Paper assignment byTanja Sesum - 12 Windows of Plant Study

Introduction or personal story behind the choice of the sambucus nigra as a plant for this plant study

My entire childhood I spent in the house with a back yard of 3 acres in a small town in southern Serbia. Ever since I can remember in that same yard, which was my first place of discovery and learning about the world, grows a bush of elder (sambucus nigra). At the time of its flowering shade that the bush was casting was my favorite place to build a princess`s castle, later in my teens I like to have a picnics with my friends in its shade.  Also, since I can remember my mother was making juice from the flowers of  elder and for a long time that flavor was my favorite juice throughout the year. Today I live in an apartment on the six floor of the high skyscraper in the big city (about 2 million inhabitants) but whenever I see or smell the odor of elder in my mind I go automatically back to those carefree times of my childhood. For a long time elder was one of my favorite plants, because of all this memories attached to this plant, Probably most people who have had a chance to grow up in close touch with nature have memories from childhood attachment to a certain flower and its scent. But what is particularly interesting is that the attachment to the elder continues through the generations to the generation of my daughter. Although, unfortunately, she is not able to enjoy the back yard and everything it offers, she has a special relationship with elder plant. I think that happened because I had during pregnancy, 2 unusual cravings when it comes to food. One of them was craving for cherry fruit and the second one the craving for elder juice. Whenever I was upset about something elder juice calmed me down and even regardless of this throughout the pregnancy, I drank it in large quantities. I also gave the juice to my daughter while she was growing, as a substitute for the  industrial juices. Probably because of this it is her favorite drink now (she is now 14 years old). Although she often goes over the summer holidays to visit her grandma, a few years ago she was there for the first time at the time of flowering of the elder and she helped her grandmother, my mother, in making our precious supplies of juice for a full year. She liked it so much that she insisted next year to be informed when my mother is going to do that again, so she could be able to come and assist her in making the juice. Since then, making juice from the elder became our family tradition, which has absolute priority over whatever any of us is doing in that time of year. This is a special time for us, when three female generations of our family gather together in the joint work that connects us with special threads of memory. This is what Patricia called during the seminar a special time, sacred time.
That's why I chose to present the elder plant (sambucus nigra) for twelve windows of Plant perception in this paper assignment.

 1. Form and Gesture

The elder is a fragile, small tree (4–6 m, rarely to 10 m tall), often growing as a bush. It is a strange ‘tree’ of many contrasts. The elder is not quite large enough to be classed as a tree, but is too large for a bush. The heartwood is extremely hard, yet the branches are weak and barely able to support themselves. Its hollow stems tend to fracture unless it grows in a very sheltered spot. The large shrub or small tree has often multiple stems that are spreading or arching. The trunk is usually short. Bark is smooth and brown becoming furrowed and rough with age.


Flowers are small, white, borne in dense, flat-topped clusters, up to 8 inches across. Appearing June to July.  Flowers are pollinated by flies. When it comes to the contrasts about leafs and flowers the leaves give off an unpleasant pungent smell, similar to the smell of mice nests, as the alternative name "God-s stinking tree" attests. But the smell of the flowers is divine and intensive.


Leafs are arranged in opposite pairs, 10–30 cm long, pinnate with five to seven (rarely nine) leaflets, the leaflets 5–12 cm long and 3–5 cm broad,opposite, pinnately compound, with 5 to 11 elliptical, serrate leaflets. Leaves are 4 to 11 inches long. The bottom leaflets are often 3-lobed with a serrated margin.


Fruit is small, berrylike drupe, purple-black, and very juicy, up to 1/4 inch in diameter, borne in flat-topped clusters. Maturing in July to September.
Twig is stout, yellow-gray with obvious, warty lenticles. The pith is white, large and continuous. Buds are very small, red-brown and pointed. The terminal buds are mostly lacking.

Sambucus nigra's range is whole Europe, including Britain, from Scandinavia south and east to North Africa and West Asia.

So the gesture and form are telling us that this plant is about contradiction, inner contradiction. Or it could be said that there is more to it then what seems at the first glance. Some kind of inner ambivalence is the marking characteristics of sambucus nigra, judging by it's form and gesture.

  1. Orientation in Space, Geometric Relationships

When we look at the orientation in space of sambucus nigra we can see that it does not have the individualized qualities like sunflower family because it grows in bushes. So it's orientation in space is more horizontal then vertical. But at the same time it is not growing low on the soil as if embracing the earth like violet or heather. So the conclusion is: it's orientation in space tell us that there should be themes concerning the social issues and the relationship between individual and the social group or groups.

Another aspect of spatial relationship is the geometric structure of the plant, in particular the flower. Flowers of the sambucus nigra are in the shape of star. Star forms radiate outward, with well-defined symmetry and geometry. As a whole they are more "cosmic" in orientation. Generally speaking, star forms in flowers uplift the consciousness, bestowing light, harmony and synthesis. Most star forms speak to the spiritual and mental aspects of the soul life. In addition to that there is the beautiful, intensive smell of the flowers that are soul opening and uplifting, in this case the uplifting of the consciousness. Elders flowers are five-pointed stars, a signature of incarnation, like the rose family.

  1. Botanical Plant Family

Sambucus (elder or elderberry) is a genus of between 20 and 30 species of shrubs or small trees in the Moschatel family, Adoxaceae.

The Adoxaceae is a small family of flowering plants in the order Dipsacales and as now constituted comprising four genera and about 150-200 species. The Adoxaceae family is characterized by opposite toothed leaves, small five- or, more rarely, four-petalled flowers in cymose inflorescences, and the fruit being a drupe. They are thus similar to many Cornaceae.

Sambucus nigra was formerly placed in the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliacea, but was reclassified due to genetic evidence. Moschatel (Adoxa moschatellina) was the first plant to be moved to this new group. Much later the genera Sambucus (elders) and Viburnum were added after careful morphological analysis of biochemical test. An additional monotypic genus Sinadoxa has been added based on molecular comparison with Adoxa.

In the Sambucus genera there are about 20 to 30 species, mainly shrubs and small trees. Common species of elders include the European, or black elder (S. nigra), which reaches 9 m (29 feet), and the blue, or Mexican, elder (S. caerulea), which grows to 15 m (48 feet). Also, European red elder (S. racemosa), native from northern Europe to North China, has round clusters of scarlet berries and reaches 4 m (13 feet). Red-berried elder (S. pubens), with dark pith, is a similar North American species. Danewort (S. ebulus), widespread in Europe and North Africa, is a perennial with annually herbaceous growth to 1 m (3 feet).

  1. Orientation in Time: Daily and Seasonal Cycles

Sambucus nigra is a perennial shrub and it usually flowers in its third or fourth year, rarely in its second. Sambucus nigra can reach age of >25 years. Flowering is generally in June and July. The flowering season only lasts for about three weeks in June, or early in July. So we can say that it flowers early in summer. When it flowers it is neutral concerning the daily cycles.

