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Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra)

Elderberry is the fruit of the elder tree, and as a supplement it is often used for colds and flu.

The berries are rich in vitamins and minerals and are best used as tonic syrup to ward off winter ailments. They are full of vitamins and thus strengthen and support the whole body. In particular a vitamin J is mentioned, which is specifically indicated to counteract pneumonia. Elderberries are reported to be of value as an alternative remedy in rheumatic conditions. They also soothe sore (inflamed) nerves and help to improve poor circulation. The wide range of medical benefits (from flu and colds to debilitating asthma, diabetes, and weight loss) is probably due to the enhancement of each individual's immune system.

Elderberries contain natural substances called flavonoids. They seem to help reduce swelling, fight inflammation, and boost the immune system.

Used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis

Studies have found that elderberry eases flu symptoms like fever, headache, sore throat, fatigue, cough, and body aches. The benefits seem to be greatest when started within 24 to 48 hours after the symptoms begin. One study found that elderberry could cut the duration of flu symptoms by more than 50%

Elderberries have been a folk remedy for centuries the medicinal benefits of elderberries are being investigated and rediscovered. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not.

Fruit pies, jams, jellies, syrup and relishes are produced with berries.

Elder has reputation to offer protection against evil spirits. Elder twigs were believed to bestow good luck to a newly-wed couple if introduced at the wedding ceremony. A man and woman would marry within a year if they were to drink together from Ale that had been infused with Elder flowers. Elder wands, panpipes and flutes can be used to drive out evil spirits. Stand or sleep under an elder on Midsummer Eve to see the King of the Faeries and his retinue pass by. The flowers are used in wish-fulfillment spells. The leaves, flowers, and berries are strewn on a person, place or thing to bless it.  Flowers are used for altar offerings. Hung over doorways and windows, it keeps evil from the house. Carry Elder to preserve against the temptation to commit adultery. 

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