Medicinal Herb Series: Elder

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You may have seen it in your local grocery store, you may have come across the name while reading your favorite homesteading blog. You may have commonly dismissed it like most people because you didn’t know its capabilities. But Elder is a name that you want to be familiar with especially in the cold and flu season.

Elder is mostly found in parts of Asia, Africa, Europe and even parts of North America.  The most commonly used is a species called Sambucus Nigra, the European Elder. The elder flowers and berries are used specifically for its medicinal properties. The berries, which are more commonly used, should be cooked down before using them. Raw berries have properties similar to cyanide poison. Please use with caution.

Elder has been known as one of the oldest most powerful medicinal herbs used. It is an antioxidant, laxative, diaphoretic and an anti-inflammatory. The elderberry fruit contains high sources of dietary fibers, vitamins A, C and vitamins in the B group. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium, manganese, zinc, iron and selenium.

Medicinal Benefits:

Colds: Elderberry tea is an effective method to help relieve coughs and sore throats.

Flu: Elder lessons the “virus” ability to negatively affect cells within the body. Specifically the flavonoids contained within the elder plant. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that bind themselves to H1N1 influenza viruses as well as H5N1 avian viruses causing the viruses to die back quickly.

Infections: Due to its high antibacterial and antiviral properties, Elder can help fight against infections within the body quite quickly.

Immunity Boost: Since it is high in antioxidants, elder can help reduce the number of free radicals within the body, helping the immune system to stay strong. When taken regularly it has also been known to help improve vision.

Heart: The antioxidants also help reduce cholesterol, helping maintain heart health.

Helps with allergies: Because if its anti-inflammatory properties, elder can help reduce inflammation within the nasal cavity, helping reduce allergy symptoms.

How to used Elder:

Most popular way of consuming elder is by taking elderberry syrup.

It can be made into an infusion

Made into jams and jellies

Made into gummies

Wine

Sprays

Ointments

Really however you’d like.

Safety:

Eating raw elderberries can result in diarrhea and vomiting. Be sure to cook your berries before consuming. Raw elderberries contain properties of cyanide poison. It is also not safe to consume during pregnancy or lactation.

Elder is considered a superfood especially when it comes to the cold and flu season. Be sure to stock your medicinal pantry with this incredible herb. Be sure to check out our post on how to make elderberry syrup. It is super easy and just makes sense to have on hand.

Happy Eldering!

 

All information provided are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to cure, treat or prevent any illness or diseases. Please consult with a medical professional before use. 

 

 

 

 

 

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