The elderberry, also known as sambucus grows in mostly moist, well-drained soil that is exposed to the sun. Elderberry is a nitrogen hungry plant and can often thrive in large numbers in areas of organic waste disposal. This plant is native to Central Europe and North America, but variations have been found in other locations (NGA). It typically grows in wetter forest habitats such as slopes, canyons, stream sides, and stream banks. It can also grow in the moister areas within drier locations usually along fence posts and roads typically in elevations of 3 to 3000 meters (USDA). Elderberry plants yield a large seed crop every year, which contributes to their reproductions process. Once these seeds are produced they are usually dispersed by the birds or animals that feed on the plant for the fruit it produces. Elderberry seeds have a hard coated exterior and can remain viable for up to 16 years in optimal storage conditions. If a seed does not germinate right after it is first grown and dispersed, it can take up to 5 years to germinate in after being planted. After this a plant can flower between 2 to 3 years old and reaches adulthood within 3 to 4 years (USDA).
Medicinal Uses of Elderberry
The elderberry plant is believed to affect the human immune system and seems to combat viruses including flu and helps to reduce inflammation in the body. Elderberry is used for influenza (common flu), H1N1 (swine flu) and boosting the immune system in general. This is the only medical use backed by some scientific study. Other studies claim it can be used for sinus pain, leg pain, nerve pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and HIV/AIDS (because of the immune boosting nature). Some people have found elderberry to be helpful in treating hay fever, cancer, constipation and to increase the urgency to urinate and cause sweating (WebMD). Elderberry can be administered to people through ta common liquid syrup, Sambucol, it is usually made into. This syrup is a...
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