Plum Dragon Herbs

Organic Elderberries (Sambucus nigra)



USDA Certified Organic Dried Elderberries (European) 

Other Names

Organic Elderberry, Elderberry, Elder berries, Elderberries, Sambucas Nigra, Common Elder, Black Elder, Adoxaceae, Capriofoliaceae


Pungent, Bitter, Cool

Channels Entered

Lung, Bladder

Therapeutic Actions

Wind-Heat, Phlegm, Heat


Small, dark violet-blue dried berries 


Jelly, Jams, Alcoholic Beverages, Soups, Infusions, Skin Cream, Teas


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 elderberries 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. 

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