Useful information

Black elderberry: the healer of all nations

There are two assumptions about the origin of the generic name. The first thing is the Latin name for elderberry Sambucus comes from the Greek "sambuks" - red paint and is associated with the use of red elderberry for painting the canvas. The second hypothesis is related to the name of the Iraqi musical instrument, which is made from elderberry.

In addition, there is a legend about the appearance of the elder among the people. On the hunt, the prince lagged behind his retinue and got lost. Finally he went out to a hut in a clearing. An old man was sitting at the entrance and crying. To the prince's question, he replied that his father beat him, because he carelessly carried grandfather from the bench to the bed and dropped him. The prince entered the hut and saw two even more ancient old men. He became interested in the secret of such longevity. The old men told him that they ate cheese, bread, milk and berries that grow nearby on the edge. This was the elderberry.

Several types of elderberry appeared in our flower beds at once. But these plants are not only decorative. Representatives of this genus are widely used in folk medicine. And black elderberry takes a very honorable place in the Pharmacopoeias of many countries of the world. Here we will begin with it.

Elderberry black

Elderberry black (Sambucus nigra) - a favorite and cultivated since ancient times shrub of the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae). In nature, it grows in deciduous forests in Western Europe, Crimea and the Caucasus, where it reaches a height of 10 m and looks like a tree. We usually grow up to 3-4 m. Leaves are opposite, pinnate, with 5-7 lanceolate, pointed at the end of the lobes with a serrate edge. Planted in the open, the black elderberry forms a round bush, densely leafy and covered with large (up to 20 cm in diameter) white, fragrant corymbose inflorescences to the very base. Blooms in late June and early July for a month. The berries, purple-black and shiny, on crimson legs, ripen in early September and remain after the leaves fall if the birds do not eat.

Fragrant flowers and edible elderberry fruit

Black elderberry Laciniata

Fruits from wild plants have been harvested since prehistoric times. Elderberry bones, along with other "leftovers", have been found in excavations at Neolithic sites. In ancient times, it was grown specifically for fruit. She was famous at the time of Pliny, who recommended flowers for colds. Their use is approved by scientific medicine. Flowers are harvested at the very beginning of blooming and dried at a temperature not exceeding 30-35 ° C. However, not only they are used, but also fruits, bark, roots, but for various diseases. Elderberry flowers are credited with diaphoretic, diuretic, anti-febrile and anti-inflammatory effects. The bark is diuretic. Berries are known as a diaphoretic and laxative.

The chemical composition of the plant is quite varied and differs significantly depending on the organ. Leaves contain sambunigrin C glycoside14H17O6N (0.11%), which breaks down into glucose, hydrocyanic acid and benzaldehyde. The plant also contains laxative resins and a small amount of essential oil. Ascorbic acid (200-280 mg%) and carotene (0.014%) were found in fresh leaves. The bark of the branches contains essential oil, choline, phytosterol. The berries contain ascorbic acid (10-49 mg%), carotene, sambucin C27H31O15Cl, chrysanthemum. Along with this, there are tannins (0.29-0.34%). Flowers contain essential oil, flavonoid rutin, tannins, glycosides, mucus. The berries contain mineral elements (iron, potassium, calcium and phosphorus), tyrosine. A fatty oil was found in the seeds, in the flowers, a semi-solid essential oil (0.027-0.032%), sambunigrin, choline, rutin, valeric, acetic and malic acids.

Elderberries have both medicinal and nutritional value. In the first case, they are harvested during the period of full maturity, in August-September, and dried in fruit and vegetable dryers.The moisture content of the fruit for storage is not more than 15%. The shelf life of raw materials is 6 months.

The results of tricky experiments

A decoction of the roots is recommended in medical practice for diabetes mellitus and its complications: polyneuropathy, nephropathy, skin dysfunctions. A decoction of the bark or roots can be successfully used for metabolic disorders, sclerosis, heart neuroses.

Flowers were official raw materials in the XV-XIX centuries. and were prescribed as a lactogenic, or more simply - a milk-producing agent. Together with other plants, they are recommended inside for the rehabilitation of patients with mastectomy for breast cancer. Show antihypoxic activity during hypoxia. The sum of saponins and phenolic compounds in the experiment on rats has a decongestant effect, the latter is most clearly manifested by phenol carboxylic acids. The aqueous extract shows antiviral activity against influenza strains A / PR / 8 and A / Hong Kong.

