We use cookies to allow secure access to your Herbs For Healing account and to analyse our website traffic. By browsing our website, you consent to our use of cookies
Browse, learn, shop and get well. Naturally.
Registered Medical Herbalist
Luzia Barclay
Tel: 01722 330663

Elderberry - Herbs for Healing Newsletter

A newsletter in association with the Sturminster Newton Transition Town Group. Part of the Transition Town Network.

Download the newsletter in PDF format. If you would like a printed version in the post, or to distribute all or part of the newsletter please contact me on 01722 330663.

I run a number of workshops in the local area, book online here or email me.
The Elderberry: a respected Autumn jewel

In medieval times elder was associated with myth, magic and witchcraft. If you would cut an elder, the ancients advised, you should first ask its permission. You should certainly never burn the wood of elder in the house. However, making music on a flute made of elder wood would drive away evil spirits.

Elder has a long history of medicinal and culinary use. In the past the bark and the leaves were used, but nowadays mainly the flowers are used, in Spring, and the berries in September and October.

The dark purple-blue berries, which we find in many gardens and wild in hedgerows, are popular for making wine and juice. It is advisable to cook them because if one eats them raw, they work as a laxative and a diuretic. They must also be fully ripe.

They contain the vitamins A, B and C, the minerals calcium, iron and potassium, and a high amount of flavonoids, which act as natural immune boosting substances to protect against infections and allergies. Very interesting is the anti-viral effect of the elderberries. They are a powerful remedy against many different strains of influenza virus.

The flavonoids are antioxidants, which stimulate the immune system. The berries also contain anthocyanins, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. This might explain the beneficial effect on rheumatic aches and pains and fever.

In 2005 the WHO (World Health Organisation) admitted that Tamiflu as a pharmaceutical flu remedy is not as effective as previously believed. A better and safer and cheaper alternative is the extract of elderberry in form of juice. If taken early enough, the juice may even prevent the virus from invading the body.

A study performed at the university of Oslo in Norway in 2002 found that of people infected with the type A strain 90% of the group that received the berry extract, recovered in less that 3 days. Those who received the placebo, suffered twice as long.
Elder - September 2010 Newsletter
Herbs For Healing Newsletter - The Elderberry. A powerful Anti-viral growing in our hedgerows. Contains vitamins A, B and C, calcium, iron and potassium, high in flavonoids; natural immune boosting substances to protect against infections and allergies.
Download this newsletter