Red elderberry has long grown as an ornamental plant in European countries, it decorated parks, alleys, areas near houses. In addition to the decorative properties, in the Middle Ages they knew about its useful qualities. In this article we will discuss an elderberry, what benefits and harm it can bring.
- Botanical description
- The composition of red elderberry
- Beneficial features
- Therapeutic use
The distribution range of the plant is wide: North America, Europe, China, Japan, Russia, Korea.
It is difficult to call a red elder tree in the description, because the wood in the stems is a scanty amount. The core of the branches is a soft, spongy substance, so they break easily.
Leaves with short petioles, arranged one behind the other, bright green color. The leafy plate has finely toothed edges, an oval shape with a sharp tip and a more pale stripe in the center along the sheet.An excess of anthocyanin pigment in the leaves can stain them in red-violet tones.
In late May, the bush is covered with creamy yellow, loose buds. Flowers of red elderberry small, with a sharp unpleasant aroma.
Towards August ripen bright scarlet color, collected in lush clusters. The shape of the berries is somewhat similar to the fruits of mountain ash, only smaller in size. The berries also smell unpleasant, but the birds eat them, scattering small yellow seeds and helping the plant to grow.
The composition of red elderberry
There is no information about the exact composition of the plant, since it was not studied in detail. It is known that glucose, fructose, rutin, essential oils and tannins are present in all aboveground parts. Fruits contain vitamins A and C, carotene, a certain amount of organic acids and flavonoids.
Prussic acid in the composition of the elderberry fruit, in case of doubt a poisonous plant or not, confirms information about the non-edibility of the berries.
Official medicine does not recognize the plant medicinal and does not use it. Folk healers use flowers and leaves, sometimes roots, claiming the following medicinal properties:
- diuretic and laxative,
- sputum thinning and excretion
- pain killer
- antiseptic and antimicrobial.
Not only herbalists and healers are considered useful elderberries. The aroma of the plant, emanating even from the foliage, discourages small rodents. This property is used by beekeepers to scare away mice from winter houses of bees. Farmers lay out branches in the corners of barns and other premises with food products.
The abundance of acids with corrosive properties is used to clean copper utensils. Fruit juice eats away even the eaten resin of vegetable origin. After this information about the elder it is unlikely that the question will be edible or not.
Seeds serve as raw material for technical oil, leaves for paint, and fruit - raw material for alcohol.The spongy core of the plant is used in the manufacture of insulating parts for precision instruments. In landscape design, bushes with red berries are planted as an ornamental plant, the root system of which holds the soil on the slopes.
Consider an elderberry from the point of view of homeopathy, what it is, with what health problems apply.
Traditional healers use parts of the plant for the preparation of decoctions and tinctures in the treatment of the respiratory tract, lung diseases, and sore throat. When angina decoction plants rinse your throat to kill the infection and relieve tricky. Rinses are also used for dental problems.
Laxative and diuretic properties are used in the treatment of the digestive system, problems with the liver and kidneys.
As a rubbing, compresses, ointment, the plant helps with rheumatism, arthritis, pain in the spine and joints, and radiculitis.Used as a lotion under the bandage for psoriasis and eczema.
To summarize: red elderberry is not used in the official pharmacopoeia, its composition has not been fully studied, but it is known about toxic components. Despite the short list of contraindications, you should not risk your health, using questionable recipes.