Latin:  Sambucus nigra

Family:  Caprifoliaceae

Parts Used:  Berries, flowers

Taste/Energetics:  Cool, drying

Properties:  Diaphoretic, antimicrobial, antiviral, 

Actions:  Elder has long been used as an herb to fight offloads and the flu and modern research has shown it has the ability to inhibit viruses from invading healthy cells.  Elder flower induces a sweat and is one of the principle herbs along with mint and yarrow to offer people at the start of sickness to help cool a fever and “release the exterior.”  Elder syrup is one of the best immune enhancing elixirs one can concoct and is a wonderful winter ally for keeping people well.   Elder is not generally thought of as a mental health herb but it has a nice gentle relaxing quality that is helpful for someone who is anxious, hot and wound up.  It is especially helpful to think of this plant for elders, children and folks in poor health who aren’t strong as it is quite gentle in effect.

Dosage:  1-3 tsp flower infused in hot water 10 minutes.  As syrup see recipe section.

Contraindications:    None.

Further Reading:   

Elder monograph by Jim McDonald

Elder video  by Jim McDonald

Elder monograph  by  Kiva Rose

Blue Elder  by Elise Krohn