  1. Relationship to the Environment

Sambucus nigra is a very easily grown plant, which tolerates most soils and situations. Habitats are hedgerows, scrub, woods, roadsides, waste places etc, especially on disturbed base-rich and nitrogen rich soils.

  1. nigra has a low shade tolerance, but its response to light is rather high, therefore it is more often found in open areas or woodland edges. The species is less common in forests, and it cannot survive under deep shade. In central Europe S. nigra is not a typical forest plant, because the most important habitat factors are high light availability. However, the species are capable of establishing under a closed shrub canopy, possibly as a result of producing leafs earlier in the season than most tree and shrub species. It often occurs in woodland margins and abandoned farmyards and can reach age of >25 years

So, sambucus nigra is suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. But it prefers the nutrient-rich soils. Also it prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution. 

  1. nigra occurs mainly in anthropogenic habitats, e.g. urban areas, parks and gardens, near enclosures, farmsteads and in dunes. In cities it is found in rural places, unmanaged parks, for example in abandoned dumping-grounds, abandoned allotments, forest margins, railway verges and roadsides.

So we can suggest based on this data concerning sambucus nigra"s relationship to the environment that as a flower essence it will be connected with the light, because it needs high light availability, probably bringing light into the consciousness and mental activity of the person. Also that it is quite robust meaning that can bring the same quality to the persons as a flower essence. It grows mainly in anthropogenic habitats so it could be translated as an affinity to the social groups in the state of flower essence.

  1. Relationship to the Four Elements

Two elements that are predominantly evident in Sambucus nigra are the air and the fire.  The air element could be seen in the finely divided leaves and airy flowers. The symbolic meaning of the air element is expansiveness.

The fire element could be seen in their affinity to the light. It can not grow in the environment with not enough light availability and it prefers high light availability. The symbolic meaning of the fire element is transformation.

So when we combine its relationship to air and fire we can see that as a flower essence its themes should be about expansiveness and transformation. And they are. We can see the transformation of helplessness and exhaustion into the rejuvenation and renewal.  We can see the expansiveness of joy and exuberance, as well as connection with inner source of youthfulness.

  1. Relationship to the Other Kingdoms of Nature

Sambucus nigra has a special relationship with the animal kingdom, especially birds, bees and flies. Birds, bees and flies are the main dispersal agents of S. nigra seeds. Black elder berries were eaten by a greater number of species than other fruit, because of their abundance, early ripening and ease of plucking 

Human beings have had an impact on almost all of the Plant Kingdom, and we have developed plants for our needs for much of human history. Certain plants have flourished in a close co-creative relationship with the Human Kingdom, and this history must be considered to understand their properties. Sambucus nigra is one of those plants. For the human beings, s. nigra, has a wide range of uses. It is cultivated in many European countries for elderberry production. The fruits from S. nigra are used for making jellies, juice and also as dyes. The flowers are used for the preparation of drinks and medicines; elderberry-flower wine is very popular in England. Extracts from S. nigra are used in horticulture as a repellent  for insects, because of the unpleasant odor.  S.nigra shoots are put into the soil to scare off mice and moles. S. nigra is grown as an ornamental, recently being rare in cultivation. S. nigra has also been planted for erosion control.  It is not used as a timber due to its small dimensions. However, because of its whiteness, close grain, good cutting and polishing properties, the wood is suitable for making pegs and other small wooden items. The pith from one-year-old branches is used for making plant sections in microscopy.

The relationship with the human kingdom is also dominant through its medicinal purposes. The medicinal properties of the species are widely described. For example, dried fruits, flowers and cortex have been used as diaphoretic and diuretic medicines. Herbal tea from S. nigra flowers is used against fever and scarlatina. S. nigra bark and fruits are used in the treatment of respiratory problems.  Its leaves contain cyanogenic glycosides from which cyanide is released by enzymatic action. Although S. nigra is not generally considered poisonous, isolated cases of poisoning in animals and man have been reported after eating the bark, leaves, berries, roots and stems.

  1. Color

The color of the sambucus nigra flowers is predominantly white.

White color usually symbolizes purity and calmness. Also in the Western countries it symbolizes the youth and youthfulness. But on the East it is a symbol for death and sorrow. On funerals there people are wearing white. Also in some cultures white color symbolizes the color of the Gods. For example angels are shown in that color.

In the psychology people who choice the white color on the color tests want freedom and they show an emotional coldness. They need order and cleanliness and tend to reject everything dirty and dark. Also white color sometimes means that a person is ready to start a "new life", so it represents the new beginning. .

  1. Other Sense Perceptions: Fragrance, Texture, Taste

When it comes to the fragrance of the sambucus nigra we can say that it is beautiful. Strong and sweet and exuberant. Uplifting in a way. So it is consistent to the quality of the flower essence to uplift the vital energy of the persons, especially when the person is exhausted or feeling old.

When they are fresh the flowers of sambucus nigra have a slightly bitter taste and an odor scarcely pleasant. The pickled flowers, however, gradually acquire an agreeable fragrance and are therefore generally used for the preparation of Elder Flower Water. A similar change also takes place in the water distilled from the fresh flowers. According to some researches the leaves and stems are poisonous. The fruit of many species (although no records have been seen for this sambucus nigra) has been known to cause stomach upsets to some people. Any toxin the fruit might contain is liable to be of very low toxicity and is destroyed when the fruit is cooked.

The textures of sambucus nigra is like all shrubs. The leaves are soft and the texture of flowers is very delicate.

  1. Chemical Substances and Processes

Elderberry fruits are an excellent source of anthocyanins, vitamins A and C and a good source of calcium, iron and vitamin B6. They also contain sterols, tannins, and essential oils. Elderberry fruits contain tannins and viburnic acid, both known to have a positive effect on diarrhea, nasal congestion, and to improve respiration

The active principle of the bark is a soft resin, and an acid - Viburnic acid, which has been proved identical with Valeric acid. Other constituents are traces of a volatile oil, albumen, resin, fat, wax, chlorophyll, tannic acid, grape sugar, gum, extractive, starch, pectin and various alkaline and earthy salts. (According to an analysis by Kramer in 1881.)

The most important constituent of Elder Flowers is a trace of semisolid volatile oil, present to the extent only of 0.32, per cent, possessing the odor of the flowers in a high degree. It is obtained by distilling the fresh flowers with water, saturating the distillate with salt and shaking it with ether. On evaporating the ethereal solution, the oil is obtained as a yellowish, buttery mass. Without ether, fresh Elder flowers yield 0.037 per cent of the volatile oil and the dried flowers 0.0027 per cent only.

