Elder 2


Elder (Sambucus negra)

Elder is a common small tree in the UK.  It grows profusely and can often be found in towns and cities as well as in more rural areas.  I tend to think of it as a scruffy tree and when young often has cork like bark.  The flowers can be eaten in spring, or used to make a delicious cordial.

Standing dead elder is also home to jelly ear fungus, a nutritious woodland treat!

Property: Astringent

Constituent: Flowers : Flavonoids, Phenolic acid, Volatile oil, Tannins, Mucilage.

Berries : Tannin, Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids

Action: Flowers : Diaphoretic, Astringent, Anticatarrhal, Expectorant, Diuretic, Topical anti inflammatory

Berries : Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Laxative

Indication: Hayfever, Colds and flu, Fever, Sinusitis, Topically leaf for bruises sprains and chilblains

An ointment made from the leaves can be used for bruises, sprains and chilblains.

Elder flower tea when taken hot can be used to treat fever, colds,  flu and hay fever.  Taken cold it can be used for night sweats, hot flushes and fluid retention.

The berries can be made into a syrup which is good for coughs and colds

Always seek the advise of a qualified medical professional.

If you’re interested in wild plants, take a look at our Herbal Remedies course. You can see photos from previous courses on our Facebook page.

About Gary

Lead Instructor at Jack Raven Bushcraft, teaching bushcraft, wilderness and survival skills to groups and individuals.

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