Elderberry, propertyand characteristics of theplant. Is elderberry poisonous? Here is all the information.
ll elderit's a kind ofplantsascribed to the Caprifoliaceae family. This genus includes medium-sized shrub species and species that can develop into the shape of a small tree with a height of 5 - 10 meters. The elder is native to Europe and the Caucasus, in Italy it grows spontaneously.
SuchSambucustheplantsthe species are best knownSambucus ebulusisSambucus nigra. On this page we will focus onblack elderberry, that is, on theSambucus nigra.
Theelderit's aplant famous for its black berries and cream-colored flowers, very fragrant, gathered in large corymbs. Of the elder only berries and flowers are used. Leaves, wood, bark and roots arepoisonous.
The berries have 80% water, carbohydrates, proteins, fibers, various mineral salts such as potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and magnesium.
Among the vitamins we find a fair presence of vitamin A, some vitamins of group B (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6) and vitamin C. There is no lack of proteins with an interesting amino acid profile. The amino acids in elderberry are: glutamic acid, aspartic acid, alanine, arginine, cystine, glycine, isoleucine, lysine, proline, serine, tyrosine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Furthermore the elder contains large quantities of Sambucina, with diaphoretic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Is elderberry a poisonous plant?
Theelder lebbioor sambuchella (Sambucus ebulus) is apoisonous plantin its entirety and absolutely, its use should not be confused with that ofblack elderberry (Sambucus nigra).
Even theblack elderberry(Sambucus nigra)ispoisonous. The plant is toxic in all its parts except for flowers and fruits widely used for medicinal and herbal properties.
Theblack elderberryit's apoisonous plantbecause it contains glycosidesambunigrina in seeds, bark, leaves and wood. For this reason, the use of do-it-yourself preparations is not recommended. In the herbal field, all parts of the plant are used but, in the home, it is better to limit yourself to exploiting the virtues of the elderberry using only the berries and flowers.
In herbal medicine, the bark is used for its excellent diuretic and laxative properties. Its extracts end up in the preparation of more complex formulations.
Elderflowers are also used for external use, to prepare poultices, compresses and baths: in popular tradition, the elderflower is called "natural aspirin" and is used in hot herbal teas to fight colds, flu and rheumatism.
If combined with Lime, Elderberry increases its healing potential against the flu. The anti-flu properties have also been found in the juice extracted from berries.
The medicinal propertieselderberry appear to be confirmed. Extracts from bark, leaves, flowers, fruits and roots were used in the treatment of bronchitis, cough, upper respiratory system infections and fever. According to research published in 2004, the elderwould be able to reduce the duration and severity of flu symptoms.
According to experts, the elderberry is:
- Effective against inflammation of the respiratory system
- Depurative of liver and kidneys
Starting fromelderberriesyou can prepare an excellent jam. The amount of sugar to be added varies according to the desired final sweetness. On this page we will look at someelderberry-based recipesso as to exploit thepropertyof thisplant.
Put 5 grams of dried flowers in 1/2 liter of boiling water and leave to rest for 10 minutes then filter.
Decoction of fresh leaves(for external use)
Put 10 grams of fresh leaves in 1/2 liter of boiling water and let it boil for 2 minutes then turn off the heat and let it rest for another 10 minutes. Once this is done, strain the mixture.
Decoction of bark(for external use)
Put 100 grams of bark in 1/2 liter of boiling water and let it boil for 5 minutes then filter and use for soothing compresses for external use.
Edible elderberry berries
The elderberries are edible after cooking. You can use them to prepare jellies and jams. Elderberries are also used for soups.
If dried flowers are useful for infusions, fresh flowers areedibleand used to prepare pancakes or sauteed in batter and fried, like you would do with zucchini flowers.
The elderberry juice it is appreciated for its purifying properties and for improving the transit of food in the gastro-intestinal tract. For the properties of elderberry juice, I refer you to the previous paragraph dedicated to elderberries. Where to buy elderberry juice? In the most well-stocked supermarkets or by taking advantage of online sales.
For more information, please refer to"This Amazon page"where purifying elderberry juice is proposed, enriched with an infusion of elderberry flowers.
Elderberry plant, where to find it
Thereelderberry plant, in Italy, it grows spontaneously in the plain woods, along the rural hedges or near the mountain farmhouses.
As stated, many parts of the plant are poisonous, so use only flowers and berries. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a doctor before use.
Do not abuse jams and jellies based onelderberriesbecause we remind you that they have property laxative.
Pay close attention to the Elderberry harvest because it can be mistaken for some poisonous plants such as Sambucus ebulus. The flowers of the poisonous elder are easy to recognize as they have different colors as shown in the photo below.