Elderberry medicinal potential comes from its antioxidant potential, a property shared by numerous phytochemicals. The human body is constantly under attack and uses free radicals to protect itself.  Such mechanism can however lead to cascade effects that can be detrimental to the cells and even lead to cancer.  Our body uses antioxidants from plant origins to neutralize harmful free radicals and elderberry total antioxidant capacity is one of the highest of all the small fruits. Elder had a much higher potential than cranberry and blueberry, two fruits praised for their high antioxidant capacity. Results from various sources have shown that elderberry is rich in polyphenols, particularly cyanidin 3-glucoside, an anthocyanin. 

It is difficult to understand why the production of product based on sambucus nigra is so low in Europe and North America considering proven health benefits from elderberry, since it is now demonstrated that anthocyanins are indeed absorbed and able to significantly increase plasma antioxidant capacity.  Once ingested, anthocyanins link themselves to free iron ions in the intestine.  When the amount of free iron is insufficient, anthocyanins will reach the blood stream where they will link to free iron radicals.  (An excellent article on chemical substances and processes of sambucus nigra could be found in the appendix 1 of the paper assigment. In case you want to read more about it).

In short, the most interesting chemical element of sambucus nigra are: antioxidants called flavonoids which stimulate the immune system, and anthocyanins which have an anti-inflammatory effect.

So we can see that the modern chemical analysis of the sambucus nigra is proving the medicinal properties that were the part of the folk wisdom, from the old time. And it is also showing in the healing effects of sambucus nigra as a flower essence. Its great antioxidant properties are seen in its effects to stimulate the body natural powers of regeneration and renewal. As well as it's ability to fight some condition as diarrhea, nasal congestion, flu and to improve respiration in persons.

  1. Medicinal and Herbal Uses

The flowers of sambucus nigra were used by our forefathers in bronchial and pulmonary affections, and in scarlet fever, measles and other eruptive diseases. An infusion of the dried flowers, Elder Flower Tea, is said to promote expectoration in pleurisy; it is gently laxative and aperient and is considered excellent for inducing free perspiration. It is a good old fashioned remedy for colds and throat trouble, taken hot on going to bed. An almost infallible cure for an attack of influenza in its first stage is a strong infusion of dried Elder Blossoms and Peppermint. Put a handful of each in a jug, pour over them a pint and a half of boiling water, allow to steep, on the stove, for half an hour then strain and sweeten and drink in bed as hot as possible. Heavy perspiration and refreshing sleep will follow, and the patient will wake up well on the way to recovery and the cold or influenza will probably be banished within thirty-six hours. Yarrow may also be added. Elder Flower Tea, cold, was also considered almost as good for inflammation of the eyes as the distilled Elder Flower Water. They are also considered beneficial for chronic rheumatism, neuralgia, and sciatica. As well as for weight loss. Tea made from Elder Flowers has also been recommended as a splendid spring medicine, to be taken every morning before breakfast for some weeks, being considered an excellent blood purifier. Externally, Elder Flowers are used in fomentations, to ease pain and abate inflammation. 'There is nothing more excellent to ease the pains of the hemorrhoids than a fomentation made of the flowers of the Elder and Verbusie, or Honeysuckle in water or milk for a short time. It eases the greatest pain.

In recent years, researchers have begun formal studies of Sambucol -- a formulation of elderberry extract - to better understand this herbal remedy.

A small study published five years ago showed that 93% of flu patients given Sambucol were completely symptom-free within two days; those taking a placebo recovered in about six days. However, the study took place during an outbreak of influenza B -- so it was unclear whether Sambucol worked with type A virus. But the most recent study done by Erling Thorn, in the University of Oslo in Norway shows the same extract also works for type A flu.
Elderberry extract could be an "efficient and safe treatment" for flu symptoms in otherwise healthy people and for those with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, Thomdds.

Elder Flowers are chiefly used in pharmacy in the fresh state for the distillation of Elder Flower Water. Elder Flower Water (Aqua Sambuci) is employed in mixing medicines and chiefly as a vehicle for eye and skin lotions. It is mildly astringent and a gentle stimulant is an official preparation of the British Pharmacopoeia.

A salad of young Elder buds, macerated a little in hot water and dressed with oil, vinegar and salt, has been used as a remedy against skin eruptions. Elder Vinegar made from the flowers is an old remedy for sore throat. Sambucus nigra is a very useful plant. Besides herbal and medicinal uses it can be used as a food. The creamy blossoms were beaten up in the batter of flannel cakes and muffins, to which they gave a more delicate texture. They were also boiled in gruel as a fever-drink, and were added to the posset of the Christening feast.

Sambucus nigra in homeopathy

One variation of the medicinal uses is the use of elder in homeopathy. As homeopathic remedy it acts especially on the respiratory organs, for example dry coryza of infants, snuffles, eodematous swellings. Profuse swear accompanies many affections.

On the mind level we can see constant fretfulness. They are easily freighted and fright is followed by suffocative attacks. There are a lot of respiratory symptoms, such as chest oppressed with pressure in stomach, and nausea, hoarseness with tenacious mucus in larynx. Paroxysmal, suffocative cough, coming on about midnight, with crying and dyspnœa. Spasmodic croup. Dry coryza. Sniffles of infants; nose dry and obstructed. Loose choking cough. When nursing child must let go of nipple, nose blocked up, cannot breathe. Child awakes suddenly, nearly suffocating, sits up, turns blue. Can not expire.

  1. Lore, Mythology, Folk Wisdom, Spiritual and Ritual Qualities

The name may come from the Anglo-Saxon term  "ellaern" or "aeld" which means "fire" or "to kindle a fire". This may have arisen from the practice of using the hollow stems of the elder as bellows to encourage fires. It was, however, extremely bad luck to burn elder wood; if this happened the Devil was said to appear, explaining another local name ‘Devil’s wood’. Conversely it was said to keep the Devil away if planted close to a house. (My mother’s belief for example). Some of these old superstitions linger today; many modern hedge-cutters refuse to attack an elder for fear of bad luck. The hollow branches are the origins of yet another (this time Scottish) name ‘bour-tree’; bour means pipe. The cross used to crucifix Jesus is said to have been made of elder wood, and the elder was tree on which Judas hanged himself. Why the Elder should have been selected as a gallows for the traitor Apostle is, considering the usual size of the tree, puzzling; but Sir John Mandeville in his travels, written about the same time, tells us that he was shown 'faste by' the Pool of Siloam, the identical 'Tree of Eldre that Judas hang himself upon, for despair that he had, when he sold and betrayed our Lord.' Gerard scouts the tradition and says that the Judas-tree (Cercis siliquastrum) is 'the tree whereon Judas did hang himself. Another old tradition was that the Cross of Calvary was made of it, and an old couplet runs:

    'Bour tree - Bour tree: crooked rong

    Never straight and never strong;

    Ever bush and never tree

    Since our Lord was nailed on thee.'

