08 september, 2021 07:19Posted by Admin

ElderberryRipe Elderberries

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Family: Dipsacales
Genus: Sambucus
Species: nigra

Elderberry is used as medical plant from the beginning of the human civilization. Martin Blochwich, a 17th century physician, wrote a book on the medical uses of elderberry (1). In this Handbook for medical practitioners Blochwich described in detail medical usage of the elderberry for treatment of mouth and throat diseases, diarrhea, epilepsy and a number of other illnesses.
Dark red color of ripen elderberries comes from anthocyaninn, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants.  Ripen elderberries contain 450 mg of anthocyanin per 100g. Other components of the elderberries are ascorbic acid also vitamin C (19-50mg), carotene (vitamin A),

Human food

Elderflower syrup, commonly made from an extract of elderflower blossoms, usually served with pancakes. In Eastern, and Southeastern Europe a method based on sugar extraction of elderflower blossoms is used to make a syrup which is diluted with water and used as a drink.
Fritted elderflower blossoms (Holler Schöberl in German) are popular in Central and Eastern Europe (4).

Medical uses

Elderberry is traditionally used as a medicinal plant by many native peoples as well as herbalists for hundreds of years. For this purpose both berries and blossoms are used. Elderflower blossoms are traditionally used in  "herbal teas" mixed with other medical plants or just elderflower blossoms alone.
Other parts of the plant (leaves, twigs, branches, seeds and roots) contain a cyanide-inducing glycoside (a glycoside which gives rise to cyanide as the metabolism processes it). Ingesting any of these parts (in quantities large enough) can cause a toxic build up of cyanide in the body (2).

Cosmetic and Beauty Products Industry

Ecouna AB (Swedish producer of natural cosmetics) put on the market Elderberry Body Lotion containing elderberry extract.

Industrial use

Elderberries are source of food grade colorants (anthocyanins). They are used as food additive with E number E163.


  1. Dr Martin Blochwich, Anatomia Sambuci - The Anatomy of the Elder, first published in Latin 1644. English translation published 1677 (re-edited 2010), BerryPharma AG, ISBN 9783952369319
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Picture
  4. Holler Schöberl
  5. Arctic Naturals Elderberry Body Lotion