BULGARIA. Elder (Sambucus nigra) Flowers, Whole, Certified Organic
Common names: Black Elder, European Elder, Arbre de Judas, Baccae, Black-Berried Alder, Boor Tree, Bountry, Ellanwood, Ellhorn, Hautbois, Holunderbeeren, Sabugeuiro-negro, Sambequier, Sambuc, Sauco, Schwarzer Holunder, Seuillet, Seuillon, Sureau, Sussier
Sambucus nigra species grow as shrubs and small trees in temperate areas of Western Europe, extending into Southern Scandanavia, down to the northern coast of Africa, and east to the Caspian Sea, and in the temperate zones of North America. Their habitats include mostly sunny, fertile locations, both wet and dry.
The English name for the tree is said to be derived, not from the word "old," but from the Anglo Saxon æld, meaning fire. The hollow stems of the branches were used to blow air into a fire. Elder Flowers and fruit have been used medicinally since ancient Greece.
Elder Flowers (harvested in the late spring) mature to produce Elderberry fruit (collected in early fall), and so naturally have many of the same effects as Elderberries. The flowers contain flavonoids (astragalin, hyperoside, isoquercitrin, and rutin) and free aglycones (quercetin and kaempferol), minerals (mainly potassium), phenolic compounds, triterpenes and triterpene acids, sterols, linoleic, linolenic, and palmitic acids, mucilage, pectin, and tannins. Both flowers and fruits are used in cooking and beverages; the fruit is quite sweet, and the flowers have been described as "light but earthy" in flavor. Both fruit and flowers are highly regarded for antiviral and immune stimulating effects.
Anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal, expectorant, sudorific (sweat-inducing), and antispasmodic properties come to the fore in the flowers. Elder Flower infusions can be applied to skin eruptions such as acne or measles, and are valued for relieving chronic congestion, allergies, ear infections, and candidiasis. A 2010 study also suggested a role for Elder Flower in preventing or treating insulin resistance.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.