The generic name Sambucus occurs in the writings of Pliny and other ancient writers and is evidently adapted from the Greek word Sambuca, the Sackbut, an ancient musical instrument in much use among the Romans, in the construction of which, it is surmised, the wood of this tree, on account of its hardness, was used.

A wealth of folk-lore, romance and superstition centre round this English tree. Shakespeare, in Cymbeline, referring to it as a symbol of grief, speaks slightingly of it as 'the stinking Elder,' yet, although many people profess a strong dislike to the scent of its blossom, the shrub is generally beloved by all who see it. In countryside where the Elder flourishes it is certainly one of the most attractive features of the hedgerow, while its old-world associations have created for it a place in the hearts of English people.

In consequence of these old traditions, the Elder became the emblem of sorrow and death, and out of the legends which linger round the tree there grew up a host of superstitious fancies which still remain in the minds of simple country folk. In most countries, especially in Denmark, the Elder was intimately connected with magic. In its branches was supposed to dwell a dryad, Hylde-Moer, the Elder-tree Mother, who lived in the tree and watched over it. Should the tree be cut down and furniture be made of the wood, Hylde-Moer was believed to follow her property and haunt the owners. Lady Northcote, in The Book of Herbs, relates:

    'There is a tradition that once when a child was put in a cradle of Elder-wood, HyldeMoer came and pulled it by the legs and would give it no peace till it was lifted out Permission to cut Elder wood must always be asked first and not until Hylde-Moer has given consent by keeping silence, may the chopping begin.'

Arnkiel relates:

    'Our forefathers also held the Ellhorn holy wherefore whoever need to hew it down (or cut its branches) has first to make request "Lady Ellhorn, give me some of thy wood and I will give thee some of mine when it grows in the forest" - the which, with partly bended knees, bare head and folded arms was ordinarily done, as I myself have often seen and heard in my younger years.'

A lot of popular beliefs were held in widely distant countries. For example:

    'The Russians believe that Elder-trees drive away evil spirits, and the Bohemians go to it with a spell to take away fever. The Sicilians think that sticks of its wood will kill serpents and drive away robbers, and the Serbs introduce a stick of Elder into their wedding ceremonies to bring good luck. (I have never heard of this superstition, but it is possible) In England it was thought that the Elder was never struck by lightning, and a twig of it tied into three or four knots and carried in the pocket was a charm against rheumatism. A cross made of Elder and fastened to cow houses and stables was supposed to keep all evil. In some of the rural Midlands, it is believed that if a child is chastised with an Elder switch, it will cease to grow, owing, in this instance, to some supposed malign influence of the tree. On the other hand, Lord Bacon commended the rubbing of warts with a green Elder stick and then burying the stick to rot in the mud, and for erysipelas, it was recommended to wear about the neck an amulet made of Elder 'on which the sun had never shined.' In Denmark we come across the old belief that he who stood under an Elder tree on Midsummer Eve would see the King of Fairyland ride by, attended by all his retinue. Folkard, in Plant-Lore, Legends and Lyrics, relates:   'The pith of the branches when cut in round, flat shapes, is dipped in oil, lighted, and then put to float in a glass of water; its light on Christmas Eve is thought to reveal to the owner all the witches and sorcerers in the neighborhood';

and again,

    'On Bertha Night (6th January), the devil goes about with special virulence. As a safeguard, persons are recommended to make a magic circle, in the centre of which they should stand, with Elderberries gathered on St. John's night. By doing this, the mystic Fern-seed may be obtained, which possesses the strength of thirty or forty men.'

This is a Styrian tradition.

The whole tree has a narcotic smell, and it is not considered wise to sleep under its shade. Perhaps the visions of fairyland were the result of the drugged sleep! No plant will grow under the shadow of it, being affected by its exhalations.




 There are some less known flower essences made from plants from this family. These are:

Moschatel flower essence - (made from Adoxa moschatelina)  This flower essence is teaching us how to accomplish more by grounding our mental focus into the earth .Indications for this flower essence are overly intellectual focus on life; believing that everything must come through struggle; creating without joy. Healing qualities are teaching us how to accomplish more by grounding our mental focus into the earth; helps us learn how to co-create with nature through celebration and play.

There are two Viburnum flower essences:

First made from Viburnum carlesii - This flower essence strengthens our connection with the subconscious and our psychic abilities.

Second one made from Vibrunum davidii - This flower essence helps with giving and receiving support within the broader community, promotes group spirit.

So we can see that the flower essence made from other genera from the same family as sambucus nigra have some common characteristics. These are the strengthening and grounding our connection either with nature or subconscious or broader community. So the common theme is strengthening the connections.

In the sambucus genera I could find 3 flower essences.

Flower essence made from Sambucus Canadensis. That flower essence helps with spreading joy and exuberance, the magic and mystery of the plant spirits. It offers protection to the person on the etheryc and spiritual planes. It is the essence of starlight!

Flower essence made from Red Elderberry or Sambucus racemosa.  This essence of red elderberry helps when persons past cover the illumination of its inner light. As the essence it brings the light of person`s true being to the surface and helps radiating through the shadows.

Flower essence made from Sambucus nigra.  According to various sources, this elder flower essence stimulates energy, vigor, resilience, joy, and our powers of recovery and renewal.  Others have experienced greater connection with their inner source of youthfulness, and others point to its use with those "feeling their age" and feeble elders.  This flower essence gives fortitude, strength, and aid in healing, both physical and emotional.  It helps in emotionally troubling times, when a person is feeling exhausted and hopeless.  When it is healing that's needed, this elder essence is an appropriate choice. Elder stimulates the body’s natural powers of regeneration and renewal. By resonating with the source of our own inner beauty and eternal youthfulness, we connect with true feelings of well-being and the circulation of those vital energies that may rejuvenate us.

So we can see that all three flower essences made from different kinds of sambucus genera have the common characteristics. They have something to do with the light, they bring the light into the healing qualities. The sambucus canadensis bring the light of starlight, the sambucus racemosa brings the lift of persons true being to the surface and the sambucus nigra brings the light into the healing process, helping exhaustation and hopelessness.

I thouth it could be fun to try to repertorised the sambucus nigra flower essence.

Here is the result.


Balance- for balasning the strenth and energy lever for perople who are ageing or loosing vitality by againg process

Devitalization – lack of vitality due to aging processs

Rejuvenation – for promoting the vitality and inner youthfulness for older person

Vitality- for strenthenign the vitality and inner youthfulness that is lost due to aging process

Energetic Patterns – for lack of strenth and vitality for everybody especially older people

Acceptance – for rejuvenation and developing the youthfull spirit for people who are feeling helpless and discuourage

Aging- for strenthening the vitality in the process of aging

Regeneration- for stimulation of natural ability of regeneration and rejuvenation of the body and spirit

Power and Strenth – for perserving attractive body image during the process of aging


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  11. ^ Zakay-Rones, Z; Thom, E; Wollan, T; Wadstein, J (2004). "Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza a and B virus infections". The Journal of international medical research 32 (2): 132–40. PMID15080016.
  12. Elderberry, elderflower, and why they matter (2009)
  13. Elder bush info and recipes from the BBC “Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything”
  14. Mrs. M. Grieve, A Modern Herbal (first published in1931)
  15. Germplasm Resources Information Network: Sambucus
  16. National Institute of Health — Medline page on Sambucus nigra L.


