyanide-inducing chemical found within the berries, when prepared properly, the berries have a pleasant taste and are used in a variety of ways safely.
The Most Common Ways to Utilize Elderberry
- Jelly and Jams
As you can see, Elderberry has some amazing benefits and uses and is growing more and more popular over time. The Herb Forest hopes that you have enjoyed another one of our articles and we would love to hear from you! Feel free to browse The Herb Forest’s Shop where you can find Elderberry and Elderberry products along with many other amazing natural products!