Botanical Name: Sambucus nigra
- English: Black Elderberry,
- Also, known as: Black Elder, Holunder, Sureau, Sauco, Sambreo, European elder, Boretree, Pip tree, Devil’s wood, Sureau, Schwarzer Holunder, Sambuco, Sabugueiro, Saúco, Sabuco, Khamaan Kabir, Black Elder, Boor Tree, Bountry, Elder, Common Elder. Elder Berry, Elderberries, Elderberry Fruit, Ellanwood, Ellhorn, European Alder, European Black Elder, European Black Elderberry, European Elderberry, European Elder Fruit, European Elderberry, Fruit de Sureau, Grand Sureau, Hautbois, Holunderbeeren, Sabugeuiro-negro, Sambequier, Sambu, Sambuc, Sambuci Sambucus,
Habitat: North Africa, Europe and Asia
Harvested: Wild or Cultivated
Parts Used: Flower
Sambucus nigra, is a large shrub or small tree, to 20 feet, with coarse, gray, furrowed bark. Pinnate, compound leaves arranged in opposite pairs. White, star-shaped flowers grow in clusters, 4 to10 inches wide, in late spring to midsummer. Compound pinnate leaves up to 8” long are dark green. Each leaf contains 2 to 8 serrate, ovate to elliptic leaflets up to 5” long. Leaves have an unpleasant aroma when cut or crushed. Tiny white flowers in large flattened umbel-like cymes up to 10” across bloom in June-July. Flowers have a musky fragrance. Flowers give way to clusters of glossy black elderberry fruits, each to 3/8” across in late summer. It is particularly noted for its aromatic late spring flowers and its edible fruits (elderberries). The fruits (elderberries) are three-seeded drupes (edible only when ripe and preferably cooked). Drooping berries produced in the fall.
Grows in moist woodlands, thickets, and fencerows. Elder is tolerant of pruning and can be cut to the ground in late winter to help keep the shrub healthy.
Flowers and berries are wild-harvested or collected from commercial plantations. The inflorescences are picked on a dry, sunny day (to preserve the pollen) and are carefully placed upside down to dry so that the flowers can be collected. The fruits are picked when black and fully ripe.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice trays or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.