The black elder (Sambucus nigra), also known as the "elder bush" or "elderberry bush", is a remarkable plant with a rich history of medicinal use. Its showy, fragrant flowers and dark berries have not only been valued in folk medicine for centuries, but also in modern naturopathy. In this article we clarify the botanical properties of elderberry and give tips on how it can be used in natural medicine.
The black elderberry is a shrub native to Europe, often growing along forest edges, in bushes as well as in damp areas. It is characterised by its cream-coloured flowers and deep purple berries. The flowers appear in early summer and are often used to make syrup, jelly or tea. The berries ripen in late summer and are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and other valuable ingredients.
Long tradition in folk medicine
Black elderberry has a long history of use in folk medicine. Already in ancient times, people appreciated its healing properties. In the Middle Ages, it was often used to treat colds, fever and flu. The plant was also associated with protective and defensive powers early on, which made it particularly valuable during times of epidemics and disease outbreaks.
During the great plague epidemics in the Middle Ages, it was believed that the scent of elderflowers could protect against disease. People hung elder branches on their doors or carried them with them to protect themselves from the spread of disease. This tradition could be due to the actual antiseptic properties of the plant, as its flowers and berries contain antibacterial and antiviral compounds.
Healing effect for the immune system
Nowadays, black elderberry is used in modern naturopathy for a variety of ailments. Its flowers are used to relieve cold and flu symptoms, while the berries, in the form of herbal essences, syrups and tinctures, can help strengthen the immune system. The antioxidant properties of the berries can also help protect cells from free radical damage. In addition, black elderberry is often used to promote circulation, support the respiratory system and relieve joint pain.
What ailments does black elderberry help with?
Black elderberry is undoubtedly a remarkable plant with a rich history of medicinal use. From its traditional uses to modern research, the healing powers of black elderberry continue to have an important role in naturopathy and healthcare. Although it is not a miracle cure, it offers a wealth of valuable ingredients that can help to strengthen the immune system, relieve aches and pains and promote general well-being.
Before using herbal remedies, it is advisable to always consult with our pharmacy team, especially if you have existing health problems or are taking medication. We are very happy to answer any questions you may have in our pharmacies in Vienna, Berlin and Dornbirn.