Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Herb Trees: The Elder Tree

When I first read Amy Jeanroy's list of 4 herbal trees here: 
I wondered what an elder tree was and what it looked like.

When I started to research it, I had to laugh.
The exotic elder tree was none other than the common elderberry shrub 
(sambucus canadensis) that grew wild in ditches 
and along country roads in the Midwest where I grew up.
There's a good web site, HerbalRootZine, that shows the difference between elderberry
and the poisonous pokeberry, two shrubs that are commonly confused, 
and both of which we had in the Midwest.
for more information

I wish I had known about the elder tree's centuries-long history as a magical herb
and medicinal plant when I still lived near so much of it.
It turns out that elder tree (elderberry) is a plant with flowers and berries
that have been extensively researched by scientists
and their studies have revealed the efficacious nature of the plant.

The first National Symposium on Elderberry 
was held in Columbia, Missouri in June 2013.
Papers delivered at the symposium included one
on the use of elderberry in Persian (Iranian) traditional medicine,
one on elderberry's positive influence on the immune system, allergies,
and respiratory problems.
And there was another about its effectiveness in treating flu.
And don't forget that elderberry protects us from those ubiquitous witches
that seem to bedevil and bewitch common folk.
There was a paper given about that, too.

I found a web site that contained a paper by Purdue University horticulturist D. Charlebois
who described findings on the nutritional value of elderberry: 
high in calcium, phosphorous, Vitamin B6, A, and C.
Finally, I have a scientific reason to eat elderberry jelly.
I think I'm going to have to find some of that jelly,
and jam... and elderberry tea...
and more jelly... and cakes ... and preserves ... and pies... and ...

No comments: