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Materia Medica: Elderberry and Elderflower


Botanical name: Sambucus Nigra

Family: Caprifoliacea

Common Names: Elder, Elderberry, European Elder, Black Elder, Bore Tree

Part used: Berries and Flower

Habitat/ Harvesting: Grows worldwide throughout temperate climates. A deciduous hardy perennial shrub that can reach upward of 30 feet. Prefers moist, rich soil and partial shade to full sun. In the wild, you can find it growing along stream banks and edges of farm fields. Harvest the flowers in late spring.

Primary Actions: Immune Stimulating, Antiviral, Diaphoretic (flowers), diuretic (flowers), clears mucous (flowers), anti-inflammatory (flowers), mild laxative

Energetics: Tonifying, Cooling and Drying, Sour

Indications: Cold and flu, coughs, congestion and allergies, upper respiratory infections, herpes, shingles, fever, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis

Contraindications: Don’t eat the raw (uncooked) berries in any great quantity. They can cause digestive upset and diarrhea.

Preparations: Often combined with echinacea in immune-stimulating remedies for colds, Syrup, Wine, Jam, Pie, Tea, Tincture, Capsules