Elderberry usually grows throughout much of Europe and North America. It can be used for food, medicine, and a variety of other purposes. Some people dislike the flavor of fresh fruit, yet it makes delicious jams, preserves, and pies when cooked. The family name of this plant is Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea. This tree is 9 feet tall and has clusters of cream and little white-colored flowers which are known as elderberry.
This fruit of the blue elderberry plant has an 8mm diameter and grows in enormous clusters from late summer to early autumn. Flowers can be consumed uncooked, roasted, or dried and stored for later use. The flowers of the blue elderberry plant have a crisp texture and are slightly juicy. They have a strong smell and taste, and they are great as a raw snack on a hot summer day. The blue elderberry plant has leaves that are used to give green color to the fats and oils.
The plant Blue Elderberry is particularly useful to animals. For birds and small mammals, it provides vital cover and nesting locations. The different species of birds such as pigeons, woodpeckers, bluebirds, robins, and others eat elderberry fruit. This fruit is also frequently eaten by squirrels and other small mammals. Hence, apart from being utilized as medicine, this plant is also used as food for many living beings.
Blue Elderberry Plant Habitat
Blue Elderberry is mostly found in dry places, slopes, edges, and along the roadsides. Blue Elderberry is a versatile plant that can be utilized as a hedgerow, a screen, or a forest border. It is commonly grown for its tasty berries as well as to attract birds. It is also useful for re-vegetation initiatives for slope and stream bank stabilization.
Blue Elderberry Seeds
The seeds of blue elderberry dispersed across Asia, Europe, and North America about 11000 years ago by glaciers. These seeds were discovered in Switzerland in Neolithic pole-dwellings that are more than 4000 years old. The Blue elderberry seeds have been used in medicines according to Roman and Greek history. Hence, these seeds have been utilized medicinally for treating a variety of diseases.
Blue Elderberry Medicinal Uses
Historically, the flowers and leaves of blue elderberry were used for pain-alleviation, swelling, boosting urine production, and generating sweating. Blue Elderberry is known for its medicinal uses. It is used for curing the following diseases:
- Cold and flu symptoms.
- Heart problems
It has been demonstrated that black elderberry juices and flower infusions can aid in reducing the severity and duration of influenza. Elderberry extract is also beneficial for cardiovascular and blood vessel health.
The juice extracted from blue elderberry is used to control cholesterol levels and blood fat levels. Due to this characteristic of elderberries, they may also help in controlling the uric acid levels in the blood. They balance the uric acid levels and eventually help in making the heart of the person healthy. These blue elderberries are also used in controlling blood sugar levels. They help in enhancing the insulin secretions which help in controlling vascular and heart diseases.
The blood sugar levels can also be reduced with the help of elderberry plants. These plants reduce the enzyme alpha-glucosidase which helps in managing blood sugar levels. Hence, it has become evident from recent research that blue elderberry plants are good for balancing the sugar levels of the body.
There are plenty of other benefits attributed to elderberry, though most of them are based on inadequate scientific evidence:
- Aids in the battle against cancer.
- Defends against dangerous bacteria.
- Boosts the immunological system.
- Possibility of UV radiation protection.
- Possibility of anti-depressant activity.
These medicinal uses are evident from research on rats. There is a scope of research on humans to make elderberry a true cure for certain fatal diseases.
Blue Elderberry Plant Poison
Apart from medicinal uses, blue elderberry can be poisonous to living beings. Blue elderberry seeds, unripe berries, and the bark can cause certain stomach problems. Apart from this, elderberry contains cyanogenic glycosides which can be harmful to people. The side effects of raw elderberries, roots, leaves, and barks are:
Commercial preparations and cooked berries, on the other hand, do not contain harmful chemicals such as cyanide, hence there is no danger of fatalities in this case.
The poisonous compounds of the blue elderberry can be removed by boiling. The raw leaves, roots, and bark should not be used in food because they can be proved fatal to people. So, one must be aware of these poisonous characteristics of elderberries to be protected from harmful consequences.