Elder     Sambucus nigra


l.caprifoliceae, rixus,ixus, sambucus,Black Elder,Common Elder,Pipe tree, Bore tree, Bour tree,hylder,Hylantree,Eldrum,Ellhorn, Hollunder,Sureau.

Historic Use:

Aeld meant, in Early Anglo-Saxon, "fire".The young, hollow stems were used to blow up a fire. Greek- the qword Sambuca is from Sackbut, a stringed musical instrument or horn made of elder. Berries were used by gerard, 16th c. for dropsie, sweelings, tumours and gout, and the green berries for piles.

When dried, black or brown flowers are rejected: they do not contain tufts of short hairs in the sinuses of the calyx. "Eau de Sureau".

Syrup of Elder is called, in the Pharmacopaeia, "Succus Sambuci".


Essential oil forming terpenes, the glucosides, rutin and quercitrin,alkaloids, tannins, vitamin C, mucilage,anthocyanins.Barks'Aactive principle: soft resin and Viburnic acid. Leaves contain alkaloid, Sambucine and 0.16% hydrocyanic acid, Eldrin, potassium nitrate. berries have Viburnic acid, an odorous oil combined with malates of potash and lime.

Mix dried leaves and flowers with Peppermint and Yarrow for treatment of colds and catarrh, or alone as a gargle in throat infections.


combined action,diaphoretic,use fresh or dried flowers, fruit, leaves, root or bark.
Laxative, anti- spasmodic, diuretic,emollient, purgative, diuretic.
Green inner bark: (diluted homeopathic tincture)- anti-asthmatic for children.
Ointment- unguentum Sambuci Viride (green Elder Ointment)
Flowers: Elder Flower Water, as a vehicle for eye and skin lotions, tea, tonic wne, jam, syrup, elder vinegar,vegetable or hair dye, syrup for colds, domestic remedy for bruises, sprains, chilblains, emollient, apply to wounds.
For cleansing toxins.


Recipe for Elderflower Syrup.

I use Northern Pacific Elder, whose flowers resemble black walnut tree blossoms, and I pick them as some are turning to green berries.

Taking a cup and a half of flowers,rinse carefully in a sieve and boil in six cups pure water for ten minutes.
Strain and add sugar. That's four cups of fine sugar.
Coarse white sugar solidifies syrup into an unmeltable glass!!.
The syrup will appear roseate (ruby-like) or amber.
Boil with sugar until it ribbons with the cold spoon in a glass of water.

(A tip- hot syrup is thicker when cooled- overdoing sugar amount or boiling time will harden it into candy Like glass rocks!)

Researchers' note: I have been using this type of elders' properties homeopathically for five years with great success in providing the Yaysus toning which restores esponged collagen in the organism to its actual fibre properties, eliminating it quickly. Elder used in hand lotion also does the same thing. Syrup should be regarded as holy. Good on votive pancakes!!

(further constituents in A Modern herbal) An important Reference source: I really advise you to look at A Modern Herbal for Elder pages- there are 14 and a half pages on Elder. For instance, did you know that dwarf American Elder ( Aralia Hispida)(N.O. Araliaciae), is valuable in urinary diseases, treating internalized gravel, and for dropsy? A good hydagogue and emetic.

I researched both The Encyclopaedia of Herbs and Herbalism and A Modern Herbal for the above.


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