Uses: Indigenous throughout the U.S. and Canada, the Elder has
several varieties both here and in Europe. They are quite similar
in qualities and usage.
The tree has the special
reputation of improving the general health of the older generation.
Mix leaves, bark or flowers
with equal amounts of Chamomile flowers (Anthemis
nobilis / Chamaemelum nobile) and use in a hot poultice
to relieve rheumatism and other inflammation, soreness, or stiffness
Elder tea has been traditionally
used to treat infections, irritations, or inflammations of the eyes.
A gentle stimulant. Some
Native Americans used root-bark tea to encourage and strengthen
labor during childbirth as well as to treat headache and congestion.
The flower tea is said
to promote sweating.
Elder is also believed
to be even more effective when treating respiratory infections,
pulmonary tuberculosis, and fevers if mixed with Yarrow (Achillea
millefolium) and Mint (Menth piperita).