07 Jun Herb of the Month: Sambucus nigra
The June magickal moon herb goes to.. Sambucus nigra, better known as elderberry, black elderberry, or just elder.
Native to: Europe, North America
Elder is an old plant medicine described by Hippocrates as the ‘medicine chest’, referring to the vast use of this plant. But then again, most plants are 🙂 The leaves, flowers, berries, stems, roots are all useable for different actions. The flowers & berries are more commonly utilised.
Elderberry in action:
Immunostimulating: Elderberries boost the immune response, fending off flu & cold symptoms and helping your body to fight the fight! This will be especially useful in the Winter as its chilling down, and the sniffles are upon us.
Diaphoretic: This means it induces perspiration aka sweating. And why might that be useful or desirable? This helps to support the detoxification pathway of the biggest organ on us; our skin. Plus traditionally diaphoretics are applied during fever to increase sweating. The berries are more sweaty than the leaves 😛
Anticatarrhal: Meaning it dissolves phlegm, especially the flowers! Super helpful for yet again combating colds and flus, shifting the congestion in the lower and upper respiratory tract and sinus.
Just to name a few…
Other Medicinal Actions: Anti-inflammatory, diuretic, mild laxative, alterative, demulcent, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, caminative, emetic, emunctory stimulant (all excretory organs or ducts), anti-neuralgic.
Constituents: Anthocyanidins, flavonoids, triterpenes, volatile oil, sterols, tannins, mucilage, Minerals, vitamin A & C, iron, sambucin, pectin, sugar, fixed oils (linoleic, linolenic), cyanogenic glycosides. lectins, tannins, baldrianic acid
Elderberries are advised to be used under professional supervision for pregnancy and lactation. The dark berries are considered (a little bit) poisonous in their unripe state as are the leaves, due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides. So best be observing patience with this one 🍇🍇🍇