Herbal Healing: Elderberry

The cultural knowledge of herbs is not entirely lost. Tea drinkers rely on the dried contents to find a remedy for either the onset of an ailment or to improve health. It seems too simple; drinking hot infused herbs or sprinkling an herb over food. Once upon a time, herbal lore was instinctual, just like the hand wanders into a cupboard to find a word like oregano, lavender or peppermint written on a box or glass bottle. The basic knowledge of medicinal plants may still be in our genes, growing like the plant, wildl, and needing understanding.

Medicinal plants have touched upon the human race for centuries. Why not take time to learn about the versatile qualities of the elderberry?

The love of elderberry, also called the elder plant, dates back to the time well before 460 BC. The man known as the father of medicine, Hippocrates, referred to the herb as the medicine chest of all herbs. While promoting endless benefits, the shrub, from the bark to the leaves, the flowers and berries have a super strong medicinal value. Store shelves offer products, which includes a potent, natural ingredient, elderberry.

The Appearance

Elderberry, recognizable for its wine-colored branches leading to while flowers in spring or clusters of dark purple berries by summer, is often mistaken for a tree. In its mature state, the elder can expand to a height of 30 feet tall. Drivers will discover it alongside the roads growing wild.

Grow Your Own

If you want to collect cuttings, go far from the roadside to find a chemical-free shrub. Choose a woody branch, roughly four to six inches in length. Allow the sip to soak in water for a day before applying a rooting hormone and planting in a small cup near the kitchen window. Water with a spray bottle until roots form; then, transplant. It takes three years before berry clusters form.

In addition to making elderberry wine, jams and jellies, you can also try making a cough syrup or tea, which includes equal parts elderflowers, peppermint leaves and yarrow flowers. All of which grow either in your garden or wild!

Purpose of Elder Flowers

In tea, the result is a diaphoretic reaction, which means blood will rise to the surface of the body resulting in a feeling of warmness. For those individuals who are consistently cold, elder is an excellent remedy. (Add a cinnamon stick for flavoring.)

The opposite is valid for a hot-blooded person. Blood will rise to the surface and induce sweating, releasing heat. Elder can open pores and travel through vessels in every channel of the body to, for instance, allow the lungs to receive air, cause the bowels to move and cease spasmodic coughs.

Folklore speaks of the magical connection between elderflowers and a boost of confidence, strength or prosperity. Need a talisman for an upcoming interview; then, carry a flower in your pocket or soak in a warm bath infused with its scent.

Purpose of the Berries

In thinking about antioxidants, elderberry has a higher power to boost the immune system than blueberries and goji berries. Because the berries cannot be eaten directly from the shrub, boil the berries first. The result is an abundant supply of vitamins A and C. Doses of elderberry syrup can combat colds and the flu. A study in 2016 revealed elderberry lessened the duration of a cold by two days and significantly reduced the severity of its symptoms. The outcome provided a benefit, whether the form was a capsule, lozenge, syrup, tea or tincture.

Start looking at your tea and medicine boxes, and you’ll find elderberries are also used to treat viral infections from herpes and shingles to upper respiratory infections. One herb often added to combat sickness is echinacea, the beautiful coneflower.

Next Month: Echinacea


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