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!
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.