Appendix 1. About chemical characteristics of sambucus nigra i medical implications

Elderberry as a Medicinal Plant

  1. Charlebois

Folk medicine has been around for millennia exploiting first wild then cultivated plants to prevent or cure

a myriad of illnesses.  Black elder have been used for centuries in Europe (French 1651), northern Africa, and

some parts of Asia for such purposes as to keep the evil spirits away, to prevent or cure numerous ailments and

health problems.  Early settlers brought some of this knowledge to America where a closely related plant, the

American elder, could easily be found in the wild.  Native Americans also have a tradition of using elderberry

for its healing properties (Borchers et al. 2000) and particularly to treat fever and rheumatism (Moerman 1986). 

While many of the reported effects lack adequate scientific validation, there are an increasing number of studies

supporting important medicinal or therapeutic properties associated with American and black elders.

Despite this century old tradition, American elder remains relatively unknown to the public and the industry

alike.  In contrast, black elder production and processing are well established in Europe were an impressive ar-

ray of food (pies, jellies, jams, wines…) and medicinal (supplements, extracts, syrups, lozenges…) products are

available.  The more extensive and ancient use of black elder is supported by a rich documentation; American

elder has been much less studied.  However, the taxonomic closeness of these two related plants is such that they

share common properties and will be treated as one.  Their alleged and demonstrated medicinal properties will

be critically discussed in this paper.  When necessary, significant differences will be stated.


American elder [Sambucus nigra sbsp. canadensis (L.) R. Bolli, Adoxaceae] is also known as elderberry

and common elder.  It is a close relative of black elder [S. nigra sbsp. nigra (L.) R. Bolli], a common plant in

Europe.  Bolli (1994) recently revised the genus Sambucus and reclassified American and black elders to the

rank of subspecies.  This distinction has not been widely applied yet and S. canadensis and S. nigra are still

commonly used when referring to American elder and black elder, respectively.  Donoghue (2003) concluded

that the genus Sambucus belongs to the Adoxaceae instead of the Caprifoliaceae family, this correction is slowly

being implemented.  For a comprehensive description of black elder refer to Atkinson and Atkinson (2002).

American elder is native to eastern and central North America.  It can be found from Nova Scotia (Canada)

south to the state of Florida, and west to Manitoba (Canada) and the state of Texas (Small et al. 2004).  It will

grow on a wide range of types of soil and can tolerate occasional flooding; however spring floods are usually

detrimental.  Seed dispersal is mainly done by birds and mammals that feed on the berries.  Seedlings hardly

support any competition from faster growing weeds and new plants will preferably establish in open areas.

Elderberry is a deciduous multi-stemmed shrub with brittle branches that easily bent under the weight of

its fruit clusters.  Suckering from the roots and branch-

ing from the base of the main stems force the plant to

form dense thickets.  It can reach up to 9 m in height in

the southern part of its distribution area but less than

4 m in the southern part of Canada (Small et al. 2004). 

Aging of the shrub is accompanied by the death of old

branches, a process preventing the plant from reaching

extreme heights.

Large (5–15 cm long) opposite pinnately com-

pound leaves contain from 5 to 11 leaflets with sharply

serrated margins.  American elder is among the first

shrubs to flush in early spring in Canada.  In the north-

ern part of its distribution range it blooms at the end of

June independently of heat accumulation (Guilmette

2006).  Blooming is synchronous for numerous culti-

vars of interest for the industry.  Creamy-white flowers

gather into large terminal clusters up to 35 cm across. 

Fig. 1.  Cluster of American elder berries (Sambucus

nigra sbsp. canadensis, cv. York).285

Botanicals and Medicinals

Wind rather than insects is the main vector for pollen distribution (unpubl. data).  Fruit ripening happens over a

2-month period in northern latitudes.  At maturity, small (5–9 mm in diameter) deep purple almost black ber-

ries (Fig. 1) hang up side down as the stem often bent under the weight.  A single cluster can contain as many as

2000 berries.  American elder should not be confused with red-berried elder (S. racemosa Michx. or S. pubens

Michx.) which partly shares the same territory but blooms earlier and produces bright red berries.


More than twenty different cultivars are available to consumers.  While most were developed for their

ornamental qualities, some such as Adams, Kent, Nova, Scotia, Victoria, and York, clearly offer high quality

fruits with interesting commercial potential (Craig 1970).  Elderberry is rather easy to grow.  Hardwood cuttings,

collected before bud break, and softwood cuttings, collected from July to August, should be transplanted on a

raised bed over plastic mulch.  Because there might be extensive dieback of terminal branches during winter,

particularly in the northern part of its distribution, hardwood cuttings selection requires some training.  Rooting

reaches close to 100% provided that sufficient humidity was maintained.  Production can be expected as early as

the second year in the field with hardwood cuttings.  Yield reaching 3 kg per plant the second year has been ob-

tained in southern Quebec.  By the fourth year, an average of 8 kg per plant can be expected at such latitude.

Since it competes poorly with neighboring vegetation, plastic mulch should be considered when establish-

ing an orchard.  However, once established elderberry can outgrow almost any competing weed and can survive

severe mechanical damage.  New canes can grow as much as 2 m in a single season.  In production, height should

be kept to less than 3 m to allow for manual harvest.  Pruning will probably have to be considered around the

fourth year as yield saturates or even decreases due to inner branches dieback.  Mechanized pruning can be

used by simply topping the plant about 75 cm from the ground.

Type of soil, yield, density, age of plants, and precipitation should all be considered when planning fertiliza-

tion.  As a rule of thumb, use 100 g of 10–10–10 per year of age per plant (Craig 1970).  Planting density should

be dictated by the full size of the plant at maturity and the kind of equipment that will be used to maintain the

orchard.  A distance no longer than 2 m between plants is sufficient to allow easy access to fruit clusters at

harvest.  Rows can be kept less than 4 m apart.  Irrigation should be considered during the first year to insure

proper development.  Elderberry is relatively drought tolerant and probably won’t require additional watering

during an average summer and on heavy soil.  Occasional irrigation might however be necessary in light soil

or during dry summer.  Proper drainage should be maintained under production conditions, particularly during

spring thaw.

