We’ve been giving away cuttings for the American elderberry plant ever since a bird was generous enough to share the seeds at the farm. The more we learned, the more we became intrigued. It’s a lot like neem only easier to grow in the U.S. and Europe. Its documented use doesn’t go as far back as neem, but it does date to 400 BC when Hippocrates called elderberry his “medicine chest.”
Another critical difference is that elderberry leaves, roots and stems are all toxic and should never be eaten. The flowers and ripe fruit are safe, but most scientists recommend that the fruit is cooked before it’s eaten. And while it’s widely used around the world, there are far fewer clinical reports on elderberry than those published on neem.
Still, it’s been a mainstay of European herbal medicine and so widely used that it’s carried in grocery stores. That’s particularly true during this pandemic. Many of the clinical reports on elderberry highlight its immune-boosting, anti-viral and protection against acute respiratory viral infection.*
Most reports, however, are more anecdotal than clinical, although it’s clear that they are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system.
Other reported uses include:
- Heart protective
- Joint and muscle pain
- Kidney problems
- Minor skin conditions
- HIV and AIDS
*This statement has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Neem Tree Farms does not sell products that are intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or control any disease.