Black elderberry: Who am I?
The black elderberry is a small tree that sheds its foliage in the fall, which mainly grows in Europe and in cold climate regions. Since it has no clear stem but many branches, it looks like a bush that can reach 5-6 meters in height.
In Israel, the black elderberry grows naturally only on Mount Hermon and the Golan Heights, because of the climate of those areas.
Fruits and leaves of black elderberry have been used as herbal remedies for centuries. Besides that, this plant made other contributions to the world. Its fruits are delicious (but it is not recommended to eat them raw, since some of elderberry varieties are slightly toxic) and are used in jams, pies, tea infusions, wine and liquors.
Elderberry is still used in Europe for making musical instruments. In Greece, its trunk is used to make an instrument
called “sambuka”, and in the Czech Republic, its branches are used for making traditional flutes.
Medical history of black elderberry
The medicinal properties of black elderberry were discovered and studied in northern and central Europe a few centuries ago. Some claim that it was used more than a thousand years ago. It was called a “medical toolbox” because of its ability to help with a variety of winter illnesses, and it has become one of the most popular plants in natural medicine in the last century.
Over the years, different studies were conducted on this plant, and many of its healing qualities that were considered “folk medicine” without grounds, were proven to be true. For example, the black elderberry’s antiviral quality.
What can black elderberry help us with?
First and foremost, with the respiratory tract. This plant is anti-inflammatory, it helps repair irritated or damaged mucous membranes, it prevents cough, strengthens and activates the immune system, it helps loosen mucus and relieve fever. This is the ultimate herb for treating winter illnesses.
Black elderberry can be consumed in the following forms: As a tincture (dissolved in alcohol), as specific dietary supplements (as a capsule, powder or as a beehive product) and even as a tea infusion.