elderberryBlack Elder is found almost everywhere in Europe. It is a very common plant growing wild in the bushes, on the banks of the forests, in parks, and in gardens. It can be a decorative as well as the medicinal plant.

For many years, the elderberry blossom has been used in medicine as a diaphoretic and antipyretic medicine, and as a mouthwash and a throat rinse, as well as for dressings for ulcers and eczema. Currently, it is widely used and belongs to one of the most important herbal plants.

What parts of Black Elder are used in medicine?

The most popular is the flower and the fruit. Cork, roots, and leaves are also used.

What substances can be found in the elderberry flowers?

  • many flavonoids, ex. kaemferol derivatives, quercetin, phenolic acids, e.g. coffee, ferulic, chlorogenic, and their glycosides. In addition, organic acids, oil, tannins, mucus, triterpenes, sterols, mineral salts.

What substances can be found in the elderberry fruits?

  • anthocyanin glycosides, sugars, pectins, tannins, acids: apple, chlorogenic, shikimic, vitamins B, vitamin C and P, provitamin A, small amounts of essential oil, mineral salts.

Healing Properties of Black Elder

Elderberry flowers act: diaphoretic, diuretic, slightly laxative, and analgesic. They seal the walls of the capillaries and increase their elasticity. It is commonly used in febrile diseases. The elderberry mixtures are used to rinse the mouth and throat in angina, to compresses in conjunctivitis and eyelid margins. You can also use it for baths.

The plant belongs to the so-called blood cleaners. They remove harmful metabolic products and poisonous toxins from the body along with sweat, urine, and feces. They also work anti-rheumatically and anti-inflammatory. Decoctions of elderberry fruit are used as a detoxifying agent and help remove harmful waste products from the body, toxins in rheumatic diseases. In skin diseases and sciatica, it is administered as a mild analgesic. It is also used in inflammation of the stomach and intestines.

How to use it at home?

At home, you can prepare by yourself:

1) Black elderberry decoction:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of flowers into a glass of cold water and bring it to boil. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. Then strain.
  • Use the mixture for rinsing the mouth and throat or drink ½ cup 3 times a day as a diaphoretic, antipyretic, and diuretic substance.

2)Black elderberry infusion:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of flowers into a glass of boiling water and leave covered for 15 minutes. Drink several times a day about ½ cup.
  • It is effective against bronchitis, fever, and rheumatism, but especially good for a cough, colds, lung illnesses, and runny nose.

3) Steam inhalation from the flower infusion help in chronic respiratory infections and persistent cough. For this purpose, add 1 tablespoon of flowers to a glass of boiling water and (covered with a towel for better, direct inhalation) breathe in the steam from the infusion for 10 minutes.

4) Black elderberry decoction:

  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of fruit into a glass of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook under cover for about 5 minutes. Let it stand for 15 minutes, strain and drink ½ cup 2-3 times a day.
  • This mixture facilitates bowel movements and acts diuretic. It is the decoction of fruit that removes harmful products and toxins from the body. It also helps with the pain.

5) Elderberry juice:

  • Wash fresh, ripe fruits. Then heat them up in a pot until they release the juice. Then crush them into a pulp and squeeze the juice out of them through a gauze or cloth. After squeezing and straining, the juice can be boiled with honey. 1 part honey for 10 parts of juice. Store it in the jar.
  • Drink 2-3 times a day a glass of this diluted juice with water (50 g of juice with a glass of hot water).
  • It is effective in colds, influenza, digestive disorders, helpful in the ignition of radiculitis and neuralgia. It works very well on the urinary tract. For this purpose, 1 tablespoon of juice is added to a glass of tea in the morning for children, and in adults stimulates kidney function and prevents the occurrence of diarrhea.

 Kasia BrzozaKasia Brzoza

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Foto: ratmaner