Sambucus – Erakina
Elder is a Sambucus species that is referred to as elder or elderberry. The plant grows as either a shrub or a tree and is genetically and morphologically similar to Adoxa.
Kingdom – Plantae
Clades – Tracheophytes
Clade – Angiosperms
Family – Adoxaceae
It comes from a toxic elder plant which is a genus of flowering plant with fragrant flowers in early summer by small black fruits. Both flowers and berries can be used if properly prepared and the leaves, sticks, roots should be avoided. The species and common names are identified on the basis of the region these plants are found . The foliage is attractive to eyes with Green and dark, almost black varieties and some having extremely finely cut and extremely decorative leaves.This plant thrives in cultivated land having compost soil as well as wild areas and blooms in clusters.The plant is found all over the world and commonly seen in the Northern hemisphere.
A few elder species that are found are:
- Sambucus nigra – Black Elder/European elder/Elderberry
- Sambucus mexicana – Mexican Elder
- Sambucus racemosa – European Red Elder
- Sambucus australasica – Yellow Elder
- Sambucus adnata – Asian Dwarf Elder
These plants are sweet in nectar and attract pollinators while birds eat the berries.elder These plants are used as traditional medicine in different parts of the world. It has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, laxative as well as antiviral and antibacterial properties. The most common uses are for colds, flu, sinus infections and other disturbances. Thus it reduces allergies, boosts the immune system, reduces pain in joints due to arthritis and can be used for mouth gargles . It is also effective in killing pathogens like Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus bacteria. The flower of the elder plant also contains bioflavonoids, flavones and flavonols commonly known for antioxidant properties.
This plant can be cooked and dried up to make drink for consumption but the root stems are poisonous which add cyanide in the body. These are consumed as supplements with other herbs like in tea bags, tinctures, pills and capsules.