Harvest is done by hand and the plant can rapidly be striped of its fruits.  Mechanized harvest seems un-

likely as some fruits are often buried within the plant.  In the northern part of its distribution area, fruits can

be harvested at the end of August over a 2 week period.  As we go south, blooming and fruit maturation tend

to be less synchronous (Easterday Patton and Judd 1988) which could complicate harvest.  In order to preserve

fruit quality, elder berries should be refrigerated as soon as possible.  Processing can be delayed many months

if fruits are kept frozen.  Each berry contains 2 to 5 seeds.  While a single plant can produce and impressive

amount of seeds, they require a rather long stratification period (Brinkman 1974) and should not be considered

as the best material for propagation.

The similarities between the American and European subspecies of S. nigra were insufficient to warrant

the development of sustained production in North America.  Over the last 50 years, only a few producers in the

US managed to establish small orchards generally for local processing into pies, jams, jellies, and particularly

wines.  Elderberry wine production in the US and Canada probably started with the arrival of the first Euro-

pean settlers who brought this tradition from their homeland.  It is not until the early 20th

 century that cultivar

selection really took place in North America.  Since the early 1990s, elderberry production is slowly picking up

momentum in Canada with orchards being established in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and

Newfoundland.  This contrasts with black elder production in Europe where many countries, such as Denmark,

Hungary, Poland, and Switzerland support both an important fruit production and processing industry.  With

an increasing demand for healthy food and the publication of numerous papers pointing at the health potential

of small fruits, renewed interest in elderberry is expected both in Canada and the US.286

Issues in New Crops and New Uses


Medicinal uses

Elderberry fruits are an excellent source of anthocyanins, vitamins A and C and a good source of calcium,

iron and vitamin B6 (Table 1).  They also contain sterols, tannins, and essential oils (Anon. 2005) and can

readily be considered a healthy food.  But more evidence is needed to really sustain any claim relative to their

medicinal value.


Folk Medicine

In folk medicine, elder berries have been used for their diaphoretic, laxative and diuretic properties (Uncini

Manganelli et al. 2005; Merica et al. 2006) and to treat various illnesses such as stomach ache, sinus conges-

tion, constipation, diarrhea, sore throat, common cold, and rheumatism (Novelli 2003; Uncini Manganelli et al.

2005).  The flowers are said to have diaphoretic, anti-catarrhal, expectorant, circulatory stimulant, diuretic, and

topical anti-inflammatory actions (Merica et al. 2006).  Some of these properties seem justified since elderberry

fruits contain tannins and viburnic acid, both known to have a positive effect on diarrhea, nasal congestion, and

to improve respiration (Novelli 2003).  Leaves and inner bark have also been used for their purgative, emetic,

diuretic, laxative, topical emollient, expectorant, and diaphoretic action (Merica et al. 2006).


Indirect Evidence for Health Benefits

Elderberry medicinal potential comes from its antioxidant potential, a property shared by numerous

phytochemicals.  The human body is constantly under attack and uses free radicals to protect itself.  Such

mechanism can however lead to cascade effects that can be detrimental to the cells and even lead to cancer.  Our

body uses antioxidants from plant origins to neutralize harmful free radicals and elderberry total antioxidant

capacity is one of the highest of all the small fruits.  In one study including the black elder (Fig. 2), this species

came third for its antioxidant capacity as measured with the FRAP method (Halvorsen et al. 2002).  Using the

ORAC technique to measure the antioxidant potential of various small fruits, Wu et al. (2004a,b) showed that

the American elder had a much higher potential than cranberry and blueberry, two fruits praised for their high

antioxidant capacity (Fig. 3).  Such a high antioxidant potential in American elder berries has been confirmed

in our laboratory (unpubl. data).


Polyphenols.  Different definitions are proposed but despite the fact that they vary somehow, they all agree on

the prevalence of these chemicals in plants.  Many are however prudent when conferring medicinal properties

to polyphenols.  This reflects to some extent conflicting results found in the literature, a problem associated

with the abundance of phenolic compounds found in nature.

Indeed, the polyphenolic profile of fruit juices, including elderberry, can be quite complex (Schwarz et al.

2001; Bermúdez-Soto and Tomás-Barberán 2004; Proestos et al. 2005) containing an array of compounds of

which many are anthocyanins (Sanchez-Moreno et al. 2003).  Other relatively common polyphenols are: flavonols,

hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, and flavan-3-ols.  Elderberry juice is rich in total phenolics, anthocyanins, and

flavonols; all theses chemicals were shown to be highly correlated with their antioxidant capacity (Bermúdez-

table 1.  Chemical composition of various small fruits.  Adapted from (Products and Services: Fruits and Fruits

Juices, 2005).

Fruit Water







Vitamin A


Vitamin B6


Vitamin C


Blueberry 84 27 0.28 12 54 1.052 9.7

Cranberry 87 46 0.25 13 60 0.057 13.3

Elderberry 80 73 1.60 39 600 0.230 36.0

Grape 81 69 0.36 20 66 0.086 10.8

Mulberry 89 43 0.62 22 214 0.030 21.0

Raspberry 86 52 0.69 29 33 0.055 26.2

Strawberry 91 32 0.42 24 12 0.047 58.8287


Botanicals and Medicinals

Soto and Tomás-Barberán 2004) ranking this species among the most interesting ones.  Despite the prevalence

of phenolic compounds in our diet, their absorption and bioavailability is still a matter of debate (Karakaya

2004).  This author review on this subject is worth reading.

Flavonoids.  Flavonoids are a subclass of polyphenols.  These phytochemicals cannot be synthesized by humans

(Peterson and Dwyer 1998).  It was estimated that dietary intake varies between 23 and 1000 mg/day (Peterson

and Dwyer 1998).  They include, among others, anthocyanins (cyanidin, pelargonidin), flavanols (catechin,

epicatechin), flavonols (quercetin, kaempferol), flavones (apigenin, luteolin), and flavanones (hesperetin,

naringenin).  While flavan-3-ols and flavonols are the most prevalent, it is probably the anthocyanidins that are

the most abundant (Gebhardt et al. 2002).  Various studies have demonstrated their antioxidant and antimutagenic

activities and their possible implication in reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke (Peterson and

Dwyer 1998).  As it is for the other polyphenols, flavonoids absorption may vary between classes and much

remain to be known about their absorption and metabolism (Peterson and Dwyer 1998).


Anthocyanins and Anthocyanidins.  Anthocyanins are a large group of natural pigments responsible for the

color of numerous fruits (Fossen et al. 1998).  Natural anthocyanins occur as glycosides (i.e. attached to a sugar

molecule) while anthocyanidins are aglycones of anthocyanins.

The most important polyphenols found in elderberry are anthocyanins, mainly cyanidin 3-glucoside and

cyanidin 3-sambubioside (Gebhardt et al. 2002).  The anthocyanin content of elderberries is one of the most

important among common commodities (Clifford 2000).  Interestingly, anthocyanins in American elderberries

are acylated, thus more stable to light and heat than those found in black elder (Nakatani et al. 1995; Inami et

  1. 1996) which make them more suitable for processing.

