Elderberry, scientific name sambucus nigra, is a plant of the Caprifoliaceae family. Known since ancient times, nowadays several scientific studies have shown the properties of elderberry thanks to the mucilage, antioxidant and diuretic substances contained in this remedy.
Elderberry, properties of the herbal remedy
Elderberry has proven to be effective in treating cold, flu and bronchitis diseases, it is in fact antiviral and antimicrobial (Porter et al, Phytother Res., 2017 - Hawkins et al, Complement Ther Med., 2019). Not only that, elderberry is also an antioxidant, thus resulting useful to fight oxidative stress and free radical damages. In particular, elderberry flowers have proven to be richer in antioxidants than other parts of the plant such as berries (Viapiana et al, Plant Foods Hum Nutr., 2017). Finally, elderberry is also diuretic and therefore can be useful in case of rheumatism and gout (Wright et al, J Ethnopharmacol., 2007).
Elderberry, herbal teas and tinctures
The antioxidant properties of elderberry are also found in the herbal tea, very useful also against phlegm, cough, to strengthen the immune system and to stimulate diuresis. In this case you can find dried elderberry in herbalist’s shops. Bring a cup of water to a boil, remove from the heat and add a tablespoon of elderberry, leave to brew for 10 minutes then filter and drink. As an alternative to herbal tea, you can also use mother tincture, obtained from elderberry flowers. In this case you can take 30 drops 3 times a day in a little water.
If you are taking medications, especially diuretics, always ask your doctor for advice as there may be interactions. Avoid elderberry during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Given the similarity of the sambucus nigra with the toxic sambucus ebulus, avoid the DIY but always buy the plant in herbalist’s shops.