We are now in full fledged flu season, and H1N1 season to boot. Elder offers us some of the easiest, tastiest and downright most powerful protection for the seasonal flu. Both the flowers and the berries have magic to bring to your medicine cabinet. The flowers are more diaphoretic: they induce sweating and excretion.
The berries modulate the immune system helping it to more appropriately respond to your environment and circumstance. Elder fights cold and flu viruses aiding them flush through body quickly all the while strengthening the mucus membranes. Elder acts as an adaptogen improving energy and stress handling. It does all this and it tastes great. Not much more you could ask for in a medicine, hu?!
This Elixir is extracting fresh berries with the drawing medicinal properties of raw honey and grain alcohol. Shelf stable and delicious! The red berried elders are not for use in this type of medicine! Sambucus nigra is the official plant medicine, but there are many local species and varieties that can be used interchangeably.
We use the flowers in our Flu & Virus Formula; the berries as an overall tonic for modulating and enhancing the immune system. This is one of those herbs that is good for almost everyone including children and pregnant and nursing mothers (be sure to check the dosage with a qualified health practitioner).
We like to use our Elderberry Elixir, elderwines or tinctures all year long to prevent and ward off flu and viral attacks, but using these preparations in acute attacks will no doubt lessen the stress of any illness on the body and shorten the recovery time.
This is by no means a comprehensive post on the powers of Elder. This plant has myriad uses including many spiritual and magical properties that have been well documented throughout the ages in stories, poems and song.