Elderberry (Latin: Sambucus nigra) has been appreciated by folk medicine, but today, when our first aid kits are full of medicines, it has been somewhat forgotten. It is, however, a little dusted up knowledge about this plant. Black lilac blooms in April and May, it is good to prepare early for the harvest of his flowers. The fruits ripen from August to October and persist on the plant in the form of hanging fruiting.
Elderberry – nutritional values and healing properties
Elderberry edible and fruit, and flowers. In the case of the former, however, you have to be careful to collect ripe fruit. These immature negatively affect the human body – in all parts of the fresh plant, there are cyanogenic glucose, sambunigrin and sambucine, which are poisonous to humans, poisoning symptoms include weakness, headaches and dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pulse acceleration and breathing disorders . This does not mean, however, that elderberry must be feared or avoided from a distance, on the contrary – both flowers and fruits subjected to heat treatment (cooking, frying) lose their harmful effects. 100 grams of fresh elderberry contains about 73 calories (kcal). It is not much for the strong action of this inconspicuous plant. Black lilac and elderberry juice contains many valuable vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – in black sugar we find vitamin C, B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, vitamin H), beta carotene, iron (non-heme), potassium, phosphorus, copper. Elderberry flavonoids – quercetin, rutin, kemferol, chlorogenic acid, essential oils, tannins. They owe their violet-black color to anthocyanins – the elderberry fruits alongside chokeberry and blueberry are the largest source of these valuable flavonoids. The elderberry fruits contain a lot of dietary fiber.
The action of black elderberry is extraordinary. Folk medicine most often used its properties in various types of colds and flu. All because elderberry contains valuable oils and tannins, thanks to which the consumed plant has an expectorant, antibacterial and antiviral effect. In addition, elderberry greatly strengthens the body’s immunity and soothes cold symptoms such as runny nose. This plant is helpful especially with various types of inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Due to the presence of numerous antioxidants, black has antioxidant properties and protects against oxidative stress.
The flowers have diuretic, diaphoretic, antipyretic, expectorant, and externally also anti-inflammatory. Infusions of flowers are used for colds, for the treatment of various types of rhinitis and inflammation of the airways and rheumatic diseases. Externally, flower infusions are washed with skin inflammation, skin blemishes and burns, rinsing the mouth and throat in case of inflammation, and washed eyes with conjunctivitis. Infusions of elderberry flowers with colds have a much stronger effect than infusions from a well-known lime tree
Calories and nutritional values - elderberry
Ingredient Content in 100 g
Calories (energy value) 73 kcal / 305 kJ
0.66 g protein
Total fat 0.50 g
Carbohydrates 18.4 g
Dietary fiber 7 g
How to eat elderberry?
Lilac flowers can be incorporated into the daily diet in several ways. Above all, it is worth to bet on juice. You can prepare home-made juice without any problems, of course from ripe fruit. The fruit is boiled with enough water to cover the fruit. It is necessary to cook the fruit under cover until they release the juice, then they should be separated and wiped through a sieve. A natural sweetener can be added to the juice – eg honey or xylitol. The juice should be stored in the fridge or pasteurized in jars. You can also prepare delicious jams and marmalades from the elderberry fruit. To obtain interesting flavor compositions, mix without, for example, raspberries or blackberries. However, remember to collect only ripe elderberry fruits.
You can also dry the flowers to be able to use them all year. Of course, to dry we use a lilac growing far from the city and from the street, to be sure that the tree did not absorb harmful substances such as heavy metals. Dried flowers can be used to prepare the infusion. Elderberry infusion can be varied with various additions – it will taste great with a slice of lemon and a teaspoon of honey. In winter, the infusion can be drunk on hot, like tea, especially with a cold. In summer, you can drink a cool brew for strengthening immunity and improving well-being. It is also worth preparing a syrup from elderflower flowers. Flowers just pour boiling water and leave for several hours, then heat with sugar and lemon juice. Then you have to close the syrup in the jars and put it upside down.
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