Habitat & Cultivation : Originating in Europe, elder flourishes in wooded areas, hedgerows, and on neglected land. It has spread to numerous temperate regions and is frequently grown intentionally. Elder plants are propagated through cuttings in the spring. The flowering tops are gathered in late spring, while the berries are harvested in early autumn.
Key Constituents Berries:
- Vitamins A and C
- Volatile oil (0.7%)
- Increases sweating
- Elder berries : Native to Europe, elder thrives in wooded areas, hedges, and on neglected land. It has expanded its presence to various temperate regions and is often intentionally cultivated. Propagation of elder plants is done through cuttings in the spring. Harvesting of the flowering tops takes place in late spring, while the berries are collected in early autumn.
Traditional & Current Uses
- Coughs & colds : The berries exhibit confirmed antiviral properties, aiding in the prevention and expedited recovery from upper respiratory infections like colds and flu. Consistent with traditional practices, the flowers are consumed to induce sweating and alleviate fever by promoting body cooling. An infusion of elderflower serves as a comforting remedy during bouts of cold and flu.
- Catarrh & allergies : The blossoming parts strengthen the mucous linings of the nose and throat, enhancing their resilience against infections. They are recommended for persistent catarrh, ear infections, and allergic reactions. Blends of infusions with additional herbs can diminish the severity of hay fever episodes when consumed several months prior to the allergy season.
- Arthritis : Through promoting perspiration and increasing urine production, elder flowering tops facilitate the elimination of waste products, proving beneficial in cases of arthritis.
- Other uses : The flowers and berries exhibit a gentle laxative effect and are believed to contribute to the reduction of blood pressure. Additionally, the flowers are considered beneficial in managing diabetes, while the berries seem to boost immune function.