The Many Uses of Elder

Lone Black Elder Tree in Derbyshire
It’s that time of year again. Kids are back in school, immune systems may be down and germs are spreading like crazy. I have a few stand-by herbs that I always turn to when I’m feeling sick or have been around sick people. Echinacea is my favorite herb to use when I feel a cold coming on but elder is a close second.
Elder is a short shrubby tree. It ranges from about 5 to 12 feet. The stems have small wart like bumps, with a slight purple tinge. The larger branches are smooth. The leaves have tiny ridges all the way around. The tiny creamy white flowers grow in large clutters and bloom from June to July depending on where you live. The blooms turn into small purplish/black berries. The elder likes moister climates but I’ve seen it thrive in droughts and drier climates as well.

Elder is an amazing herb with many different uses. Each part actually has a different purpose. In the Middle Ages people used and revered every part of the plant. Now the most common part used is the berry. Flowers and leaves may be used as well. 

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This post is part of Teach Me Tuesday, 

About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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