Sambucus Nigra, or Black Elderberry is a plant out of the honeysuckle family native to Europe. This plant can be found in other parts of the world such as Africa, Asia, and North America. Dating back to the time of Hippocrates, it has been used for its outstanding medicinal properties. This tree has an extensive history in folk medicine and has been well referred to as “the medicine chest of the country people”; as Hippocrates called the Elderberry or the “Elder Tree” his “medicine chest”. There is a huge amount of medicine, reverence, sacredness (some will never cut it down), superstition, and romance surrounding this tree. Regarding it medically, the uses through history have been quite extensive, ranging from tonics, to syrups, to elixirs, and even simple culinary uses. The berry helped battle colds/flus, sore throats, fever, relieve congestion, soothe achy muscles, keep the digestive systems healthy, act as a diuretic, ward off winter aliments, stop anxiety, and keep the heart healthy. But it doesn’t stop there, it is said that the holy cross that Jesus was crucified on was made of Elder wood. It is also said that one must ask for permission before taking any wood or branch from the tree, otherwise the spirit of the tree will meet the person with wrath as the tree itself serves as a portal or gateway between the underworld and the middle world. Babies were never placed into cribs of Elder wood for this very reason, as they thought the spirit would come after them for taking the sacred wood and take the baby’s life in exchange. The flowers and leaves were used spiritually, where they were hung in doorways to protect the occupants from evil and prevent evil spirits from entering the home. And the plants wood was used in marriage ceremonies to bring good luck and help in the matters of love. As you can tell, the historical and cultural significance of this tree stretches well beyond its branches.
Over time, modern doctors began to explore the health benefits of this amazing plant. It was rediscovered that Elderberry Syrup acted as an anti-viral aid, cancer aid, antioxidant aid, anti-aging aid, and anti-inflammatory aid. In 1983, Dr. Mumcuoglu began the research on Elderberry Syrup and its antiviral properties. She found that Elderberry syrup was effective against 8 different flu viruses by preventing the viruses from invading cells by inhibiting the enzyme called neuraminidase found on their hemaglutinin (little spikes covering the virus that punctures healthy cell walls) that broke down cells. This happened because the syrup contained bioflavioniods in high concentrations which bound to the enzyme found on the hemaglutinin of the viruses making them inhibited an unable to break down the cell wall of a healthy cell. She was granted a clinical trial of her Elderberry Syrup medicine called SAMBUCOL and was administered to flu patients with remarkable results. In another study titled “Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro” done by HerbalScience Group LLC, found that Elderberry syrup could kill the H1N1 virus in vitro by binding to it. Currently, it is being tested and has been found to inhibit the replication of viruses such as herpes, smallpox, and HIV. Because of the syrups high concentration of flavonoids, essential minerals and antioxidants, it has been found to be effective against the onset of cancer by eliminating free radicals from the body. This is not only effective against cancers from developing but also by slowing down the cell turnover of the body which in turn slows down the natural aging process of the body. And its anti-inflammatory properties have proven effective against joint pain, arthritis, sore muscles, and inflammation of tissues.
The raw fresh berries, stems, leaves, seeds, flowers, roots, and bark of the Sambucus Nigra plant are mildly toxic because they contain hydrocyanic acid. To bypass ingesting this toxin and to harness the healing powers of this fruit, the berries must be cooked properly before being consumed. Whether being cooked down into a syrup, made into a jam, steeped into a tea, or baked into a pie, once the berries have been cooked it is 100% safe for human consumption with nothing but positive health effects. This means under no circumstances should you consume the fresh berries (even dried berries) or other parts of the plant without cooking it first, otherwise you will get a severe tummy ache. If you follow this recipe exactly, you will have no ill effects; you will reap the immune boosting properties of this sacred plant, and will have a bit of folk medicine to add to your health and knowledge arsenal. This is my wellness gift to you, as everybody on this planet should have this medicine in their house to treat aliments naturally or act as a preventive against the above mentioned. By combining this powerful medicine with the powerful medicine of the cannabis plant in the form of the strain Alaskan Ice, you are going to think this is a gift straight from the hands of God. The euphoric mind state balanced with a mix of energetic alertness and relaxation of the cannabis, pairs wonderfully with the relaxation of nerves that Elder Berry syrup gives. This beautiful 70 Sativa 30 Indica plant developed by Green House Seed Company will offer the flavor profiles of Sandalwood to the deliciously sweet complex berry flavor of the Elder berry. Let’s just say this; it will be very hard to refrain from consuming the whole jar! Respect this gift I give to you as both a health elixir and effective weapon against illnesses, and remember above all to: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
For the recipe please visit: SKUNK Magazine Volume 9 Issue 8