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Native Americans used the flowers, berries, and bark of elderberry trees for fevers and joint pain for hundreds of years, but elderberry's real claim to fame is as a natural aid to help with flu symptoms. Try a cup of tea steeped with elder flowers today for your cold or flu!
Elder is a large deciduous shrub with corky, gray-brown bark with feathery leaves. Tiny, scented cream flowers are borne in summer, followed by black berries. Elder is a bitter, pungent, cooling herb. The flowers and fruits are used to lower fever, reduce inflammation, soothe irritation and have a diuretic and anti-mucus effect, while the leaves are insecticidal.
Both the flowers and leaves contain rutin, isoquercitrin and hyperoside, while the flowers also contain chlorogenic acid, organic acids and triterpenoids, such as a-amyrin and b-amyrin, and the fruits contain tannins and anthocyanins such as sambucin, sambucyanin, chrysanthemin and all the glycosides of cyanidin. The seeds on the other hand contain cyanogenic glycosides such as sambunigrin, prunasin and holocalin, while the fruit contains lectins. The flowers have diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, while the fruits again have antioxidant properties.
Teas, tinctures, encapsulations, syrups, wine, cordials, and even ketchup, often combined with propolis or echinacea.
None for flowers or berries.
When using berries it must be from the nigra species as others are known to be poisonous.
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