Common elder

(Sambucus nigra, fam. Caprifoliaceae)

The drug consists of dried white or white-yellow leaves of common elder, collected in bouquets with pleasant specific smell. Flowers are picked up when the herb blooms in May and June in nice and dry weather. Excessive blooming bouquets are not collected because it gives the drug unpleasant taste and dark color.

Common elder is popular with all peoples for treatment of respiratory diseases. It contains heterosides (sambunigroside – cyanogenic heteroside) that causes perspiration, flavonoid heteroside – rutoside, then tannins, essential oils, sugar and organic acids.

Common elder has diaphoretic effect when consumed as hot tea, causes increased sweating and detoxifies the organism. Sweating and detoxification reduce body temperature which is particularly significant when treating respiratory disease, especially cold and flu.

Common elder is used with combination of farfarae, marsh mallow and anise in order to discharge mucus easily, and its soothing effect particularly comes to the fore.

Common elder tea is popular against bronchitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis.

It is used in phytotherapy as remedy for increase of diuresis in disease of kidneys, bladder, urinary bladder (combined with parsley, juniper and anise).