Elderflowers are often found in cold, flu, fever, and allergy formulations. They are soothing and detoxifying, and they contain antibiotic essential oil. They help break fevers and fight pathogens, especially when combined with peppermint and yarrow. Elderflowers are good for clearing the skin and a tea of elderflowers will help clear up acne and other blemishes. Externally, elderflowers are very effective in salves for inflammation, wounds, burns, cuts, abrasions, dry skin, and acne.
Standardized: European elder
Other: black elder
Sambucus nigra L.
Plant Family: Caprifoliaceae
European elder is a plant native to Europe, Northern Africa, and
Western-and Central Asia. Its flowers and berries have a long history of
use in traditional European medicine. Elder berries have also been used
for making preserves, wines, winter cordials, and for adding flavor and
color to other wines.
Potassium nitrate, sambucin, sambunigrin, sugars. The complex sugars of the berries are the immune-active fraction.
Most commonly the flowers or berries. Dried fruits are less bitter than fresh.
The branches and leaves are poisonous. The small stem which is sometimes left on the berry is safe.
Teas, tinctures, encapsulations, syrups, wine, cordials, and even ketchup, often combined with propolis or echinacea.
*Michael McGuffin, ed., American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook, (New York: CRC Press, 1997)
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