Fruit recommended for people working with radioactive isotopes or living in areas contaminated with radionuclides, as they contribute to the elimination of salts of heavy metals and radionuclides from the body. Syrups, balms, concentrates, non-alcoholic drinks, which increase efficiency by 20-25%, have been proposed. In veterinary medicine, infusions and decoctions of elderberry flowers are recommended for fever.

Elderberry black


A million recipes from all times and peoples

In the literature there are indications of the different effects of individual plant organs. The use of elderberry flowers is allowed as a diaphoretic for colds.

The entire elderberry plant was used by ancient doctors for various ailments. In particular, it is reliably known that Hippocrates used it for colds. In folk medicine, elderberry preparations are used in the form of rinses for respiratory diseases. Bark preparations are also used for kidney and bladder diseases.

Preparations. Infusion of elderberry flowers: 5-15 g of crushed dried flowers are poured with 200 ml of boiling water, infused for 20 minutes, filtered, stored in a cool place. Drink 1/4 cup 3-4 times a day 15 minutes before meals. Infusion of flowers is used for colds and flu as an antipyretic and anti-inflammatory, rinse the mouth and throat for stomatitis and sore throat, make lotions for burns and boils. A poultice of elderberry flowers helps with hemorrhoids. Flowers are included in the collection for chronic pancreatitis.

And here are some recipes for a variety of diseases.

With fluid retention in the body, you can take 30 g of black or herbaceous elderberry roots, pour 1 liter of boiling water, evaporate by half and take 150 g before meals for 2 months.

With hyperthyroidism (increased thyroid function) it is recommended to collect fresh leaves, steam them, squeeze and apply a compress on the neck. The leaves are arranged in 5 layers, sprinkled with a small amount of soda, covered with a newspaper and covered with a cloth on top.

With hoarseness chop 2 heads of garlic, add 2 tablespoons of elder flowers and 3 tablespoons of honey, pour 600 ml of boiling water. Drink 50 g warm every hour. The course of treatment is 3 days.

With dysentery take 5 tablespoons of thorns and black elderberries, pour 1 liter of boiling wine, insist in a warm place for 2 hours, strain, add honey and drink 50 g every hour.

With constant thirst Italian herbal medicine recommends throwing a handful of unripe black elderberries in 1 liter of boiling water, boil for 5 minutes, add a little sugar and drink the broth warm.

For constipation Wash ripe black elderberries in bunches in cold water, when the water drains, cut off the stalks and immediately pour the berries into a saucepan or pot, add sugar (at the rate of 1 glass per liter jar of berries) and immediately bring to a boil. Boil for no more than 15-20 minutes. Be very careful when cooking, because elderberry "runs away" even more than milk. Transfer the resulting mass to steamed jars and twist them.Take the resulting puree 2-3 tablespoons 2-3 times a day. Elderberries (only boiled!) Eliminate constipation, steadily improve stomach function, have a choleretic effect, and regulate blood pressure. The French for this purpose recommend decoction of berries: Boil 60 g of elderberry for 3 minutes in 1 liter of water, drink 70 ml each morning and evening before going to bed. To normalize stools, some doctors use raw ripe berries, mashed with sugar in a ratio of 1: 2; take the mixture in half a glass of warm boiled water.

Austrian herbalist Maria Treben includes elderberry flowers in her collection with leukemia... The Bulgarian herbalist P. Dimkov offers a similar, but more stable recipe: mix 6 parts of fresh elderberries with 2 teaspoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of eggshells and nettle leaf powder. Take 1 tsp without a slide after lunch and dinner.

Together with St. John's wort and currant leaf, the infusion is used for rinsing with paradontosis.

Black elderberries are used to prevent aging. According to a number of herbalists, the daily consumption of black elderberries prolongs life and young years. 2 tablespoons of dry berries are poured into 1 liter of water, 5 tablespoons of honey are added, boiled for 6 minutes, filtered and drunk hot as tea several times a day.

In Adygea, a decoction of fruits (hot, with honey) is recommended for elderly people with diseases of the organs of the cardiovascular system. In Bulgaria, fruits (boiled, inside) are prescribed for hemorrhoids, which is probably due to their mild laxative effect.

