The elder is a deciduous tree growing to 30 feet. It has dull leaves with a sweet-smelling flower composite, which later produces shiny black fruits on red stalks
Elder has been used since Roman times with water to keep the complexion fair, flowers for cordials and tea, berries for baking into pies and jams especially with gooseberries. Elder root and leaves have been used as a diuretic, the juice a purgative, and the flower is a spring tonic for its astringent effects.
Here we are using the elderberries for a diuretic and gentle laxative. But it is also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
- Thole JM, Kraft TF, Sueiro LA, Kang YH, Gills JJ, Cuendet M, Pezzuto JM, Seigler DS, Lila MA. (2006) A comparative evaluation of the anticancer properties of European and American elderberry fruits. J Med Food. 2006 Winter;9(4):498-504.
- Ho GT, Kase ET, Wangensteen H, Barsett H. (2017) Phenolic Elderberry Extracts, Anthocyanins, Procyanidins, and Metabolites Influence Glucose and Fatty Acid Uptake in Human Skeletal Muscle Cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2017 Apr 5;65(13):2677-2685.