Elderberry (Jie Gu Mu)
Botanical Name: Sambucus (Sambucus nigra)
Elderberry has a long and distinguished history in Europe and the West as a medicine, beverage and for protecting against evil spirits.
Below is an overview of elderberry, combining and interpreting the best of Western science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), shamanism, folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of elderberry.
Western Name: Elderberry
Also Known As: Elder, Elder Mother
Organs/Systems: Lung, Immunity
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Antioxidant, lowers cholesterol, boosts immunity, for coughs, flu and infections (bacterial and viral). Mildly Laxative, Diuretic and Diaphoretic. Boosts production of cyktokines (the protein messengers that help regulate immune response).
Pin Yin: Jie Gu Mu
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Lung, Kidneys, Bladder
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Release Exterior/Clear Heat: cause sweating. Resolve Damp: phlegm, headaches, colds, flu, sore throat, tonsillitis. Tonify Lungs/Expel Phlegm: bronchial asthma, TB, pneumonia. Promote Urination/Resolve Swellings: edema, urinary stones, arteriosclerosis, swollen lymph. Clear Heat/Reduce Inflammation: urinary tract infections (UTI’s), sore throat, eye infections, skin eruptions. Promote lactation.
Flavors: Sweet, Warming.
Caution: None noted.
History/Folklore: Used for hundreds of years to ward off evil and protect against witches. You will be cursed if you cut or burn down the “elder mother” as she would be released and take her revenge on you. St Germaine French liquor is made from elderberries as is Swedish aquavit. Antathocyanins found in elderberries possesses more antioxidant capacity than either vitamin E or C.
Bioflavonoids, organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, sugar, rutin, vitamin A and B, and large amounts of vitamin C.
Elderberry was used to make Harry Potter’s wand.
Very valuable as a bird food.
Used By Watchmakers
The pith of elder is used by watchmakers for cleaning tools before starting intricate work.
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