Scientific name: Sambucus nigra
Elderberry and the elder flower are fairly well known, and are used often in Europe for curing colds.
- Vitamin A, C
- Phenolic compounds
- Diaphoretic: induce sweating, which helps to lower fevers
- Antiviral: esp. for flus, herpes, shingles
- Improve upper respiratory infection
Elderberries can be made into syrup, jam, jelly, pie, and even wine.
Do not eat many raw elderberries; they can cause upset stomach and diarrhea in some cases.
(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
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
- 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
- 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!