The healing power of Elder tree (Sambucus Nigra) - MS Guardio

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The healing power of Elder tree (Sambucus Nigra)

by | Apr 1, 2021 | Care Homes, Featured, Health & Safety, Schools, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Explore with us the healing power of Elder


says my Aesculapius,
my Galen,
my heart of


William Shakespeare 
~The Merry Wives of Windsor


The healing power of Elder
The healing power of elder has been know for several thousand years… The elder tree has long been associated with magic and healing powers.

Grave stones originating from 2,000 BC were carved to resemble elder tree leaves and the tree’s ability to grow roots from damaged twigs was considered by the Druids a symbol of magic and regeneration.

The Anglo-Saxons believed the healing power of elder tree protected against witches and all evil . They also gave it the English name, elder – meaning fire or furnace as the elder tree branches spit sparks when lit.

This attractive large shrub can grow 15 m in height and can live for 60 years. It has magnificent cream, sweet-smelling flowers in late May/early June and purple-black berries that follow in summer. It is native to the UK and grows commonly in our woods and hedgerows.

MS Guardio is writing a series of short articles about the healing properties some plants, flowers and foods at this time of pandemic and national crisis. 

The healing power of Elder tree

The healing power of Elder receives a mention in the famous herbal of Nicholas Culpeper, the English botanist and herbalist of the 17th century who claimed it calmed down inflammation and cured ‘dropsy and piles’.

Today, the long tradition of elder’s healing powers continues. This is not surprising as the elderberries and the elderflowers are an excellent source of protein, amino acids, minerals and vitamins, in particular vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, and calcium .

They also contain polyphenols (they give the purple colour to the berries) and flavonoids, both with strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are natural scavengers and prevent disease by detecting and detoxifying harmful chemicals in our bodies. It is these antioxidants that take credit for the most impressive healing powers of the elder.

The healing power of elder includes both elderflowers and the elderberries, which are are anti-inflammatory; anti-bacterial and have anti-viral properties. In particular they are helpful in preventing and reducing the symptoms of:

• colds and flu
• elevated cholesterol

Healing power of Elder for colds and flu

the healing power of elderberry
 Studies have found that elderberry and elderflower extracts shorten the duration of colds and flu
Traditional medicine practitioners have been using the healing power of elder to prevent and treat cold and flu for centuries but these healing powers have now been confirmed by the majority of scientific research .

There is little doubt that supplementation with elderberry substantially reduces respiratory symptoms!

Numerous studies found that elderberry and elderflower extracts are also able to shortened the duration of the illness.

They modulate inflammatory processes and assist the body in combatting bacterial infections.

Their therapeutic and healing power of elder is primarily directed against bacteria responsible for throat and ear infections, sinusitis and bronchitis.

While further research is needed into the anti-viral properties of the elder tree, it is interesting that the antioxidant compounds in the elderberry juice are able to stop viruses infecting the cells, but can also suppress and reduce the viral load of the already infected cells.

Healing power of Elder for elevated cholesterol

Another healing flavonoid, the quercetin, present in both the elderberries and the flowers has shown to reduce cholesterol levels in test tube and reduced the amount of cholesterol in the liver and aorta in mice.

But the most impressive study into the healing power of elder have concluded that elderberry juice lowered total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in young adults after only two weeks of daily doses.

There is little doubt that a diet high in flavonoids can improve the cardiovascular health.

Carefully goes it!

The berries and flowers are safe when used in small amounts, and as directed by quality commercial producers.

But parts of elder tree, other than the flowers can be toxic and cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, especially when ingested raw and in large quantities. Cooking removes the offending chemicals.

MS Guardio has also written about the healing properties of the oregano.

Harnessing the healing power of elder

Probably the best known commercial extract of elderberries to help fight colds and related infections is Sambucol.

There are formulas suitable for adults, children and babies some fortified with zinc, vitamins D and C. Lozenges and tablets are also available.

A London-based family company, Biona have too captured the healing power of elderberries in a bottle. They produce organic pure pressed elderberry juice, a natural treatment for cough, and colds that can be purchased from many online stores. It tastes great and you can also drizzle it on desserts and on your morning toast.

You can harness the healing power of elder by gathering the elderflowers and elderberries yourself, but be mindful that home cooking and processing elderflowers and the berries may affect their healing powers.

The content of polyphenols reduces by approximately 40% in the first 30 days of storage but then remained unchanged.

However, the therapeutic compounds in tea made from elderberry flowers were relatively unchanged over their 21-months of storage in the experiment.

I go foraging for elderflowers most summers. I fry clusters of the fragrant flowers in light batter for a delicious snack, make elderflower cordial, and dry the flowers to use as tea whenever I feel a cold coming.

Woodland Trust have a very informative webpage on how to identify elder tree, and if you would like to go elderflowers/elderberries foraging with a group, you can check Countryfile for best foraging courses and events in the country.

The 17th century botanist Culpeper was right in his praise of the elder tree. Elder helps to reduce inflammation and affects the course of respiratory disease. It also provides an alternative to misuse of antibiotics for common colds and is a natural aid for flu and elevated cholesterol.

Antiviral Agents

  1. Elderberry
  2. Echinacea
  3. Garlic
  4. Green tea
  5. Olive leaf
  6. Castor oil
  7. Aloe Vera
  8. Extract of Aloe Vera leaves – has been previously reported to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral effects.
third wave behaviour - keep Christmas in our hearts

Some foods are natural antiviral agents

MS Guardio 

MSG is developing new Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in harmony with nature, finding harmony between human and AI for a new cognitive class of machine learning algorithms.

We are working on enhancement of digital technologies to foster harmony with the environment to mitigate natural disasters, diseases and help vulnerable communities.
How beautifully designed are the two phenomena of natural evolution and the human brain neural network with the goal of achieving harmony.

ANN DL (Artificial Neural Networks Deep Learning) class of networks are the type that best encapsulate and capture the structure of the brain. Humankind is benefitting from the existence of these two evolutionary systems.

At MS Guardio we have greatly improved the convergence rate in Genetic Algorithms GA, developing new AI technologies and tools.


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