Elder was sometimes called the “Hylde Moer” or “Elder Mother”. It was said that the “Little Elder Mother” dwells in the tree, or her dominion can be entered through the tree. The Elder Mother is the “Queen of the Underworld” (a different dimension associated with the earth) or “Faery”.
Although there are many varieties of elderflower, the most common to be used medicinally grows from the Sambucus Nigra elder tree (or European elder), native to Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. This species of plant bears white flowers and green berries that turn red and then black upon going ripe.
Elderflower contains powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals. The powerful antioxidants in elderflower fight back against free radicals, neutralizing these toxins before significant cellular damage occurs. The herb is composed of several essential vitamins, including Vitamin A, the B-1, B-2, and B-3 complex, and Vitamin C. A combination of these vitamins and phytochemicals, like flavonoids and quercetin, give elderflower its anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antiviral properties. The herb is also an effective diuretic, laxative, and insect-repellent.
Elderflower is beneficial for:
- detoxification (may enhance liver function by causing the body to sweat out liquids and eliminate metabolic waste)
- strengthening the immune system by clearing the lymph nodes,
- respiratory illnesses such as cold and flu, coughs,
- diseases of the skin, like eczema
- healing of sunburns,
- menstruation problems,
- intestinal colic and constipation
- leaves help bruises and sprains,
- roots treat kidney problems,
- bark helps in epilepsy,
- fungal infections,
- urinary tract disorders.
PODLECH, D. (1996) Herbs and healing plants, Munich: HarperCollinsPublishers;
WOOD M. (2008) The Earthwise Hearbal, North Atlantic Books;