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Elderberries (Sambucus nigra)

Elderberries (Sambucus nigra)

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  

About

Elderberry is the dark purple berry from the European elder tree. The berries are used to make medicine. Do not confuse elderberry with American Elder, Elderflower, or Dwarf Elder.

Elderberry is used for the common cold, "the flu" (influenza), and H1N1 "swine" flu. It is also used for HIV/AIDS and boosting the immune system. Elderberry is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Some people use elderberry for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating.

It is used for heart disease, high cholesterol, headache, toothache, and weight loss.

Elderberry is applied inside the mouth for gum inflammation.

Elderberry fruit is also used for making wine and as a food flavoring.

How does it work?

Elderberry might affect the immune system. Elderberry seems to have activity against viruses including the flu. It might also reduce inflammation.

Traditionally used for

Asthma.
Bronchitis.
Bruises.
Intestinal gas.
Constipation.
Colds.
Water retention (edema).
Epilepsy.
Fever.
Gout.
Headache.
Nerve problems.

Dosage

1200mg by mouth daily for 2 weeks.

Possible Side Effects

American elder flowers or cooked, ripe fruit are safe for most adults in the amounts found in foods. There is some scientific evidence that suggests the flowers are safe in medicinal amounts, which are typically larger. Some side effects might include nausea, vomiting, weakness, dizziness, numbness, and stupor.

The leaves, stems, or unripe fruit are UNSAFE.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is UNSAFE to use the leaves, stems, or unripe fruit of American elder because they contain chemicals that can cause cyanide poisoning. There isn't enough information to know whether it is safe to use the flower or cooked, ripe fruit if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side, and avoid using any form of American elder.

Children: Some children like to make peashooters from American elder stems, but this practice isn't as harmless as it sounds. The stem contains chemicals that can cause cyanide poisoning. Some “peashooter poisonings” have been reported.

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