Nature’s Medicine Chest

Better be careful of that one, she said, it’s a colonizer…

A colonizer? Let me explain. When I saw the label on the plant, I knew I had to have it. After all, I had been wishing to buy one or two of them for several years. The little suckers peeking up around the edges of the pot told me I had a healthy and vigorous plant.

Sambucus canadensis is an amazing little shrubby tree. It can grow to about 12 feet in height, with colonies spreading just as wide, in ideal condition. It likes a good marshy habitat but hates poor drainage. So remember that when you’re planting your colonists!

When we came home from the nursery, I began to look for more information on my Florida Elderberry. So much information abounds on this multi-useful plant! From the Floridata article:

Native Americans made much use of the American elder. They used the bark, flowers and fruits for medicines; they made cakes, puddings and breads from the berries; and they made nonalcoholic and alcoholic drinks from the berries. Elderberries have more vitamin C per unit weight than oranges or tomatoes. Young boys of not-too-long-ago knew that the pithy stems of American elder are easily whittled hollow to make blow guns and whistles. The berries are relished by no fewer that 50 kinds of birds.

If that doesn’t make you want to rush out and bring your own elderberry home, take a look at some of these other uses:

  • contains components to help combat sinus infections
  • combats/lessens flu symptoms inside of THREE days
  • potential uses for the fight against HIV
  • loosens congestion
  • helps stop diarrhea

other resources

Field Guide to Medicinal Wild Plants

Vitamin Stuff

If you get a chance, these are all great resources. If you can only check one, look at the third one. Great information!

4 thoughts on “Nature’s Medicine Chest

  1. Hi Becca~~ Last year, in a weak moment, I succumbed to the temptation to buy Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace.’ I don’t think it will produce berries but the dark leaves and pink flowers… yummy.

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