Let me share with you some extra healthy benefits and interesting facts about this small tree which we can plant and grow in our yards.
Elderberry or Sambucus is a big shrub native to Europe and to the United States. The plant is member of honeysuckle family. Its white and delicate flowers turn into berries – black or dark blue. Their flavour is sharp sweet and a little bitter but it is preferred in many recipes. I will tell you more about that later. Its leaves are pinnate with 5 to 9 leaflets with length 5 to 30 cm. You can see the whole beauty of Elderberry in late Spring when it blooms.
Elderberry contains tannin, amino acids, organic pigments, carotenoids, flavonoids, rutin and large amounts of vitamins C, A, B. Many studies have proven that some of the ingredients in the shrub are strong antioxidants and can protect the cells against damage. In a Oncology laboratory in Israel doctors have found that the plant stimulates the better function of the immune system and they have treated patients with AIDS and cancer with it. From colds and flu to fight against asthma, weight loss and diabetes, everyone can discover the benefits of elder, depending on his personal needs and individual condition of the immune system. Other positive side of using the shrub in your menu for healthier life is that it is good for the cardiovascular protection. The levels of fibre in it are really high and can help with the elimination of the “bad” cholesterol which automatically makes some space for the “good” one, that every human body needs. When you need to clear your throat, or have bronchitis that has bad influence on your respiratory system the juice from elder is the best choice for you.
Easy Homemade Elderberry Recipe
I will present you the most helpful and popular recipe with Elderberry, that can help you if you have any of the health problems listed above, or if you just want to try something new and good, prepared at your home.
- Elderflowers – cleaned and enough to fill 1/2 gallon jar
- 2 thinly sliced lemons
- 5 cups water
- 5 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 packet citric acid
Put in a large jar the thinly sliced lemons and Elderflowers. Then make a syrup with the water, the sugar and the citric acid. Wait to boil a few minutes, then pour the flowers in the hot water and leave them a few days in a sunny place under cover. Then strain the juice and close it in glass bottles.
Care of Elderberries
If you want to grow this plant in your garden, you need to know that caring for it in the first years of its life is a little more specific – it prefers moist soil and you don’t have to expect fruits until its second year. Better plant two or more shrubs near each other to make the cross-pollination easier. My advice is to look for competent gardening services in your living area, to tell you what fertilizer you need to put on the tree and in what conditions is good to prune it. Only then you will have a healthy plant that blooms year after year.
Evelyn Harvey Jenson – http://www.gardeningserviceswarrington.co.uk
Photo. Rita E.