Oklahoma is blessed with abundant elderberry bushes. They can be seen driving down many of our back roads. Elderberries are edible and make very good jelly. They have been used by all groups in Oklahoma as a wild fruit. Wine made from elderberry is highly prized. There is elderberry pie also. Tincture is easy to make I use 100 proof vodka or have used everclear. Take a jar and fill it up with elderberries, cover it with the vodka or everclear and seal. Keep this in a dark place and take it out each day and give it a good shake. I keep this up for about 4 months. When using it I give a tsp a day as a preventative in a glass of water to the kids and we just take the tsp. Native Americans used the elderberry for fever and rheumatism. Identification
American elder is native to eastern and central North America. It can be found from Nova Scotia (Canada) south to the state of Florida, and west to Manitoba (Canada) and the state of Texas. Elderberry is a deciduous multi-stemmed shrub.Suckering from the roots and branch-ing from the base of the main stems force the plant to form dense thickets. It can reach about 14 ft. in height. It has large (5–15 cm long) opposite pinnately com-pound leaves contain from 5 to 11 leaflets with sharply serrated margins. White flowers gather into large terminal clusters up to 9 inches across. At maturity, small 5 to 9 inch deep purple almost black ber-ries hang up side down as the stem often bent under the weight. A single cluster can contain as many as 2000 berries.
Elderberry fruits are an excellent source of anthocyanins, vitamins A and C and a good source of calcium, iron and vitamin B6. They also contain sterols, tannins, and essential oils. Elderberry total antioxidant capacity is one of the highest of all the small fruits. Elderberry juice is rich in total phenolics, anthocyanins, and flavonols.
Elderberry has been used for to relieve pain, inflammation, water retention, and congestion. The bark has been used for constipation and water retention after it has been aged properly. The leaves have been used in salves and added to baths for arthritis, boils, and eczema. Elderbery flowers and berries have been found to be effective against some viruses, including herpes and the human immunodeficiency virus. It is effective in treating upper respiratory and flu symptoms. Elderberry has been shown to be very effective against at least eight strains of flu virus.
Large doses of elderberry juice contain a chemical called sambunigrin, which can induce can cause excessive diarrhea, and uncooked berries can cause nausea and vomiting. Elderberry bark, leaves, seeds, and raw or unripe fruit contains cyanide which can be toxic.
Elderberry and the Flu
Elderberry Video by Mean Dean
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