Elderberries have long been used as a folk remedy for cold and flu. Modern studies have helped back up this claim. There are many recipes for elderberry jams, syrups, and pies. But beware, unripe berries, leaves, and twigs are poisonous. In addition, take note that are multiple species variations of elderberry.
The flowers and the berries produced by elder species are actually the only parts of the plant that don't contain the toxic chemical sambunigrin. Unripe berries are also poisonous.
Many clinical studies have demonstrated that elderberries may help reduce the cold or flu. The fruit may also have antioxidant and cholesterol lowering activities but more research is needed. Click the button below for a detailed review of research.
Latin Name: Sambuca ssp.
American Elder is a deciduous Eastern North American shrub growing 3ft or taller. Leaves are 10 cm oblong, pinnate in pairs of 5-9. White flowers bloom in the Summer. Berries are dark purple drooping clusters in the Fall time. There are other species of elder as well.
Flowers and berries are edible but the rest of the plant is poisonous, containing calcium oxalate. Unripe fruit is also poisonous. Adult dosage for infused flowers is 2 - 4 grams up to three times a day (Petersen, 2016). Adult dose for a liquid extract is 2-4 mL up to three times a day (Petersen, 2016).
Vitamin C, lectins, anthocyanin, cyanogenic glycosides