The benefits and harms of black elderberry
Black elderberry is a common shrub that can be found not only in the garden, but also in forests, on urban wastelands, and it can also grow along roadsides. In spring, it attracts attention with white odorous inflorescences, and in late summer and early autumn, black-purple berries ripen on the branches. For medicinal purposes, this plant has been used for a long time, and below is a description of the composition of the product, indications and contraindications for its use, as well as recipes for the preparation of various drugs.
The chemical composition of elderberry
Elderberry fruits and flowers have valuable health properties. Their composition is not the same.
|Inflorescences of culture contain:||Black fruits with dark red pulp contain:|
|semi-solid essential oil||anthocyanins|
|rutin and choline||ascorbic acid|
|alkaloids (sanguinarine and horse meat)||carotene and rutin|
|mineral salts and carotene||sambucin and chrysanthemum|
|ascorbic, malic, acetic, caffeic and valerianic acids||amino acids and carboxylic acids|
|tannins and resins||tannins|
Sometimes, bark, leaves, and young branches of a plant are used. Fresh leaves are a source of ascorbic acid and carotene, as well as laxative resins and sambunigrin. Bark includes essential oil and choline, ceryl alcohol, various organic acids, tannins and pectin.
Is it possible to eat elderberry
Ripe berries of the plant are suitable for eating. They are taken on compotes, juices and jelly, jam. Inflorescences can also be used in cooking for flavoring drinks, including alcohol, and making syrup. Rich elderberry juice is a natural colorant.
Important! Red elderberry, the closest relative of the black one, is poisonous! In addition to the color of ripe fruit, it can be distinguished by grayish-white adult branches and lilac young shoots, in contrast to the brown-green shades of the black variety.
Properties of berries and flowers
- Due to its composition, berries and flowers of black elderberry have the following healing effect on the human body:
- sweat and diuretic;
- light disinfectant;
- strengthening immunity.
The tonic and restorative effect of the plant is used in cosmetology, in the preparation of masks and lotions for skin and hair.
What is used in medicine
The fruits and flowers of the bush are known not only in folk medicine, but are also part of some antiviral and diuretic drugs produced by official pharmacology. The following are the main indications for the use of this medicinal plant.
From colds and viral diseases
Elderberry juice has antiviral activity, therefore its use is recommended for influenza and SARS. An infusion of flowers is an excellent tool for gargling with a cold and sore throat, as well as in the case of inflammatory processes in the oral cavity. Flower tea has an antipyretic and antitussive effect.
Did you know? In the tale of HK Andersen “Elderberry Mother”, a drink made from elderberry flowers, which was traditionally prepared in Denmark, is mentioned.
A decoction of berries recommended as an adjunct to reconstructive therapy after mastectomy for breast cancer. Berry jam can be used as an adjunct in stomach cancer, and skin cancer treatment is accompanied by elderberry extract on wine. Consultation with a specialist before the course of treatment is required.
With diabetes and its complications (nephropathy, skin dysfunctions, etc.), traditional treatment is combined with a decoction of the roots or elderberry. According to some reports, the root of the plant significantly lowers glucose levels, so you should not combine it with the use of similar drugs.
The plant can be used for both temporary and chronic constipation. Young leaves have a laxative effect. An infusion of dry plant berries will also help.
In the treatment of mastopathy
Elderberry juice traditional medicine recommends for the treatment of mastopathy. You can also apply compresses from the bark, which will increase the effectiveness and benefit of the funds used inside.
The most important condition for the use of black elderberry is the collection of raw materials of only this particular type, while the berries must be in the stage of full ripeness (gain black and purple color). However, correctly assembled parts of the edible variety cannot be used for every person.
- Contraindications for the use of elderberry medications are:
- individual intolerance;
- chronic diseases and gastrointestinal ulcers;
- diabetes insipidus;
- Crohn's disease;
- pregnancy and the period of feeding the baby.
Collection and harvesting of raw materials
Elderberry flowers are harvested according to this scheme:
- On a sunny day, cut off whole inflorescences and carefully fold them into a wide basket or basin without crushing.
- Put in a dry place on a cloth and leave with good ventilation until the branches are easily broken off.
- Collect dry flowers, grind on a coffee grinder or blender if desired.
- Pour the product into a sealed container. Store up to three years.
Berries for further preparation of the preparations are removed in the phase of full ripeness and dried at a temperature of + 60 ... + 65 ° C. Dried berries can be stored for up to 6 months
Harvest bark yes the beginning of the movement of juices, immediately after winter. The removed upper layer of the bark is dried at temperatures up to + 70 ° C, and then stored without access to sunlight in a dry place for no longer than three years.
Roots are harvested in the middle of autumn, and young leaves in early spring. Such raw materials are dried under the same conditions as bark.
Important! For billets, bark is taken only from a plant that has reached the age of two years.
Traditional healers use various recipes for the preparation of elderberry preparations. To achieve the maximum therapeutic effect, the raw materials should be collected in an environmentally safe place and stored in appropriate conditions.
You can get juice from fresh berries of the plant using a juicer or a press.
Another way to make juice is as follows:
- Rinse and pour boiling water for 6 minutes 1 kg of berries.
- Drain and dry the elderberry, for example, in a sieve.
- Grind the berries, and squeeze the juice by hand.
- Add 0.5 kg of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Pour the product into sterilized bottles and seal. Store in a cool dark place.
There are a sufficient number of recipes for decoction, and different parts of the plant are used.
From dried berries, you can get a healing broth in the following proportion:
- 60 g of elderberry;
- 1 liter of water.
The mixture is boiled for 3 minutes, then cooled and filtered.
From freshly picked berries, you can cook aromatic and healthy jam. To do this:
- Take elderberry and sugar of the same weight.
- Pour pure berries with sugar, and put on a minimum fire. While stirring, cook the mixture for 5 minutes.
- When the sugar has dissolved, cook for another 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Cool the jam completely and prepare the jars (sterilize). Bring the mixture again to a boil, pour into containers and roll up the lids.
Dried Berry Cough Flask
To prepare a medicinal infusion you will need:
- 1 tbsp. l dry berries;
- 250 ml of water;
- some honey.
To obtain the infusion, you must:
- Pour boiled water with elderberry and insist for half an hour.
- Strain the mixture, add honey to taste. Drink the infusion before bedtime, 1 glass.
Did you know? Elderberry is a popular ornamental shrub for landscaping and there are varieties not only with white, but also with pink flowers.
Useful syrup can be prepared for the winter by collecting the ingredients in the following proportion:
- 500 g of sugar;
- 500 g of fresh elderberry;
- 150 ml of water;
- a pinch of citric acid.
The sequence of actions is as follows:
- Dry the peeled and washed berries on a towel. Pour them into the pan and pour water.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes, cool.
- Strain the liquid, add acid and sugar. Boil the syrup for about an hour until it thickens.
- Pour the product into sterilized jars and seal. Store in a cool place, without access to light.
Berries and flowers of black elderberry can be treated and alleviated the condition with many problems. To avoid harm, you should carefully follow the recommendations for collecting raw materials and conduct preliminary consultations with your doctor if the diseases are severe or chronic (cancer, diabetes, mastopathy, etc.).