The black elderberry and its healthy berriesThe black elderberry not only tastes good, it is also healthy. For colds with coughs, the berries have a soothing effect. The flowers diaphoretic.
Written by: Editors in Nutrition 27. August 2010 0 1,871 views
The black elder on the bush, the berries can be boiled down. Picture: © fotolia.de
In the gardens of the today's time it has, so the opinion of many garden friends, nothing more to look for. The mostly as a bush, rarely as a tree growing Black elderberry or Holder, grows very quickly and, if you are not careful, quickly ames gigantic proportions and quickly robs other plants of sunlight. Despite its characteristics, which characterize it rather as a "weed", the elderberry bush has been enjoying great popularity again for some years now. What grandma knew a long time ago: It is the healthiest representative of the wild growing bushes.
Sacred bush and folklore
Like many plants with healing properties, the black elderberry, Latin Sambucus nigra, has a firm place in the world of legends and sagas. It is said that house spirits live in its branches and protect against mischief. If an elder bush dried up for no reason, this was long interpreted as a particularly bad omen. In some German-speaking regions it was even advised to take off one's hat to a "Holderbusch" (elder bush). Where this veneration came from, one can only guess. Perhaps it is due to the fact that it is particularly common near houses and settlements.
Delicious elderberries and fragrant flowers
The brown-gray branches of the undemanding elderberry bush are covered with small outgrowths and have a soft pulp. Just like the unpaired leaves, they have a rather unpleasant smell as soon as they are touched a little more firmly. In its flowering period from May to mid-July, the entire shrub is covered with palm-sized umbrella panicles consisting of hundreds of small flowers. These, in turn, give off a sweet, fruity scent that is particularly popular with insects. These little helpers pollinate the elderberry blossoms and ensure that the bush produces the deep black berries from late summer until autumn.
Not recommended raw – cooked a must!
The raw consumption of the fruits of the elder bush, which are also called lilac berries, is strongly discouraged. They are mildly toxic and cause nausea and digestive problems. However, once elderberries are heated, the toxic substance breaks down, making the berry the basis of many delicious – and most importantly, healthy – products. Whether as simple juice, boiled down syrup or even jam: In terms of vitamin C content, the black berries are almost unbeatable. This is exactly why they are administered primarily for cold symptoms. However, the elder bush does not only produce natural remedies in autumn. The flowers harvested in early summer, fresh or dried, have a diaphoretic effect and thus help against budding colds.
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Example juice: It's that simple!
The freshly harvested elderberries are washed and de-stemmed. Care must be taken to ensure that only the black, ripe berries are subsequently processed into juice using a straining mill. The juice is mixed in a ratio of one part sugar to four parts fruit, boiled for about five minutes while stirring, and then poured hot into clean, sealable containers. Here the juice keeps for several months. Can be enjoyed neat or diluted as needed. For colds, the juice is administered pure like cough syrup to fight the symptoms.
Eyes open when walking in the forest
If you spot large elderberry bushes on a walk or even have one in your own backyard, you can head out to harvest lilac berries in the fall or flowers in early summer. Whether berry or flower: care should be taken to find a location that is not exposed to exhaust fumes. The effort is worthwhile for the health.
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