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Video: Black Elderberry Is An Ornamental Shrub And An Excellent Healer
Sambucus nigra in your garden
There are species in the plant world that will decorate our garden, feed us, and heal. I want to tell you about the black elderberry, which is still unusual for the gardens of the North-West of Russia.
I brought clusters of black berries from the Ukrainian steppe, and then planted them in my garden in the fall, more than twenty years ago. And since then, the elderberry is always there. The seeds from the planted brushes sprouted very quickly and densely, the seedlings had to be thinned out.
Over the summer, the stems of black elderberry grew up to one and a half meters and formed dense thickets. Gradually, we planted this shrub in other areas.
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On fertile and cultivated soils, especially in sunny places, elderberry grows quickly, bears fruit abundantly annually. And most importantly, the stems do not freeze in winter. Elderberry grows well in moderately humid places. A dense hedge is formed from its thickets, separately growing bushes or formed trees decorate the landscape of the garden. My neighbors also sometimes have a black elderberry, apparently carried by birds, but, unfortunately, rare people notice the beauty of this plant and have absolutely no idea about its usefulness.
If it were possible to order to distribute black elderberry everywhere, I would do it without delay. In our pharmacies you can buy black elderberry flowers. They are fragrant, soothe coughs and treat colds. And what else is useful in elderberry? It turns out everything: roots, bark, stems, leaves, flowers and berries. From my distant childhood, I remember the thickets of another species of elderberry - red. Her parents called her "sambuca". She grew in weedy places, along the borders of vegetable gardens. And only the birds ate the fruits of this elder in autumn. We, of course, did not know the botanical name of this plant, but we loved to play under the sambuca bushes.
The Latin name for the black elderberry is Sambucus nigra. It belongs to the honeysuckle family. Grows in gardens and parks in Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasus, southern Siberia. I met black elderberry trees in the Crimea and in Moldova. Its height sometimes reaches 6 meters, but more often it is found in the form of a bush.
Red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) is ubiquitous in the Non-Black Earth Zone: in forests, parks, ravines, in weedy places. Blooms in May-June. Recently, on the streets of Minsk, I saw a red elderberry with huge tassels and very large berries, and this was already in July. These are varietal forms that adorn the surrounding landscape. In scientific and folk medicine, red elderberry is practically not used, since it is little studied.
When we were resting in the summer with friends near Luhansk, they showed black elderberries and advised us to rub the bites from mosquitoes and horseflies with crushed black berries. We tried it - it turned out that the itching on the skin stops instantly, the wound heals very quickly.
They also advised to gargle with them for sore throats and coughs and said that a decoction of elderberry leaves and stems heals any wounds. All these recommendations have already been tested many times in our life. They were confirmed. Therefore, we dry flowers, leaves and berries every year, and also freeze black elderberries. You can cook pure jam from berries, and even better - with apples, red and black mountain ash. You can even make wine.
Black elderberry stems are erect, bark is light gray with longitudinal cracks. The wood is yellowish-white with a brownish spot, bends well, it is used for crafts.
Once, at the end of December, a friend of mine told me that her husband was tormented by non-healing trophic ulcers on his legs. Having passed through the snowdrifts, I broke small twigs of black elderberry and advised me to make a decoction of them, which I would then use in warm form for baths. It took several times to steam my legs for the wounds to heal. In Ukraine, I was told that the entire black elderberry plant contains some kind of substance that promotes the formation of skin epithelium. There is especially a lot of this substance in berries and leaves. This is sambunigrin glucoside.
After heavy operations on my hands, it was the decoctions of leaves and black elderberry flowers that helped relieve pain and swelling. The wounds were healed just before our eyes. And when the art of surgeons and black elderberry is combined, the result of wound healing is amazing.
Black elderberry does not require special care. Young plants are usually lush, flowering, but with age (more than 25 years) the leaves become smaller, blooms are not very abundant, so it should be cut and shaped. Black elderberry leaves are large, opposite, unpaired pinnate, consisting of five leaves. The flowers are white or yellowish, odorous and resemble the smell of rowan with an admixture of honey and viburnum. The inflorescence is flat, umbellate, 12-20 cm in diameter, black elderberry blooms later than red - from mid-June to mid-July.
In cool summer, flowering is longer. She is a good honey plant. In late August - September, elderberry ripens. Fruits are black-purple, berry-like with 3-4 flat, oblong, cross-wrinkled seeds, the flesh is dark red. Its fruits are edible. They have a laxative effect, since they contain glucoside, which, when broken down, gives hydrocyanic acid, it is absent in mature fruits. The chemical composition of the fruits includes sugars (glucose and fructose), tannins and salibucin, amino acids, vitamins C, E, carotene.