Cyanidin.  Cyanidin is one of the six anthocyanins aglycones (anthocyanidins) frequently found in common

foods in the United States (Wu et al. 2006).  According to these authors, cyanidin constitutes about 45% of total

anthocyanins intake in the US.

Among various common plant-derived polyphenolic flavonoids, cyanidin has one of the highest antioxi-

dant activities (Rice-Evans et al. 1995).  The higher antioxidant potential of American elder compared to black

elder is not surprising considering the findings of Stintzing et al. (2002) stating that acylation can increase the

antioxidant activity of anthocyanins.  Sterling (2001) proposed an interesting review about anthocyanins.  More

studies are needed since the extent of cyanidin 3-glucoside absorption, metabolism, and bioavailability are still

unclear (Mülleder et al. 2002; Andlauer et al. 2003; Bitsch et al. 2004; Galvano et al. 2004).

Fig. 2.  Total antioxidant capacity of various small

fruits as measured using the FRAP method.  [FRAP

= Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Potential].  In this ex-

ample, elderberry is the European subspecies.  Adapted

from: (Halvorsen et al. 2002).

Fig. 3.  Total antioxidant capacity of various small

fruits as measured using the ORAC method.  [ORAC]

= Oxygen Radical absorbance Capacity.  In this ex-

ample, elderberry is the American subspecies.  Adapted

from: (Wu et al. 2004a).288

Issues in New Crops and New Uses


Direct Evidence for Health Benefits

It is only recently that direct evidence has been provided showing that anthocyanins can be absorbed

by humans (Cao and Prior 1999).  These authors showed that after oral administration of elderberry extract,

cyanidins are absorbed in their glycosidic forms.  Despite these results, the exact form under which elderberry

anthocyanins are absorbed by humans is still a matter of debate.  More evidence showed that they are prob-

ably absorbed in their glycosidic forms (Cao et al. 2001; Murkovic et al. 2001; Milbury et al. 2002).  The sugar

moieties can alter their apparent absorption and metabolism (Wu et al. 2005).  Absorption and excretion of

anthocyanins were reported to be lower than other flavonoids (Wu et al. 2002).  More evidence is available

concerning anthocyanins absorption, including cyanidin 3-glucoside, by mammals (Talavéra et al. 2003, 2004;

Felgines et al. 2006).

These reports have an important impact when considering possible health benefits from elderberry con-

sumption since it is now demonstrated that anthocyanins are indeed absorbed (Cao and Prior 1999) and able to

significantly increase plasma antioxidant capacity (Netzel et al. 2002).  Once ingested, anthocyanins link them-

selves to free iron ions in the intestine.  When the amount of free iron is insufficient, anthocyanins will reach the

blood stream where they will link to free iron radicals (Sardi 2000).  It is however not known if anthocyanins

get into cells or appropriate subcellular compartments in an amount sufficient to affect metabolic processes

(Prior 2003).  Despite interesting progress, there is still a lot to be learned about the absorption, metabolism,

and health effects of dietary anthocyanins (Netzel et al. 2002; He et al. 2006).

Probably the most interesting properties of elderberry extracts were reported by Zakay-Rones et al. (1995). 

Following earlier work done by Konlee (1998), these authors reported that a mixture containing elderberry extract

had an inhibitory effect on haemagglutinin found in mycovirus.  More work done by Barak et al. (2001, 2002)

have shown that such a mixture could inhibit the replication of 11 strains of the influenza virus and increase

cytokines production.

On a more general note, berry phenolics including anthocyanins have been proved to provide protection

toward lipid and protein oxidation (Viljanen et al. 2004).  Matsumoto et al. (2003) demonstrated the positive

effects of cyanidin 3-glucoside on rhodopsin regeneration.  In another study, Hecht et al. (2006) proposed that

cyanidin 3-glucoside might play a chemopreventive role in animal models.  Cyanidin was also found to be an

effective inhibitor of human tumour cells in vitro (Meiers et al. 2001).

MarkEt PotEntial and FuturE

Considering the market potential of American elder and the stability of its anthocyanins, that is superior

to that of black elder pigments, it is difficult to understand why its production is so low in North America.  In

fact both the flowers and the berries are quite suitable for processing and close to 100 different products, mostly

made from black elder, are proposed on the Internet. 

These products can be divided into two main cat-

egories: food and beverages, and health products.


Food and Beverages

In many aspects elderberries compare quite

well with better known small fruit crops such as

raspberry, cranberry, strawberry, blueberry, or

even grape.  They can be used to prepare jam, jelly,

pie, salad dressing, sauce, snack, juice, soft drink,

cordial, wine, port, and beer (Fig. 4).  A very stable

food colorant can be extracted from the berries and

used in the food industry.  Fresh and dried berries

can be found in breakfast cereals, yogurt, and ice

cream.  To a lesser extent, elderberry flower can

also serve to prepare fritters, wine, beer, and liquors. 

No information is available about fresh elder berries

shelf life.  The rather small size of these fruits prob-

Fig. 4.  Common elderberry based products found in


Botanicals and Medicinals

ably makes them less appealing to consumers.  This would explain why they are almost exclusively available

as processed food.


Health Products

The high polyphenol content, including anthocyanins, of elderberry fruits has been recognized and ex-

ploited by the pharmaceutical and natural products industries.  Shampoos and body lotions are proposed to

consumers.  There is also a full array of products including lozenges, syrups, herbal teas, extracts, and supple-

ments, all capitalizing on various health benefits associated with specific components found in elderberry fruits

or flowers.  While commercial claims are sometimes over enthusiastic, there is now a sufficient amount of direct

and indirect evidence to sustain most of them.

the Future

Results from various sources have shown that elderberry is rich in polyphenols, particularly cyanidin

3-glucoside, an anthocyanin.  Its antioxidant capacity ranks high when compared to other well known fruits

such as cranberry, mulberry, and blueberry (Fig. 2 and 3).  Anthocyanin content of some cultivars is even higher

than in the wild type (unpubl. data).  Effort should be made to map North American elderberry ecotypes in order

to select those with the highest pigment content and antioxidant potential.  From an evolutionary standpoint,

anthocyanins are produced in part to attract pollinators and animals that will feed on the fruits and disperse the

seeds.  They also protect the plants against the harmful effects of UV radiation and act as chemical weapons

to protect the plant against oxidative stress associated with viral or fungal infection (Wrolstad 2004).  As such,

one could expect to find more pigments in fruits from plants growing closer to their northernmost limit where

they are more likely to be subjected to stress.  Validation of that assumption, in order to select elite specimens

for breeding purposes as it has been proposed by McGhie et al. (2002), is then justified.