In folk medicine, together with other plants, flowers in the form of an infusion were used for chronic hepatitis, cholecystitis, anti-inflammatory for prostatitis, for allergic diseases, for atherosclerosis, gastritis, measles, rubella, for hypertension, hematuria; baths - as a means of improving blood circulation. Flower infusion compresses help with sunstroke.

In homeopathy, the roots of black elderberry are prescribed for bronchial asthma, cardiac asthma, angina pectoris.

For skilled housewives

Fragrant flowers of black elderberry are brewed like tea, especially for colds. They are also added to real tea to give it a special aroma (remember "Mother of Elder" by G. H. Andersen). Flowers are used to flavor tea in the following proportion: 1 part of elderflower flowers and 3 parts of black tea. Ordinary grape wine can also be flavored with flowers.

Black elderberries are used for cooking jam... The juice is used for coloring and flavoring grape wine, for example, port wines in Portugal.

In food, black elderberry is used as an additive to confectionery. You can make syrup and fruit jelly. To prepare the syrup, you need 1 liter of juice, which is squeezed out of pre-blanched berries and 1.4 kg of sugar. The syrup is boiled down to a thick consistency. It can be used to make sweet sauces, jellies, pour over ice cream, or simply dilute with water as a delicious drink.

In the United States, peeled young shoots are boiled or pickled.

Black elderberry wine

Wine Elderberry juice is most often prepared in a mixture with other juices - apple, pear, plum.

To prepare it, you will need 10 liters of elderberry berries, 2 liters of apple juice, 1 kg of sugar.

Pull the berries off the twigs and mash in a large container. You can not crush the berries in metal containers, unless, of course, these are special stainless steel vats. A large, wide-necked glass jar is best. Apple juice and sugar are added to the resulting mass, mixed and left to ferment for 5-6 days. It is not worth keeping the berries longer, then vinegar is formed instead of alcohol.

When spontaneous fermentation is over, the pulp is filtered, squeezed out and sealed in bottles. The bottles are closed with a cork, which is additionally secured with wire, as in champagne, and placed in the basement for several months.

At the right time, the wine is taken out of the cellar.Carefully, without shaking (firstly, there is a lot of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, and secondly, the cork may shoot), open it and pour it into glasses. The resulting wine, in addition to its excellent taste, has a completely unusual rich color.

Black elderberry vinegar

To prepare it, you will need apple cider vinegar and fresh or dried elder flowers.

Choose inflorescences with well-blooming, but not yet blooming flowers. They should be white, without any admixture of brown. Put them in a glass without sealing. Then measure out the same amount of apple cider vinegar. Leave them to infuse in a glass container, preferably in the sun, for 12 days. After that, strain through a cloth, drain into a bottle and now put in a dark place.

The resulting aromatic vinegar can also be used as ordinary table vinegar for making salads, sauces, pickles. And diluted in a glass of water and honey, a tablespoon of this vinegar is a good remedy for colds and lung diseases. 

From ball to pyramid

And now a few words about cultivation. This plant is pretty pretty. Black elderberry looks elegant both during flowering and in autumn, strewn with shiny black berries. There are a number of decorative varieties that differ in foliage color, crown shape and habit. At Guincho Purple, the leaves change from fresh green to black-purple as they age, and turn red in autumn. "Aurea" ("Aurea") - one of the old and stable forms with golden yellow leaves. At "Aureomarginata" ("Aureomarginata") leaves with an uneven yellow stripe along the edge. "Latsiniata" ("Laciniata") - with narrowly cut bright green leaves. The variety "Marginata" has leaves with a cream border around the edge. Elderberry "Nana" - low, up to 1 m tall, spherical in shape. "Pulverulenta" - with slow growth, leaves with a white marble pattern. "Pyramidalis" is in the form of a column.

Black elderberry AureaBlack elderberry Black BeautyBlack elderberry Variegata

Sometimes our winters black elderberry still does not withstand. It is better to plant it in a bright place protected from cold winds with light fertile soil. It propagates by layering or sown before winter or seeds stratified for 4 months.

Elderberry is basically a cross-pollinated plant, so it is better to plant two bushes of different varieties on the site. Otherwise, you can not wait for the fruit harvest.

From the first year after planting, they begin to form a crown. For this, 6-7 powerful branches are left, which are shortened by 1/3 or even ½. This contributes to further branching and the formation of a beautiful rounded bush.

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