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Black elderberry inflorescences hang on bare bushes sometimes until mid-winter. The fruits are easily separated from the inflorescences. They can be dried, frozen, squeezed out, made wine, jelly, jam, jelly and syrup.
In any form, the berries color the workpiece in a maroon, raspberry color. It works well with vinegar, similar to grape. But we often use black elderberry as a medicinal plant. The flowers of black elderberry contain nitroglucoside, valeric and acetic acids, a mucous substance, a solid essential oil (0.027%;) terpene and a paraffin-like substance. They are used as a diaphoretic, for colds, added to tea, used in the production of liqueurs and champagne, which gives the wine produced a nutmeg aroma and taste.
The bark infusion has diaphoretic and diuretic and laxative properties. And we were convinced of the external wound healing effect of the decoction of black elderberry stems. The leaves of black elderberry contain hydrocyanic acid (up to 10 mg of it is obtained from 100 g of leaves), as well as sambunigrin glucoside. This glycoside is retained in dry leaves as well.
Several warm baths from the decoction of the leaves will help heal even difficult-to-heal wounds. This has been verified many times. When working in the garden, the skin of the hands is often damaged (pricks, calluses, cuts, insect bites, etc.). For emergency assistance, I use elderberry flowers, its leaves, fruits. Flowers and leaves can be simply chewed in your mouth, kneaded, rinsed with boiling water and rubbed into the wound, bandaged with this gruel and immediately forget about the pain.
Elderberry helps with blows, diaper rash, sprains. It is necessary to prepare broths, preferably thick ones, and hold the injured arm or leg for up to 30 minutes in a decoction of berries, leaves, stems. The best healing comes from compresses and berry baths. With crushed fresh ripe berries, we heal any wounds, bites, as well as the mucous surface of the oral cavity. The effect is instant! But the decoction of the leaves is only good externally. We use black elderberry, steamed in a tub, together with a broom for a bath procedure. 2-3 twigs with leaves and fruits are enough to get a healing infusion in which it is good to wash your head and body.
Now in magazines published for gardeners there are tips on using black elderberry to scare off rats, mice and insect pests: moth, moth. Branches with leaves and flowers should be placed in bushes of currants, gooseberries, you can stick them directly into the beds among berries and vegetables. They can still take root. I once tried to scare away rodents in the cellar. She put green stems with leaves in boxes with potatoes in autumn. But the mice ignored our deterrent and conscientiously chewed on both the potatoes and elderberry leaves. For some reason, the remedy did not work.
Being for many years next to this wonderful plant, I often observe how earthen rats sit in elderberry bushes, clean their faces and are not afraid not only of our elderberry, but even of cats. But all the same, she has more positive properties. And I am always glad if it grows somewhere in the garden or near the fence. We grow the sprout, transplant it to a suitable place, and then give it to friends. Recently I read another recipe for using it to treat myopia.
It is recommended to lay ripe berries with sugar in layers in a three-liter jar. Let it brew in the sun for three days, and then take 1 teaspoon three times a day 15 minutes before meals. The course of treatment is 1-2 months. Such a course of treatment is carried out prophylactically 1-2 times a year. I will definitely try this recommendation and I think that it will cure not only myopia, but also the gastrointestinal tract and joints.
Black elderberry in spring and summer is affected by black aphids, especially at the ends of young twigs and under the inflorescence. I treat these pests with a solution of karbofos, dry ash and its infusion, as well as a decoction of green weeds. Everything helps. As the black elderberry ages, lichens settle on its trunks. We process all trees and shrubs with a solution of ferrous sulfate. After three workings with a 1% solution in the fall, the lichens dry up and crumble.
Here's an ode to the black elderberry. She is shade-tolerant, moderately demanding on soil fertility. It tolerates drought well, but less hardy than red elderberry. The ends of annual shoots freeze slightly, but quickly recover in spring and summer. Black elderberry grows quickly after pruning, gives a lot of greens and berries. Black elderberry is propagated by seeds, branches, green and lignified cuttings. Seeds are sown in autumn or spring, but when sowing in spring, they should be stratified within two months.
Black elderberry is also used as a decorative culture. There are varieties with large berries, even yellow, with golden and burgundy leaves, with a border around the edges of the leaves and red berries. These varieties are common in the gardens of Western Europe and are less hardy than black elderberry. In North America, Canadian elderberry is grown with very large and tasty fruits. But here it has not yet been introduced into culture. The plant world is huge and amazing. He makes us happy and saves. Grow black elderberry, red elderberry. I think that from them you can create beautiful compositions in the garden, feed the birds, scare away rodents and maintain your health in simple ways.