The elderberry medicinal uses are amazing. You may not know about this humble shrub, but if you're fortunate enough to have some elderberry plants growing on your property, you have a gold mine of helpful remedies, delicious food and a tasty wine as well.
I remember the first time I learned there were elderberry plants growing on my property. My younger son and daughter discovered them and had crushed them all over their hands and faces to make themselves purple.
My mother was horrified and even called poison control, only to learn that while the red berries can be toxic, the blue and purple berries are not.
Elderberry uses include relief from colds and influenza.
I have since learned that the medicinal uses of elderberry are so many that these plants are almost worth their weight in gold. If you find these shrubs on your property, be sure to harvest the berries, flowers, leaves and even bark for healing of all kinds of ailments, including arthritis, colds and flu.
Here are six ways to use the elderberries you find on your property.
Elderberries are loaded with vitamins that improve immune function. The berries also work as a diuretic to help flush the toxins out of your body.
Do you feel yourself coming down with the flu? Take a tablespoon of elderberry syrup every two to three hours to help you recover much faster. It also helps ease sore throats.
Again, when you harvest elderberries, pick only the blue, purple or black berries. Don't pick the red berries, as they can be toxic. Pick one cup of fresh elderberries, wash them, and place them in a medium saucepan with three cups of water and a cup of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Smash the berries to release the remaining juice. Then strain the mixture through clean cheesecloth and store the remaining elderberry syrup in a clean glass jar. If kept in the refrigerator, homemade elderberry syrup will last up to three months.
Elderberry Medicinal Uses aren't limited to the berries themselves. All parts of elderberry plants are valuable for healing, including the flowers. Elderberry flowers also have flavenoids and rutin that strengthen your immune system and promote healing. The aromatic flowers make a delicious tea.
Pick the flowers in the morning and either dry them in the sun or with a dehydrator. Place a teaspoon of the dried flowers in a tea strainer and cover them with boiling water. Allow the tea to steep for ten minutes and sweeten with a bit of honey for delicious healing.
The next time you have a headache, make elderberry tea and sip it to ease the pain.
Elderberry syrup or tea can also help break a fever.
Elderberries can also help to heal numerous infections including appendix, bladder and kidney infections. It can also be used to treat consumption.
Make an infusion of the leaves by placing the leaves in a cup and covering them with boiling water. Allow them to steep for ten minutes and then allow the mixture to cool. The cooled mixture is good as a wash for wounds, sprains and bruises.
You can also make a poultice out of the leaves, flowers, twigs and barks along with chamomile flowers to help ease back pain and joint stiffness. Grind up the leaves, bark, flowers and chamomile flowers and place them in a bowl, mixing them well. Gradually stir in very warm water until the mixture becomes a paste.
Place the mixture on a clean cloth and then place the cloth - mixture side down - on the inflamed area to help relieve pain.
No, it's not a medicinal use, but elderberries are great for making pies, jellies and sauces. To preserve your berries, dry them in your dehydrator. The berries can then be eaten dried or refreshed by covering in water and allowing them to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
The flowers can also be dipped into batter and fried.