Organic Elderberries (Sambucus nigra)
WESTERN HERB: ORGANIC ELDERBERRY HERB (ELDER BERRIES); Sambucus nigra
USDA Certified Organic Dried Elderberries (European)
Organic Elderberry, Elderberry, Elder berries, Sambucas Nigra, Common Elder, Black Elder, Adoxaceae, Capriofoliaceae
Pungent, Bitter, Cool
Wind-Heat, Phlegm, Heat
Small, dark violet-blue dried berries
Jelly, Jams, Alcoholic Beverages, Soups, Infusions, Skin Cream
Elderberries grow in North America and Europe on small flowering trees. The branches of these trees can be hollowed easily, resulting in a tube. Some kids use these to make "popguns", while other craft whistles and makeshift instruments. Watchmakers often use the pitch for cleaning tools, and Pagans and Wiccans are known to whittle wands out of them. Traditionally, Anglo-Saxons used the hollowed-out branches to blow air into fires (billowing).
The flowers of the elderberry shrub are visually similar to honeysuckle, Jin Yin Hua. Some relatives of the Sambucas Nigra are poisonous, and the flowers are harvested only from the Sambucas canadensis.
The elder barriers are known to be tart and used in many gastronomic dishes including preserves, jellies, jams, and even wine and liquor. They are an important part of the diet of birds, deer, elk; many birds also nest among the elderberry bushes branches.
The flowers and berries are the only edible part of the sambucas nigra plant for mammals, the other parts such as the stems and leaves contain cyanogenic glycoside sambunigrin and calcium oxalate, which are both poisonous.