Scientific name: Sambucus nigra

Elderberry and the elder flower are fairly well known, and are used often in Europe for curing colds.

Nutrientselder flower health benefits

  • Vitamin A, C
  • Bioflavonoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenolic compounds
  • Beta-carotene
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Phytosterols

Health Benefits

Flowers
  • Diaphoretic: induce sweating, which helps to lower fevers
Berries
  • Immune-boosting
  • Antiviral: esp. for flus, herpes, shingles
  • Improve upper respiratory infection

Cooking Tips

Elderberries can be made into syrup, jam, jelly, pie, and even wine.

CAUTION

Do not eat many raw elderberries; they can cause upset stomach and diarrhea in some cases.

Quick Remedies

(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)

  • Common cold, fevers, sinus congestion: mix into a tea in equal parts elder flower, peppermint leaf, and yarrow flower/leaf. Sip throughout the day as needed.
  • Bladder, urinary infection: mix into a tea, 2 parts elder flower, and one part each chickweed top and dandelion leaf. Drink a cup 1-2x daily as needed.

How to Grow

Planting

Elder grows easily from cuttings and can get to 30 feet tall! (keep this in mind when choosing a place to plant).

Where do you live?

Grown best up to zone 5 but can be grown in slightly colder regions too.

Put em in the ground
  • Moist, well-drained, rich soil
  • Partial shade to full sun

Care

  • The plants will grow a better harvest of berries the 2nd year
  • Make sure to allow for cross-pollination with 2 types of elder for best results
  • Take care of weeds when needed, and protect the roots with mulch when necessary
  • Allow the bushes to grow wild the first year or 2 before you start to prune, which is done in the spring
    • Cut out the dead areas and cut back to where you’d like the bush to be

Harvest

  • There’s a 5-15 day ripening period in mid-August to mid-September
  • Harvest as many berries as you can before the birds do!