Elderberry is by far my number one go to herb for enhancing the immune system. If you want to stop a cold dead in its tracks, Elderberry is the one to do it. Among other things, the berries are extremely high in flavonoids which inhibit the virus’ ability to replicate.
Scientific name: Sambucus canadensis
About the Plant
Elderberry is a hardy native shrubby tree. It often grows in moist soil along roadsides and streams. It is a fast growing tree from 5 to 12 feet tall with tightly clustered bunches of tiny creamy white flowers in summer, followed by large drooping clusters of small, dark purple berries in early fall. The branching stems of the shrubs are very lightweight and have a pithy core that is easily removed and for that reason were often used for making children’s flutes or toys.
Do not confuse with S. racemosa that has poisonous red berries.
Parts Used: Berries and flowers
Berries – food, syrup, tincture, elixir, tea, dye
Flowers – tea, infused oil, salve, cream, tincture, syrup, elixir
Berries – sour Flowers – bitter/sweet
Berries – antiviral, immunomodulating, antioxidant, detoxifier, tonic
Flowers – antiviral, relaxing nervine, relaxing diaphoretic, diuretic
Elder is a multipurpose herb and a very powerful medicine. They are especially known for their effectiveness when used at the first stages of cold, flu and upper respiratory congestion. Studies have shown that Elderberries can shorten the duration of these illnesses. Research also reveals that elderberries were valuable against the H1N1 virus as well as several other influenza viruses.
- Upper Respiratory Tract – sore throat, post nasal drip, hoarseness, sinusitis, coughs, asthma. Opens up lungs, moves phlegm.
- Digestive Tract – decongests liver to remove heat and toxicity. Stimulates stomach and bowels
- Stimulates kidneys. Removes edema, especially in legs and ankles and can correct kidney problems.
- Used for many kinds of female problems including uterine problems, fibroids, endometriosis, night sweats
- Mild nerve sedative
- Pulls toxins from the body and removes internal heat through opening pores
- Improves oxygenation of blood: breathing capacity
- Historically was a remedy for toothaches
- Excellent remedy for infants and children. Historically used for colic. Used as part of an ADD/ADHD formula