Sambucus nigra, Sambucus canadensis
Also known as Bourtree, European Elder, and Pipe Tree
History: The Elderberry Shrub has two main species. Sambucus nigra is a native of Europe, while Sambucus canadensis is a native of North America. In Europe, the medicinal use of Elderberry can be traced back to the Stone age and was associated with magic and spirits. In North America, Elderberry shrubs are found near streams and ponds. Native Americans, including the Illinois-Miami, Onondaga, Iroquois, Seneca, Menomini, Potawatami, Malecite, and MicMac tribes, used both the berries and the flower as a food and medicine.
Modern Uses: The Commission E approved the internal use of elder flower for colds. The British Herbal Compendium lists its uses for common cold, feverish conditions, and as a diuretic. The German Standard License for elder flower tea calls it a diaphoretic medicine for the treatment of feverish common colds or catarrhal complaints.
Active Ingredients: flavonoids including rutin, isoquercitrine, kampherol, hydrocyanic glycoside sambunigrine, tannins, essential oil,
Actions: diaphoretic, anti-catarrhal, pectoral,
Complementary Herbs: Peppermint, Yarrow, Hyssop, Boneset, Goldenrod