Elderberry - Handbook of Medicinal Herbs

ELDERBERRY (Sambucus canadensis L.) +++

Activities (Elderberry) — Alterative (f; CRC); Analgesic (f; CRC); Antiinflammatory (1; JNU); Antipyretic (f; CRC); Antiseptic (1; DEM; FNF); Antiviral (1; JNU; WAM); Aperient (f; CRC); Bronchostimulant (PIP); Carminative (f; CRC; FAD); Cyanogenic (f; CRC); Depurative (f; CRC; DEM); Diaphoretic (1; CRC; FAD; PIP; WAM); Diuretic (f; CRC; FAD); Emetic (f; CRC; FAD); Hemostat (f; FAD); Hydragogue (f; CRC); Intoxicant (f; CRC); 268 Handbook of Medicinal Herbs E Laxative (f; CRC; DEM; FAD); Poison (f; CRC); Secretagogue (f; FEL); Sedative (f; CEB); Stimulant (f; CRC; FAD); Vulnerary (f; CRC)

Indications (Elderberry) — Abrasion (f; CRC); Ague (f; CEB); Asthma (f; CRC); Bleeding (f; FAD); Boil (f; DEM; FAD); Bronchosis (f; CRC); Bruise (f; CRC; FAD); Burn (f; CEB; CRC; FEL); Cancer (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, breast (f; JLH); Cardiopathy (1; JNU); Catarrh (f; FEL); Chafing (f; CRC); Childbirth (f; CEB; CRC); Chill (f; CEB); Cold (1; CRC; FAD; WAM); Colic (f; CEB; DEM); Constipation (f; CRC; DEM; FAD); Cough (f; CRC); Dermatosis (f; CEB; FAD; FEL); Diphtheria (f; DEM); Dropsy (f; CRC; DEM; FEL); Dyspepsia (f; CRC); Eczema (f; FAD; FEL); Edema (f; FEL); Epilepsy (f; CRC); Erysipelas (f; CEB; FEL); Exanthema (f; FEL); Fever (1; CRC; DEM; FAD; PIP; WAM); Flu (1; JAD; JNU; WAM); Gas (f; CRC; FAD); Gastrosis (f; DEM); Gonorrhea (f; DEM); Gout (f; CRC); Headache (f; CRC; DEM); Hepatosis (f; CEB; DEM); Herpes (1; JNU); Induration (f; JLH); Infection (f; DEM); Inflammation (1; CEB; JNU); Insomnia (f; CEB); Mastosis (f; DEM; JLH); Measles (f; DEM); Migraine (f; CEB); Myalgia (f; CEB); Nervousness (f; CEB); Neuralgia (f; CEB; CRC); Neurosis (f; DEM); Pain (f; CEB; CRC; DEM); Psoriasis (f; CRC); Rheumatism (f; CEB; CRC; FEL); Rhinosis (f; FEL); Scarlatina (f; FEL); Scrofula (f; FEL); Sore (f; CEB; CRC; FAD); Sore Throat (f; CRC); Sprain (f; CRC); Stomachache (f; DEM); Stress (1; JNU); Stroke (1; JNU); Swelling (f; CRC; DEM); Syphilis (f; CRC; FEL); Toothache (f; CEB; CRC); VD (f; DEM; FEL); Virus (1; JNU; WAM); Water Retention (f; CRC; FAD); Wound (f; DEM; FAD).

Dosages (Elderberry) — 2–10 g dry fruit; 2–3 (485 mg) capsules 2–3 ×/day; 1 (485 mg) StX capsule 3 ×/day; 10–15 g flower (PIP); 2–4 g dry flower PNC.

Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Elderberry) — Class 1 (AHP). Parts of the plant may contain dangerous levels of HCN. Several cases of severe poisoning from several glasses of juice involved dizziness, nausea, numbness, stupor, vomiting, and weakness (LRNP, July 1992). Seeds somewhat toxic (WAM). Eat raw berries sparingly, or cook to reduce HCN content (WAM). Don’t eat red elderberries (WAM)


  • Duke, J. A. 2002. Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, 2nd Ed. (2002). CRC Press, ISBN 0-8493-1284-1
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