The Elderberry: How to Harvest It and Why It’s Useful

The elderberry, also known as succumbs grows in mostly moist, well-drained soil that is exposed to the sun. Elderberry is a nitrogen hungry plant and can often thrive in large numbers in areas of organic waste disposal. This plant is native to Central Europe and North America, but variations have been found in other locations (NAG). It typically grows in wetter forest habitats such as slopes, canyons, stream sides, and stream banks. It can also grow in the moister areas within drier locations usually along fence posts and roads typically in elevations of 3 to 3000 meters (USDA).

Elderberry plants yield a large seed crop every year, which contributes to their reproductions process. Once these seeds are produced they are usually dispersed by the birds or animals that feed on the plant for the fruit it produces. Elderberry seeds have a hard coated exterior and can remain viable for up to 16 years in optimal storage conditions. If a seed does not germinate right after it is first grown and dispersed, it can take up to 5 years to germinate in after being planted. After this a plant can flower between 2 to 3 years old and reaches adulthood within 3 to 4 years (USDA). WebMD) Medicinal Uses of Elderberry The elderberry plant is believed to affect the human immune system and seems to combat viruses including flu and helps to reduce inflammation in the body. Elderberry is used for influenza (common flu), HI IN (swine flu) and boosting the immune system in general. This is the only medical use backed by some scientific study. Other studies claim it can be used for sinus pain, leg pain, nerve pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and HIVE/AIDS (because of the immune boosting nature).

Some people have found elderberry to be helpful in treating hay fever, cancer, constipation ND to increase the urgency to urinate and cause sweating (WebMD). Elderberry can be administered to people through TA common liquid syrup, Cambiums, it is usually made into. This syrup is a standardized 38 percent elderberry extract. It can also be found in capsules and lozenge form. For adults taking elderberry the dosage is typically 2 tablets or capsules (Sinecure) taken three times daily for ailment of bacterial sinusitis or 4 tabs. F the syrup (Cambiums) a day for three days for colds and flu symptoms. Because of the immune boosting effects many people consume he elderberry fruit after it is made into wine, food flavoring or tea. For tea the recommended consumption is 3 to 5 grams of dried elder flowers per 1 cup of boiling water three times per day (MUM. Dude). (Planetary. Com) Plants Parts of Interest The important part of the elderberry are the berries and the flowers. These berries and flowers are what are used to make the medicine.

These berries and flowers must go through a cooking processed before consumption and should never be consumed raw. The raw berries and flowers have a chemical in them that is similar The Elderberry: How to Harvest It and Why It’s Useful By superpower (NAG) Harvesting of Elderberry The berries of the elderberry plant are typically harvested sometime between august and September. At this point the fruit should have ripened too deep purple color indicating that they are ready to be harvested. Each berry is separated from the stem, washed then dried.

After this they can be refrigerated and stored for a short period of time or they can be directly processed (NAG). When processed elderberries are boiled down in pot making the berries soft. Once soft they are mashed and left to boil down further. Once this process is complete this mixture is then strained and only the resulting syrup is collected and then saved (MUM. Dude). Scientific Validity of Medicinal Values Elderberry has been tested scientifically for the medicinal properties and has resulted in multiple findings, some validating the medicinal claims, some results were inconclusive.

One study using Cambiums found that individuals who used this when infected with the flu found that the duration of the sickness was shortened by about three days, however there were other herbs in Cambiums so it is inconclusive whether it is the elderberry or something else. Another preliminary study found that people who used an elderberry lozenge (Parabolic), when taken within 24 hours of feeling flu symptoms, helped reduced the flu symptoms overall during the duration of the sickness (MUM. Dude).

In HI IN (swine flu) testing, researchers found that elderberry was effective in killing the HI IN virus in test tubes, but testing in people did not produce the same results. In testing the effectives in sinus infections, researchers found that people who took Sinecure (capsule version of elderberry) along with an antibiotic often recovered better and faster than those who took the antibiotics alone. Once again Sinecure contains other herbs that make this test inconclusive whether or not it was the elderberry alone that produced the healing effects (MUM. Du) Ecological Status of Elderberry Elderberry plants are a very common occurring plant in the wild especially in the United States where they are in many of the states. Although all the United States can be affected by pollution and human interaction, this has had little effect on the efficacy of this plant. In fact because of human interaction and the logging industry elderberry plants thrive in these newly opened up and sunny areas especially for the De elderberry variation (ifs. Fed). One possible human interaction in the decrease of the elderberry is wildfire started by humans.

The hard coating on the outside of elderberry seeds is flammable and if initiated can spread through many plants for quickly. Another possible human interaction is pollution that causes greenhouse gas emissions, which can result in a higher temperature. High and prolonged temperatures have the potential to kill elderberries. Using herbicide in large quantities adjacent to farms has also been known to reduce elderberry populations, however the elderberry is typically an abundant plant (ifs. Fed).