The Bulgarian ginseng
The elderberry grows in medium to wet, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. It tolerates a wide range of soils. The plants spread by root suckers to form colonies. They can also spread freely by self-seeding and somewhat aggressively in optimum conditions.
The elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is a folk remedy in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. The elderberry was used to dye fabrics; for ink; women dyed their eyebrows with its pigment.
Nowadays the medicinal benefits of the elderberry are being investigated and rediscovered, to name but a few of them:
The elderberry contains organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitamis A, B and C. It is also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic.
The elderberry was mentioned as early as 1985. Studies have shown that the elderberry stimulates the body immune system and can help treat cancer and AIDS.
Most species of Sambucus berries are edible when picked ripe and then cooked. Both the skin and pulp can be eaten. It is important to note, however, that most uncooked berries / green in colour/ and other parts of plants from this genus are poisonous.
The elderberry is listed in the superfruit group. The superfruit are remarkable with their nutritious qualities, their variety and the high content of essential and biologically active nutrients.
Generally the elderberry is not consumed raw but processed – in the shape of jams, jellies, juice, wine and even beer; or as part of the ingredients of different desserts.
It is available as extract or food additive (tablets, syrups); as well as part of different lotions and shampoos due to its extremely high content of polyphenols.
It is best to consume the elderberry fresh or frozen; or you can dry the berries in a well-ventilated place away from the sun.
- A tisane of dry elderberry has choleretic, diuretic and laxative effect. This is a tested recipe:
30 grams of elderberry are covered with hot water and simmered for 5 – 10 minutes. Take the mixture away from the hot plate, leave for 45 min and then strain.