How to look for elderberries and flowers + 12 ways to use them

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How to look for elderberries and flowers + 12 ways to use them

Highly appreciated for its nutrient-rich food and for its powerful medicinal properties, the elderberry plant (Sambucus) has been cultivated by humans since prehistory.

When you start looking for fodder for wild edible plants this season, be sure to pay attention to this incredibly useful and tasty specimen …

Identifying Elderberry

Several species of elderberry can be found growing throughout North America. The most common are American black elderberry (S. canadensis) blue elderberry (S. cerulea), Y black elderberry (S. nigra).

Woody shrubs that grow at a height of 10 to 26 feet, elderberry presents feather-shaped leaves 3 to 4 inches long that grow symmetrically along the stem. Clusters of tiny white or cream-colored flowers, called elder blow, bloom in umbrellas-shaped corimbos, 6 inches wide. The fruit of the elderberry resembles the small berries that go from blue to violet black when they are ripe.

While the fruits and flowers of the elderberry plant are edible, the leaves, stems and bark are toxic. Only harvest completely ripe fruits (the drupes should easily leave the stem) and leave all the immature red berries on the plant. Avoid the temptation to pop a few ripe elderberries along the way; The raw fruits of elderberry contain hydrocyanic acid, a poisonous compound that can cause nausea in some people. Cooking elderberries before consumption eliminates all danger of toxicity.

When feeding on wild edible plants, it is always a good idea to bring a field guide With you to help securely identify berries and other fruits.

Where to find wild elderberry

Elder plants can tolerate a variety of growing conditions, but prefer moist humus from the forest floor. Find them in partially shaded places along streams and rivers, humid forests, trails and forest roads, and on the edges of fields.

The groups of flowers bloom from the end of May to July, while the fruits develop from late summer to autumn. Harvest fruits or flowers by cutting the entire bunch. If you are not ready to use your elderberry snack immediately, preserve them For later use by freezing the berries and dehydrating the flowers.

Benefits for the health of the elderberry:

Both elderflower and elderflower have a long and varied history of use. Possessing anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, antiviral and anticancer properties, elderberry was once considered key to restoring and maintaining good health and longevity.

Food

With a soft but sweet flavor, the elderberry fruit is enriched With vitamins C and B6. Berries are also a good source of iron with traces of potassium, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin and calcium. Both fruits and flowers contain a powerful suite of antioxidants, with higher amounts of flavonoids and anthocyanidins than cranberries, blueberries and goji berries.

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Skin care

In folk medicine, the elderberry was applied in the form of a poultice to treat the wounds of the flesh, to cure the eruptions and to calm the inflammations of the skin. In addition to baths and oils, flowers and fruits have a healing and moisturizing effect on dry skin and sunburn. Soaked in water, the elder flowers were used to reduce wrinkles and age spots, improve the complexion and soften the skin.

Medicinal

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, referred to the elderberry as his "first aid kit" because it had many applications that promote health:

Cold The consumption of elderberry fruit can quickly alleviate the fever, headaches, muscle aches and nasal congestion that often accompany colds and flu. In one study, 90% of the patients were completely free of symptoms or only had mild symptoms 48 hours after receiving elderberry extract.

Antimicrobial Elderberries can help fight bacterial and viral infections. in a study Regarding its effects against hospital pathogens, elderflower extracts were shown to be the most toxic against bacteria, including strains resistant to antibiotics, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Strengthens the immune system – Since the elderberry is so effective against several strains of influenza, the researchers tested its influence on healthy individuals and found that it does help. activate the immune system.

Lower blood sugar – As a complementary therapy for diabetics, the elder flowers soaked in hot water had the capacity to stimulate insulin production as well as improving muscle glucose uptake in an animal study published in 2000.

Obesity – Taken together with the asparagus, both the elderberries and the flowers improved the average weight, blood pressure and emotional well-being of the participants in a Observational study 2008.

Constipation – Human trials also have he found Elderberry is an effective natural laxative for people suffering from chronic constipation.

Prevent diseases – Although more research is needed, the elderberry has historically been used to prevent the appearance of various diseases and conditions, such as Alzheimer's, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and kidney disease. Among many others. It is thought that the ability of the elderberry to prevent diseases is due to its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Recipes of Elderberry and Elderflower:

The elderberry is not only so incredibly useful as a food and natural remedy, the fruit and flowers are very versatile and can be prepared for consumption in several different ways:

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1. Elderberry Jam

A delicious jam for your morning toast, this marmalade requires 25 ounces of fresh elderberry fruit, lemon juice and powdered sugar.

Get the recipe for Gin and buns.

2. Elderberry & Apple Crumble

Combine a cup of elderberry with apples, rolled oats, seeds and aromatic spices for a gluten-free dessert.

The complete instructions can be had in Veganuary.

3. Elderberry Pie

You will need 4 cups of elderberries along with white sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and dough to make this cake so comforting.

Get the recipe for Allrecipes.

4. Elderberry Soup

A sweet soup, 4 cups of elderberries are mixed with lemon juice, cornstarch and sugar. Serve with a spoonful of sour cream.

Recipe via New England today.

5. Remedy for cold and flu of elderberry syrup

With a much better taste than over-the-counter cough syrups, this recipe combines elderberries with the healing powers of honey.

Get the tutorial on here.

6. Elderflower tea

Soaked in boiling water, use fresh or dried elder flowers to make a healthy tea.

Find the complete instructions on Urban Herbology.

7. Cordial elderflower

An ancient recipe that goes back to ancient Rome, the cordial elderberry is a concentrated drink that can be mixed with flat or carbonated water.

See how it's done in The fir.

8. Elderberry wine

You will need to collect many elderberries (3.5 pounds to be exact), but this rich and profitable wine is worth it.

Get the recipe in Wine turtle.

9. Elderflower fritters

Slightly battered and fried until golden brown, the elderflower fritters are a sweet treat covered in a pastry sugar powder.

Recipe of Lottie + Doof.

10. Elder tincture

Fresh elderberry fruit infused with vodka or glycerin offers a way to preserve the therapeutic properties of this antiviral herb for three years or more. Take it from gout to boost your immune system, treat the symptoms of cold and flu and heal skin wounds.

Recipe via Seasonal life at home.

11. Elderflower water

Very similar water of rosesElderflower water is an excellent toner for the skin. Rub it on the face to even out skin tone, reverse the signs of aging and fight skin inflammations.

Get the step-by-step instructions Our health heritage.

12. Elderberry Shrub

Shrubbery – or take vinegars – offers a wonderful way to include more probiotics, enzymes and vitamins in your diet. This concentrated elderberry bush is easy to make, simply dilute the finished product with plain or gaseous water.

Get the recipe for The kitchn.

Reference: https://www.naturallivingideas.com/foraging-elderberries-flowers/, by Lindsay Sheehan

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