Publié par happy-diet mercredi 17 mars 2010




The elderberry is a shrub widespread in Europe (it supports cold as heat, humidity, such as drought), it can reach 4 to 5 meters but usually much less because its branches to the spinal white abundant, are brittle.

Leaves opposite, very large, consist of 5 to 7 leaflets oval, they emit a pungent, unpleasant for some, when they were crushed.

This shrub, full sun, common in hedgerows and roadsides near rivers blooms in spring, between May and July depending on latitude, the inflorescences umbels of up to 25 cm in diameter, consist of small yellowish-white flowers pleasantly scented.

Flowers (hermaphrodite in 5 parts) give the latest fruit hanging in clusters, the berries are shiny black when ripe, containing several seeds flattened in a very watery flesh colored, red-purple. Frugivorous birds provide the dispersion of elderberries.

There are many other species of Sambucus in the world, many are very near the black elderberry and considered by botanists as sub-species, most varieties. Thus Sambucus canadensis is widespread in North America from Canada to Mexico, Sambucus peruviana in South America, Sambucus mexicana in Central America, all three have black fruit maturity.

Sambucus nigra has been introduced in many countries (including tropical) where it coexists with native species.

Other species with red fruits have medicinal properties of various black elders and are grouped around the species Sambucus racemosa (flower-pyramidal panicles and fruits dark red).

Finally it is common to find in Europe or the small Hieble elderberry, Sambucus ebulus. It is an annual plant with perennial root, reaching 1 to 1.5 m, strong smelling, adjacent to the inflorescence of elderberry (but sometimes a little pink or red) and fruit also similar to those of elderberry but cluster-umbels erect, not pendulous.


All parts of the elderberry (but to a lesser extent flowers) contain cyanogenic glycosides (cyanogen), which can release after uptake by an enzymatic process of toxic hydrocyanic acid.
These compounds are unstable and are destroyed by heat.
Human poisonings are rare because the parts of the elderberry containing them are bitter (except fruit) which is not conducive to swallow, and the body can detoxify fast enough small quantities of cyanide.
The leaves, stems, bark, roots and seeds are the parts that contain most of cyanogenic compounds, they are emetic and purgative by toxic effects.

The flowers contain: soothing mucilage, a little tannin, flavonoids, phenolic acids (chlorogenic, caffeic, ferulic ..) of potassium nitrate and a little essential oil solid at room temperature.
Fruit: simple sugars and organic acids (citric, malic), flavonoids including anthocyanosides (pigments and Cyanidol pélargonidol) and other pharmacologically interesting components (catechin, quercetin, kaempferol, apigenin, hespéritine, luteolin), the triterpene acids, vitamins (C, B2, A, folic acid).

The flowers are traditionally used as a diaphoretic (increases sweating) and diuretic. Fleurentin and his colleagues have shown that elderberry flower was even one of the best diuretics Pharmacopoeia, above java tea (Orthosiphon). The infusion (aqueous extract) is a diuretic but against the hydro-alcoholic extract (tincture to 15 °) is not. A good example of the importance of solvent in the preparation of plant extracts.
The mucilaginous decoction of flowers of elderberry is especially soothing application on inflamed area

The inner bark (green) is also a diuretic classical in its content of potassium nitrate, but we prefer flowers (non-toxic in normal doses)

Fresh fruits are edible, they provide some vitamin C, but they are laxative effect by toxic when they exceed a certain amount (varies with individuals and elder himself).
Once detoxified and cooked fruits are an attractive source of polyphenols (phenolic acids, flavonols, anthocyanosides). The content of fruit juice elderberry antioxidants in these components is higher than blueberries, and similar to that of grape color.
The bioavailability of pigments anthocyanidol is good, they are absorbed in the intestine in maintaining their antioxidant capacity. The pigments anthocyanosides is found in the blood and are excreted in the urine approximately 4 to 6 hours after eating.

One of the most interesting properties of the fruits of elderberry is its antiviral.
The elderberry is a plant traditionally used since the Middle Ages to fight infections upper respiratory tract, the "cold".
Quite recently, Israeli researchers have clearly demonstrated the ability of extracts of fruits and flowers of elderberry to shorten several days of influenza infection.
The antiviral substances are not clearly defined but it is assumed that the extracts of Elderberry act on the hemagglutinin of influenza virus, thereby preventing its adhesion to cells of the respiratory mucosa. This slows viral infection and it can be assumed that this can possibly prevent the flu.
The researchers who developed this elderberry extract (Sambucol) thinks he is active in all influenza virus type A (most dangerous), including AH5N1 and AH1N1.

Tests in vitro have also been made to test the extract (Sambucol) on herpes virus (successfully) and the AIDS virus (HIV).


Infusion: (10 to 15 minutes), 3 to 4 g of dried flowers in a bowl of hot water, three times a day or a small handful of dried flowers in a quart of very hot water to drink during the day .
This infusion provokes an attack of sweating, but it is also diuretic

* In case of seasonal viral respiratory infections (including influenza), bronchitis, fevers, eruptive
* In case of fluid retention requiring an increase in diuresis, urinary tract infection or mild cases of urinary stones, but only on medical advice (because of the risk of renal colic)

Decoction (boiling 10 minutes and 10 minutes infusion) a large handful of dried flowers in one liter of water: once under lukewarm compresses on the inflamed or irritated skin, the skin dry.

Fruits: fruit syrup (equal weight of mature fruit and sugar, boil 15 minutes and filtered to remove the seeds), elderberry rob (one part sugar and 4 parts fruit, boil, filter and boil slowly until get a liquid consistency of honey). Syrup or rob to eat pure (one teaspoonful 2 to 3 times daily) or diluted in a glass of cold water or hot.

* In cases of viral infection or seasonal influenza to shorten their development or to try to prevent outbreak
* These fruit extracts are slightly purgative laxatives see if increasing the dose or in some people more susceptible

We can also make an alcoholic tincture of fruit, or fruit and flowers, concentrated to 1 / 5: 30 to 50 drops 1 to 3 times per day

There in pharmacies (but not in all countries) extracts of Elderberry (flower or fruit) at various concentrations (such as "Sambucol" for example) refer to the manufacturer's dosage.

These extracts and formulations described above are interesting beyond the prevention of viral infections:

* To strengthen the immune defense in combination with other plants with similar properties such as echinacea
* In case of chronic inflammatory diseases
* For the antioxidant - anti-radical

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