Folk medicine healer Peter Dimkov called the elderberry, especially black elder, "the strongest herb". With proven anti-cancer properties, it is a valuable plant that is able to bring many benefits to human health. While we are accustomed to overlook such tedious bushes, this article will try to give a new aspect to your relationship with the elderberry.
Elder (Sambucus) is a genus of dicotyledonous plants, comprising about 30 species. Many of them thrive in the temperate zone of the northern hemisphere, but there are those that are found in the southern hemisphere too. All types of elder are shrubs or low trees. There are mainly three types: black and red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa), and just normal elder (the grassy elder).
For us the most beneficial is black elderberry (Sambucus nigra), which is a shrub or tree reaching a height of 3 meters high, and in rare cases up to 8-10 m, has a strong root system, and elder berries ripen late August or early September.
Black elderberries should not be confused with wild elderberry, which is a perennial herb called elder. Typical of elder is that the color has an unpleasant odor and is larger than that of the black elderberry. There is also the so- called Australian Elder - two types of shrubs with white or yellow fruits that reach 3 meters in height.
Composition of elderberries
The fruits of black elderberry are like pharmacies for our health as long as you know how to apply them. Elder berries are rich in compounds which have a key role in neutralizing free radicals. There is a huge amount of pectin and cellulose in elderberry, and the plant contains many valuable minerals and trace elements.
There is a huge amount of vitamin C in elderberry, and if you manage to dry them properly, you can keep the majority of the nutrients in. The fruit of the elderberry is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances.
All parts of the elderberry plant have medicinal properties - the roots are used in the form of a decoction and a tincture is made from the leaves, even a mixture that is applied externally, and the flowers can be used for infusion/tea.
Popular medicine is bequeathed to us by traditional medicine, the fruits of black elderberry, work against the flu, being a preventive and boosting the immune system. It is also an anticancer drug.
To prepare the medicine, get nice ripe elderberry fruit, and if you have greenish ones, discard them. Wash them and place them in a large jar, alternating a row fruits, with a roe of sugar. Cover the jar with gauze and put it in a sunny location to ferment for about two weeks. Then filter through the gauze and distribute the mixture in small jars. Close them with caps and place them in a dark and cold place.
From medicine so prepared, just have one teaspoon every morning on an empty stomach, 10 minutes before breakfast. This recipe can be made with ripe fruits of elder. In this case, the drug is used very successfully against cancer. Again, you should not use green pods, but black and ripe ones. Green fruits contain toxic substances.
Elderberries can be made into marmalade or jam, which is said to have diuretic and laxative effect and is successfully applied for neuroses. For good health and to delight the senses, you can prepare tea from the flowers of the elder. Elderberry tea has a wonderful flavor and a toning effect.
Health benefits of elder
There are enormous health benefits from elderberry on the human health. Old folk legend says that the dark grains of elderberry chase away disease and it is now proven even by modern science and medicine. It is a powerful tool against flu helps your body to speed its recovery from colds.
Elder is a laxative and diuretic, helps lower fever because it contains glucoside substances. Using Elderberry helps regulate the metabolism, which in turn is beneficial for maintaining weight within normal limits. Elderberry fruits contain many vitamins, especially vitamin C. Therefore, elderberry tea is a great tool for smokers.
With the colors of black elderberries, make a tea inhalation for hoarseness and irritation of the upper respiratory tract.
In traditional medicine, tea with elder is applied even for impotence, hemorrhoids, urinary tract inflammation, gout, high blood pressure, dropsy, inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, prostatitis, urinary diseases, accompanied with hives, shortness of breath and obesity.
To regulate your metabolism, take one tablespoon dried elder berries and soak them in the evening with 200ml slightly warm water. In the morning, strain the liquid, gently warm and drink it on an empty stomach. For external use apply elderberry in baths for rheumatism and gout as a compress for sore eyes, imposing paws in erysipelas and burns, hemorrhoids and baths for skin inflammation. A decoction of the leaves of elder applies outside the bathrooms in skin rashes, hemorrhoids and rheumatism.
Pour 2 teaspoons of elderberry flowers with 250 ml of boiling water. Leave to brew for 10-15 minutes, strain and sip. Another recipe is to put 2 tablespoons of elderberry flowers in 500 ml water and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Take 1 cup before meals 4 times daily.
Dangers of elderberries
Very carefully select Elderberries - always choose dark to black ones, without green grains. Unripe greens, fruit, and seeds contain sambutsin and sambunigrin, which are poisonous. It is good to always consult a physician before undertaking treatment with elderberry.