It is native to North America and grows to approximately ten feet.
European trees are different in that they grow taller to 25 feet.
These trees have been used for several years to help with a variety of health problems.
Recently, studies have proven Elderberry to be beneficial in promoting our immune system and even fighting the flu.
Sambucus nigra or Black Elderberry is the most common type of Elderberry used for medicinal purposes.
Elderberry is also used for food.
The flowers of the tree are used by many to make syrup, especially in Europe.
This syrup is used in pancake mixes and toppings.
It is also used in desserts such as pie or tarts.
It is even diluted to make certain drinks.
Certain types of Elderberry can be toxic and should be avoided.
Even the Elderberry trees used for food have parts that can be toxic.
You should be careful not to consume Elderberries that are not ripe or have not been properly processed.
Certain parts of the tree such as the leaves, seeds and bark contain a chemical closely related to cyanide which can be extremely poisonous.
Unripe berries should also be avoided as they can be toxic.
The berries are fully ripe when they turn black.
When they are unripe they start out green and progress to the dark color.
Elderberries can be made into a paste to treat skin disorders and wounds.
Some use the flowers of Elderberry as a skin wash.
It is used to treat various skin disorders such as eczema or acne.
A liquid is also made from the flowers to be used as an effective eye wash.
When taken orally, it is known to help with congestion other respiratory disorders.
Elderberry is thought to decrease swelling of mucous membranes such as sinuses.
Certain studies have proven Elderberry to have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Elderberries contain flavonoids which are known to be powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants are effective at fighting free radicals which destroy DNA and healthy cells.
Elderberry contains more vitamin C than any other herb except for black currant and rosehips.
Studies have even shown Elderberry to be able to reduce the duration of the flu by three days.
Certain Elderberry extracts have proven to be effective in fighting the H1N1 virus in test tubes.
Other studies have also demonstrated it to be able to stimulate the immune system.
It is thought to increase human cytokine production which can help the immune system.
It is thought to have properties that may be helpful in fighting AIDS and cancer.