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Scientific name

Sambucus nigra





Also called black elder, european elder, boretree, pip tree, devil’s wood

Elderbery is the dark purplish back berry traditionally found in warmer areas of north africa, europe, asia, and north america

Applicable parts used

Berries, flowers, leaves


Organs or systems affected

Immune system, musculoskeletal system, respiratory system

Flower essence

For those who need to stimulate the powers of recovery and renewal of the vital life energies

Mechanism of action

Berries: diaphoretic, diuretic, antiviral, laxative.

Flowers: diaphoretic, anticatarrhal, pectoral.

Leaves: emollient, vulnerary, purgative, expectorant, diuretic, diaphoretic


Pungent, sweet, cool, dry

Plant constituents

Flavonoids, sugar, acids, tannin, vitamins c and p, anthrocyanic pigments, volatile oil

Traditional uses

Orally, elderberry is used for the common cold, "the flu", constipation, fatigue, poor immunity, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, sciatica, neuralgia, and cancer, high cholesterol, headache, toothache, and weight loss.

Topically, elderberry is used as a patch or a rinse inside the mouth for gingivitis.


Precaution & adverse reactions

Consuming unripe green fruit may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and toxicity due to cyanide producing chemicals present in unripe fruit.


Cytochrome p450 3a4 (cyp3a4) substrates and immunosuppressants

Pregnancy and lactation

Insufficient reliable information available; avoid using


Herbal infusion: 2 teaspoons berries in 12 ounces water, simmer on low, covered, for 10 minutes, 1 to 3 cups per day i

Solar or lunar infusion: 1 or 2 teaspoons per cup, steep 3 or 4 hours or overnight, 1 to 3 cups per day

Tincture 1 or 2 dropperfuls, 1 to 3 times per day

Our favorite pairings

Echinacea, ginger , elecampane

Disclaimer: the information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded throughout history. With the information provided on this website, we wish to begin the journey to educate the community based on research, african holistic health, and herbal science. This information, in no shape or form, is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent disease, or make claims against products or companies. This information provided on this site is to make public information and information acquired from research studies easily available to you. Rooted vigor, llc is giving you the opportunity to draw your own conclusions and make your own decisions from the information provided. The information on this website may or may not have been evaluated by the fda. Seek advice from a medical practitioner as necessary.


Pursell, jj. The herbal apothecary: 100 medicinal herbs and how to use them (pp. 98-99). Timber press. Kindle edition.



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