With elderberry being selected as the International Herb Association’s 2013 “Herb of the Year,” now is the perfect time to explore the many uses this fragrant and flavorful herb brings with it to the garden, kitchen and medicine cabinet. Easy-to-grow elderberry shrubs (Sambucus nigra and S. canadensis) are large perennials that will tolerate most growing conditions. Best of all, this colorful berry has long been revered for its ability to enrich the flavor of numerous beverages and foods (elderberries are divine in recipes from pie to wine), as well as its medicinal virtues. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, elderberries are most effective at boosting the immune system and warding off flu.
Elderberry Benefits: Recipes, Growing and More
Below we feature some of our best elderberry articles throughout the years. Learn how to grow this beautiful shrub at home; enjoy its sweet flavors in homemade wines, jellies, pies; and harness the medicinal properties of a cold-and-flu-season favorite.
The creamy flower clusters of elders punctuate early-summer landscapes throughout North America. Any flowers left to mature will develop into berries.
Incorporate elderberry, a popular plant among old-fashioned fruit gardens, into our delicious wine, pie, fritter and jelly recipes.
The entire elder plant has sustained generations as a powerful healing plant. Learn the medicinal basics of this flavorful herb.
Elderberry Recipes: Pie, Syrup and More
Savor the flavors of elder—this plant makes some of the best foods you’ll ever taste. Use its delicate, edible flowers in our breakfast favorite Elderflower Pancakes; infuse its blossoms in our Elderflower Syrup for a light summer sweetener; and bake its berries for a berry-rich treat like our Elderberry Pie.
These pancakes make a delectable light lunch or dinner. If you have an abundant supply of elderflowers, make a double batch and freeze the extras.
For a delicious elixir any time of the year, pour several spoonfuls of this elderflower syrup (to taste) into a tall glass and fill with sparkling water.
When baking this delicious summer dessert, add fresh elderberries to the top of your pie filling for even more delicious berry flavor.
More Elderberry Benefits
+ Prevent Illness: Elderberry-Rose Hips Tea
Both elderberry and rose hips are highly regarded for their health-promoting properties which makes them great partners in this healing brew. Enjoy this tea in warm or cold weather.
+ Prevent Illness: Elderberry-Ginger Tea
Drink this tonic to prevent disease or to help you recover more quickly from illness. Enjoy this tea in warm or cold weather.
+ Apothecary Staple: Elderberry Shrub with Honey
Elderberry “shrubs,” generally poured over ice or served with a bit of sparkling water, are a wonderful remedy for congestion and sore throat, and make an excellent tonic for the body.
+ Popular Immune-Boosting Herbs
Elderberry, a popular cold-fighter, is just one of the natural remedies you should stock in your immunity arsenal. Uncover a few more standout medicinal herbs.
+ Elder Taxonomy
If taxonomy is your thing, then check out this article. It identifies the differences between Sambucus nigra and Sambucus canadensis.
+ Suds Up Your Harvest
Elderberry blossoms can help soften up age lines. Use its creamy petals in our recipe for a natural, deliciously scented soap.
+ The Scary Herbs of Halloween
Did you know that the plant with the strongest ties to Halloween was the elderberry plant? Learn why elderberry is associated with the Germanic goddess Holle, and uncover more “scary herbs of Halloween.”
Homemade Ginger Tincture Recipe
Use this recipe to preserve ginger by making an extract you can use in a heart-opening elixir.
Herb to Know: Valerian
Try this soothing herb for sweeter sleep.
The Effects of Nature on Mental and Physical Health
Science is proving that time spent outdoors can have a calming, rejuvenating effect on your mental and physical health.