Since pigments from American elder are acylated, thus more suited for processing, it is to be expected that

elderberry production in North America will benefit from an increasing demand from consumers for food with

demonstrated health benefits.  It was proposed that the intestinal absorption of the bioactive components from

berry juices, including elderberry, may be superior to that from the fruit itself (Netzel et al. 2002).  Vatten et

  1. (2005) also proposed that the properties of phytochemical components in whole foods, such as those found

in elderberry flowers and fruits, would play a more effective role in maintaining human health than would iso-

lated individual phenolics.  While these statements are speculative, it is worth noting that elderberry reaches

consumers in a much greater proportion as a processed product (juice or extract) than as fresh fruit.  It would

be interesting to compare the beneficial effects of fresh elderberry fruits with that of processed ones.  It should

be kept in mind that once extracted, anthocyanins stability is affected by numerous factors including pH, tem-

perature, and light (Markakis 1974).

Mild symptoms of stomach ache and vomiting have been reported after the consumption of unripe elder-

berry fruit.  But such cases are rare and these mild side effects are outweighed by the numerous medicinal uses

they are known for, some of which are well documented.


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  1. Essential oil and extracts. NutraCos  2006:25–27.

Milbury, P.E., G. Cao, R.L. Prior, and J. Blumberg.  2002.  Bioavailablility of elderberry anthocyanins.  Mech.

Ageing Dev.  123:997–1006.

Moerman, D.E.  1986.  Medicinal plants of native America.  Univ. Michigan Museum, Ann Arbor.

Mülleder, U., M. Murkovic, and W. Pfannhauser.  2002.  Urinary excretion of cyanidin glycosides.  J. Biochem.

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Murkovic, M., U. Mülleder, U. Adam, and W. Pfannhauser.  2001.  Detection of anthocyanins from elderberry

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Nakatani, N., H. Kikuzaki, J. Hikida, M. Ohba, O. Inami, and I. Tamura.  1995.  Acylated anthocyanins from

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Netzel, M., G. Strass, C. Kaul, I. Bitsch, H. Dietrich, and R. Bitsch.  2002.  In vivo antioxidative capacity of a

composite berry juice.  Food Res. Int.  35:213–216.

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Rice-Evans, C.A., N.J., Miller, P.G. Bolwell, P.M. Bramley, and J.B. Pridham.  1995.  The relative antioxidant

activities of plant-derived polyphenolic flavonoids.  Free Radic. Res.  22:375–383.

Sanchez-Moreno, C., G. Cao, B. Ou, and R.L. Prior.  2003.  Anthocyanin and proanthocyanidin content in

selected white and red wines. Oxygen radical absorbance capacity comparison with nontraditional wines

obtained from highbush blueberry.  J. Agr. Food Chem.  51:4889–4896.

Sardi, B.  2000.  Too much of a good thing.  Nutr. Science News  June:1–5.

Schwarz, K., G. Bertelsen, L.R. Nissen, P.T. Gardner, M.I. Heinonen, A. Hopia, T. Huynh-ba, P. Lambelet, D.

Mc Phail, L.H. Skibsted, and L. Tijburg.  2001.  Investigation of plant extracts for the protection of pro-

cessed foods against lipid oxidation.  Comparison of antioxidant assays based on radical scavenging, lipid

oxidation and analysis of the principal antioxidant.  Eur. Food Res. Technol.  212:319–328.

Small, E., P.M. Catling, and C. Richer.  2004.  Poorly known economic plants of Canada—41.  American elder

[Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis (L.) R. Bolli] and blue elderberry [S. nigra subsp. cerulea (Raf.) R.

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Sterling, M.  2001.  Got anthocyanins?  Nutr. Sci. News  December:1–6.

Stintzing, F.C., A.S. Stintzing, R. Carle, B. Frei, and R.E. Wrolstad.  2002.  Color and antioxidant properties of

cyanidin-based anthocyanin pigments.  J. Agr. Food Chem.  50:6172–6181.

Talavéra, S., C. Felgines, O. Texier, C. Besson, J.-L. Lamaison, and C. Rémésy.  2003.  Anthocyanins are ef- 2003.  Anthocyanins are ef-

ficiently absorbed from the stomach in anesthetized rats.  J. Nutr.  133:4178–4182.

Talavéra, S., C. Felgines, O. Texier, C. Besson, C. Manach, J.-L. Lamaison, and C. Rémésy.  2004.  Anthocyanins

are efficiently absorbed from the small intestine in rats.  J. Nutr.  134:2275–2279.

Uncini Manganelli, R.E., L. Zaccaro, and P.E. Tomei.  2005.  Antiviral activity in-vitro of Urtica dioica L.,

Parietaria diffusa and Sambucus nigra L.  J. Ethnopharmacol.  98:323–327.

Vatten, D.A., R. Ghaedian, and K. Shetty.  2005.  Enhancing health benefits of berries through phenolic anti-

oxidant enrichment: Focus on cranberry.  Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr.  14:120–130.

Viljanen, K., P. Kylli, R. Kivikari, and M. Heinonen.  2004.  Inhibition of protein and lipid oxidation in liposomes

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Wrolstad, R.E.  2004.  Anthocyanin pigments-bioactivity and coloring properties.  J. Food Sci.  69:C419–


Issues in New Crops and New Uses

Wu, X., G.R. Beecher, J.M. Holden, D.B. Haytowitz, S.E. Gebhardt, and R.L. Prior.  2004b.  Lipophilic and

hydrophilic antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States.  J. Agr. Food Chem.  52:4026–


Wu, X., G.R. Beecher, J.M. Holden, D.B. Haytowitz, S.E. Gebhardt, and R.L. Prior.  2006.  Concentrations of

anthocyanins in common foods in the United States and estimation of normal consumption.  J. Agr. Food

Chem.  54:4069–4075.

Wu, X., G. Cao, and R.L. Prior.  2002.  Absorption and metabolism of anthocyanins in elderly women after

consumption of elderberry or blueberry.  J. Nutr.  132:1865–1871.

Wu, X., L. Gu, R.L. Prior, and S. McKay.  2004a.  Characterization of anthocyanins and proanthocyanins

in some cultivars of Ribes, Aronia, and Sambucus and their antioxidant capacity.  J. Agr. Food Chem. 


Wu, X., H.E.I. Pittman, S. Mckay, and R.L. Prior.  2005.  Aglycones and sugar moieties alter anthocyanin ab-

sorption and metabolism after berry consumption in weanling pigs.  Am. Soc. Nutr.  135:2417–2424.

Zakay-Rones, Z., N. Varsano, M. Zlotnik, O. Manor, L. Regev, M. Schlesinger, and M. Mumcuoglu.  1995. 

Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in-vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry ex-

tract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an outbreak of influenza b in Panama.  J. Altern. Complement. Med.