black elderberry

Black elderberry - Étymology :

Common name = Black Elder, Great Elder, Judas Tree, Fairy Tree :
This shrub is mainly found in wooded areas, hedges and roadsides. It is present in most of Europe, except in the extreme north..

Botanical name  = Sambucus Nigra :
Sambucus, the sambucus is a flute that the Greek shepherds cut in the soft wood of the black elder. Nigra, black, the color of its fruits.

Mythology & History :

A lot of magic and belief revolves around the elder tree. This shrub represents in Celtic myths, the passage from the world of the living to the world of the dead. It is the symbol of regeneration and renewal. It is also known as the tree of witches. Often installed next to the houses, it sheltered in old legends, protective fairies.

In the Harry Potter story, Dumbledore's wand, reputed to be the most powerful wand ever, is made of elder wood.

Botanical description :

The black elder is a plant of the Caprifoliaceae family. This shrub measures between 4 to 6 m. The leaves are formed of 5 to 7 oval leaflets and are opposite. They have a strong smell when they are crumpled. They are the first leaves to appear in the landscape before spring. Its small white flowers are gathered in corymbe. Its inflorescence has the particularity of an alignment of the flowers on the same plane. The flowers have a bewitching and characteristic perfume, it is even sometimes evoked under the name of vanilla of the poor, and could be used in the pastry making for this sweet smell.

The elderberry blooms until early summer then its flowers give way to autumnal black berries, grouped in hanging clusters. Be careful, the black elderberry can be confused with the hemlock elderberry, whose berries can be poisonous. 

Properties & Virtues :

The elderberry is diuretic and depurative. It favors the elimination of toxins. Be careful however because they have a laxative effect.

The flowers are known in the traditional herbalism to support perspiration, they are febrifuges what is worth to them to be sometimes used to make lower the fever. They soothe the inflammations of the respiratory tracts by decongesting them.

Composition :

The flowers are composed of flavonoids (rutin), phenolic acids, sterols, essential oils, mucilages and tannins. The leaves are composed of cyanogenic glucosides and the berries are composed of flavonoids, anthocyanosides, vitamins A and C.

According to the herbalist, all of its compounds stimulate our immune defenses and help reduce the duration of cold or flu symptoms. 

Black elderberry and Beauty Garden

We harvest the elderflower in our countryside, on protected and labeled areas far from any pollution. It is the first flower of the season in our wild harvest. After having dried it according to the gentle herbalist method, the elderflower is part of our winter herbal tea blend: the organic anti glagla tea. Its reassuring and almost sweet aroma is comforting by the fire, and of course its many properties make it a beautiful winter infusion. 

Our elderflowers are also used in maceration in the night serum with white flowers Beauty garden ... Discover its regenerating action and much more on the product sheet.

huile pour le corps à la reine des prés

Bibliography :

Les Remèdes De Santé D’hildegarde De Bingen. (2013). Marabout.

C., D. M. (2022). Histoire universelle du regne végétal, ou, Nouveau dictionnaire physique & œconomique de toutes les plantes qui

      croissent sur la surface du globe 1773 [Leather Bound]. Generic.

Mulot, M. (2015). Secrets d’une herboriste : La bible des plantes. DAUPHIN.

Thévenin, T. (2012). Les plantes sauvages : Connaitre, cueillir et utiliser. Lucien Souny.

Chevallier, A. (2017). Larousse des plantes médicinales : Identification, préparation, soins - 500 plantes décrites - 1000

     photographies. LAROUSSE.

Barrau, V. & Fourié, Y. (s. d.). l’herbier d’une vie. Plume de carotte.

Lieutaghi, P. (2005). Le Livre des bonnes herbes ; Le Livre des Arbres, Arbustes et Arbrisseaux : Coffret en 2 volumes. Actes Sud.