From the days of Hippocrates through to the Middle Ages and into the 19th century, Elder has been famous for its medicinal properties. In 1644, a book entitled The Anatomie of the Elder, by Dr. Martin Blockwich, dedicated some 230 handcrafted pages to the medicinal virtues and uses of nearly every part of the Elder – its flowers, berries, leaves, ‘middle bark’, pith, and roots. It sets forth that as every part of the tree was medicinal, so virtually every ailment of the body was curable by it, from toothache to the plague. It was used externally and internally, and in amulets (these were especially good for epilepsy, and in popular belief also for rheumatism), and in every kind of form – in rob and syrup, tinctures, mixture, oil, spirit, water, liniment, extract, salt, conserve, vinegar, oxymel, sugar, decoction, bath, cataplasm, and powder. Some of these were prepared from one part of the plant only, others from several or from all. Their properties are summed up as “desiccating, conglutinating, and digesting,” but are extended to include everything necessary to a universal remedy. The book prescribes in more or less detail for some seventy or more distinct diseases or classes of diseases. Blockwitch seems never at a loss for an authority, from Dioscorides to the Pharmacopeias of his own day. His examples of cures are drawn from all classes of people, from Emylia, Countess of Isinburg, to the tradesman of Heyna and their children.
King’s describes the uses of Elder in more specific terms. “...The expressed juice of the berries evaporated to the consistence of a syrup is a valuable aperient and alterative; one ounce of it will purge.”
Elder Berries provide a classic country remedy in the form of an excellent homemade wine. It is quite tasty, and improves with age. When taken hot with honey, just before going to bed, it is an old-fashioned and well –established cure for a cold.
Indicated Usages - Internal:
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Indicated Usages - External:
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Both elderflowers and elderberries contain substances which ease inflammation and pain. Elderberries soothe the intestines and have been used for all inflammatory bowel diseases. They have a very gentle laxative action, which may explain their decongestant properties. They also have a mild tonic action to help arrest diarrhea. Many other herbalists besides myself have observed a strong connection between bowel problems and respiratory congestion. There also appears to be a strong connection between bowel obstructions and fevers in children.
ELDERBERRIES are tasty flu fighters. They contain compounds that inhibit the enzyme flu viruses use to penetrate our cell membranes and also prevent the virus from invading respiratory tract cells. Taken early enough, as a tea or tincture, you may be able to head off an upcoming illness before it becomes a full-blown flu. They are especially good for bronchitis, colds, coughing and influenza. Also contains substances that ease inflammation and pain and soothe the intestines, thus making them useful in all inflammatory bowel diseases. It is known to have a gentle laxative action, and their mild tonic action helps to arrest diarrhea.
Uses: Like Raisins and Goji berries, we use Elderberries in our home almost daily in a great many food recipes (hot cereals, sauces, vegetable dishes, baby food and formulas, pancakes, etc.) for their flavor and to increase the nutritional content. It can be used to benefit men, women (including before, during or after pregnancy, and nursing) and children. It can be used as often as you would like.
Storage: Like many other bulk foods, Elderberries store fairly well. It should be kept in an airtight container and stored in a dark, dry, and cool place (no refrigeration is required).
Questions?: Check out Frequently Asked Questions.
Posted by Unknown on 14th Oct 2013
I am very pleased with my order of elderberries. I had done and extensive search for elderberries, and found most places were out of stock. The berries were in stock here, and came very quickly. They were packaged very well, and in excellent dried condition.
I have made several batches of elderberry syrup, and we have found that mixing about 1 C of blueberries in with 2 C of elderberries and 3 C water, boiled to a syrup (strain out the berries after cooking), with about 1 C of honey makes a very tasty syrup for my two small children. I think it has deferred a very bad case of the flu for me, and helped my 2-year old get over a runny nose in just 2 days. He did not get the "full-blown" flu, and I think it was because of the elderberry syrup. This is more economical than buying the commercially prepared syrup that is available at our local health food store. Thanks!
Posted by Unknown on 13th Oct 2013
1/2 cup dried elderberries
2 cups water
1 cup raw honey
3-5 drops Grapefruit Seed Crush, optional
soak elderberries overnite in water. In the morning, place elderberries and water on stove, mash, and simmer (do NOT boil) 30-45 minutes. Strain with a colonder, cool, and add 1 cup raw honey and add Grapefruit seed Crush to help preserve the syrup. Store in Refrigerator. Good for up to 3 months.
Adults 1 Tablespoon per hour or 2 T. every 2 hours. Children use less.
Posted by Pam on 9th Oct 2013
We have been making a daily tea out of the elderberries and drinking it, mixed with a little raw honey. We have been around people coming down with colds and flus and (fingers crossed) haven't gotten anything yet!