Long ago, the Germanic people revered elderberry as a tree that prolongs life. Centuries have passed, and to this day people are aware of the benefits of this shrub. How exactly does an elderberry benefit your health? – please read this article.
Botanical characteristics of elderberry
(Sambucus), family — Adoxaceae
Elderberry is a representative of flowering shrubs and small trees. Perennial grasses are less common, for example, poisonous elderberry herbaceous.
Black elderberry is a shrub with edible berries, up to 6 m high. The stem is branched, with a thin layer of woody bark, inside is a white and porous core. The young plant has green or brown-gray branches. The leaves are large, each with a pointed end. The fruit is a dark purple berry drupe which appear in August and September.
Red elderberry is a tree, another widespread representative of the genus. The leaves have a muted-green color on the dark-brown stem. Fruits are bright red berries, but they are not used in cooking. Gardens and parks are decorated with red elderberry.
A rarer species – blue elderberry – differs in the structure of its barrel and its resistance to the cold, unlike this species counterparts. The berries have a blue tint.
Elderberry grows throughout the northern hemisphere, in temperate zones.
Chemical composition of elderberry
By calorie content, elderberry can be considered a dietary product – 73 kcal per 100 g. Also containing:
- Vitamin C – up to 50 mg;
- Glucose – up to 2.8%;
- Fructose – up to 2.5%;
- Provitamin A1;
- Malic, acetic, caffeic, valeric acid;
- Essential oil, choline, ethylisobutyl, isoamylamine, carotene;
- Tannic, paraffin substances.
Benefits of elderberry
The main, and most important, property of small purple berries is the ability to regulate your metabolism. Elderberry components are able to ease the discomfort of joint inflammation. It can be used as an additional remedy for bronchitis, sore throat, flu, and laryngitis. On the part of the nervous system, berry tea helps with insomnia, neuralgia, and headaches. Fresh elderberry juice cleanses the digestive tract, removes excess fluid, cleanses the liver, is useful for those with kidney failure.
Crushed fresh leaves emit an astringent, so this paste is applied to burns, furuncle, and other superficial skin damage. This paste will disinfect the wound, and prevent further inflammation. At the initial stage of cancer, doctors recommend adding black elderberry to your menu. Attention! Plant components are not intrinsically remedies for cancer.
Indications for use: acute respiratory viral infection, nervous system disorder, outwardly – skin diseases.
Contraindications: the most important thing – unripe berries cause poisoning (symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and pain in the stomach). Diabetes.
Which parts of elderberry can be stored at home
When brewing tea with elderberry flowers, a hot drink gets a slightly bitter taste and a pleasant aroma. To buy dried flowers of an elderberry is not an easy task. However, if an elderberry grows in your garden – wait for May, and cut your inflorescences. After drying, grind in a blender; store this additive to your tea in a glass container. Shelf life – 3 years.
Dried berries are sold in most pharmacies. Or you can harvest your own berries in August-September. Shelf life – six months.
Health recipes with elderberry
Face mask: Restores the water balance and cellular respiration of the skin, achieving normalization of the sebaceous glands.
- 50 g of berries / 50 g of green clay
Chop the berries, add the clay, and mix into the paste. Apply to your face. After 10 minutes, wash off with warm water. Do not store residual ingredients.
- 1.5 kg of berries / 5 liters of purified water / 800 g of sugar.
Add the berries to boiling water. Cook for about 2 hours on low heat. Next, pull out the berries, and add sugar. Boil for one hour. Let it cool. When the fermentation process begins – remove the foam, pour the wine into a glass container, close and leave for a month. Lastly, the wine is bottled and cork clogged.
Vitamin tea: To build your immune system and gently clean your digestive tract.
- Brew elderberries and wild rose berries.
There are no restrictions in use.
Elderberry in folklore
- Elderberry is described in folklore legends. For example, in the fairy tale “Elder Granny” by Hans Christian Andersen, they describe a tea made with elderberries. Elderberry was revered as a sacred tree, which prolongs life, and helps to see the real course of things.
- In German mythology, Walpurgis Night is described – from April 30 to May 1. According to legend, every year on Blocksberg Mount, witches flock to the Sabbath with evil spirits. With the help of the elderberry, they expel the disobedient witches from the clan. The gathered elderberry on the eve of this holiday protects the house from the influence of evil forces.