Elderberries have similar properties to the Elderflowers, both being treatments for colds, congestion, influenza and respiratory illnesses. Elderberry juice has reportedly been used to successfully treat the flu virus and speed recovery.
Elderberry tincture strengthens the resistance and resilience of cells, particularly of the respiratory system, For this reason it is a popular Winter tonic. The encouraging reports of the Elderberry’s benefits may be partly due to the high levels of bioflavonoid’s and antioxidants. Bioflavonoids and antioxidants are naturally occurring and beneficial nutrients. Research indicates that they protect the bodies’ cells and weaken the virus’s ability to infect them.
Elderberry fruits are rich vitamins and minerals, particularly Vitamin C and P, Vitamin A and Vitamin B6, iron, potassium, magnesium trace elements and traces of essential oil. Elderberries are also a good source of flavonoids. Elderberry is one of the Autumn fruits with skin of a deep blue purple black pigment. This blue purple pigment in the skin of fruits and vegetables signals the presence of anthocyanins.These pigments are water soluble, highly anti-oxidant and considered to be cell protective. They occur in many brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. While research into these pigments is ongoing, previous studies have found them associated with a wide range of health benefits.
The Elder tree is renowned as the medicine chest of the woods, particularly in folklore and herbal medicine. Preparations from the fruit and flowers help to keep us healthy, partly by increasing our nutritional status. The nutritional values of the berry include anthocyanins, flavonoids and Vitamins A and C and P. Elderberries ripen just as the Autumnal winds chill the air, challenging our ability to adapt, when nutritional strengthening is needed. Additionally this is a time of year when most of the Summer fruits are over for the year, and Autumn hedgerow fruits are most appreciated. Autumn fruits are a welcome sight to wine and jam producers as well as a valuable source of medicinal benefits. Elderberry tincture is a delicious and a convenient way to get the benefit. Just add drops to a drink at breakfast and dinner.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, called the Black Elder tree a medicine chest because of its many benefits. The Elder tree has provided foods and medicines for country people since ancient days. Therefore we find elderberry recipes for cordials, jams,(with blackberries) jellies, pies and wines appear in many vintage cookery books. Elderberry wine is very pleasant. Additionally, jams are much improved by the addition of blackberries.
Homoeopaths use Elderberry in tiny doses. The main indications in the homoeopathic materia medica are catarrh, swollen membranes, congestion and excessive mucus production. Thus causing snuffles, spasmodic breathing, croupy coughs and fevers.
Efficient safe and cost-effective is the conclusion of this trial on treatment by Elderberry during influenza: This Pubmed publication reports encouraging results from elderberry supplementation as a treatment for respiratory infections, substantially reducing recovery time.
Research has also shown that elderberry increases production of the immune systems signalling molecules, cytokines. These mediate and regulate immunity and inflammation. Elderberries, like many of the traditional herbs have been used in many clinical and research trials in recent years.
Research indicates that Elderberry helps recovery from influenza like illnesses.
In a placebo controlled clinical trial during a flu outbreak in a1995 complete cure was achieved within 2 to 3 days in nearly 90% of those taking elderberry while those on placebo took at least 6 days.
Botanical name: Sambucus nigra fructus
Common names: Elderberry
Habitat: Grows abundantly throughout Europe
Parts used: Berries
Tincture Strength: 1:3:25% alcohol
10 – 20 drops in water 3 x daily