Elderberry/ Elder (Sambucus nigra)
The elderberry and flowers from the elder tree have tons of uses.
The flower is used for treating colds, flu, and respiratory illnesses. One study showed that flu patients who took elderberry remedies healed in half the time as those who did not. This is due to Sambucus nigra agglutinins, which help prevent some strains of flu from infecting healthy cells. Studies currently being conducted have shown that elderberry may also be beneficial for patients with herpes, HIV, and other conditions that suppress the immune system.
Elderberry is also used in poultices for pain and inflammation and compress sunburn and mild burns.
Children love the flavor of elderberries, so it’s helpful in many children’s remedies. Even elderberry syrup on pancakes serves as a tonic for colds, flu, and other viral bugs.
Cautions: Elderberry remedies are considered safe and relatively free of side effects when taken in the suggested doses (as indicated on product labels and the recipes in this book). The berries should not be eaten raw; uncooked berries may cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Some constituents of the leaves, flowers, roots, and stems contain poisonous
alkaloids. If your child is taking drugs that increase urination, consult your child’s doctor or healthcare practitioner before administering elderflower since prolonged use or overuse may increase urination, resulting in the loss of potassium from the body.
Elderberry Cough Syrup Recipe
Yield: 2 to 3 cups
6 cups fresh elderberries
1⁄3 cup honey or vegetable glycerin
1 teaspoon dried marshmallow root
1 teaspoon boneset leaves, echinacea flowers or root, or licorice root
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups vodka or brandy
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
Mash the elderberries in a large strainer over a bowl, capturing the
juice in the bowl. Transfer the liquid to a medium saucepan and add
the honey, marshmallow, boneset, and cinnamon. Cover and simmer
over medium heat for 35 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in
the vodka and lime juice. Strain and discard the herbs. Cool thoroughly. Stored in a sealed glass bottle in the refrigerator.
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