Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Elder flower for sinusitis and earache

Elder flower for sinusitis and earache

Elder flower, the deciduous shrub that is used in both summer and winter, relieves sinusitis and earache.


The plant

The botanical community call it Sambucus mexicana and nigra. The yellow flowers are fragrant. The indigenous European shrub has been admired for its medicinal properties for ages. Our ancestors even believed that it shoos away the witches. Therefore, the Europeans planted the shrub near their houses.
The easy to grow shrub requires sunny area. Well-composted soil is the best choice to plant elder. During spring, you can propagate elder from the stem cuttings. Clip it in winter to check its sprawling growth.
The dark purple berries are a rich source of vitamins C and A. The herb has vulnerary (wound healing), demulcent (pain relieving), anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal (relief from the mucous membranes’ inflammation) and alterative (system nourishment and improvement) properties. Elder flower also acts as an expectorant. Kaempferol (antioxidant) and diaphoretic (encourage perspiration production), flavonol glycosides found in the herb, help in relieving fever.
Sambucus nigra is found in Central and North America, North Africa, Western Asia and Europe.  The Africans use it as a medicinal and ornamental plant.



Uses
The flowers are used for tea that heals several symptoms like runny nose, cold, post nasal drip, sore throat, sinusitis and earache.
The flowers are also added to summer drinks like lemonade. The fruits are eaten raw and used to make pies, jams, wines and brandy.
The fruit extracts are used as an antiviral agent, whereas the inner bark has emetic, purgative and diuretic properties.  Both dry and fresh leaves act as purgative.
The flowers act as a decongestant for the mucosa of the respiratory tract and prevent allergies. The anti-catarrhal herb also moderates excessive mucus and create a balance.
The quercetin-rich flowers with anti-inflammatory properties relieve symptoms of hay fever and sinusitis. The quercetin also aids in mitigating cancer activity.
The flowers heal burns, bruises, sunburns and swelling, and soothe and soften the skin. The flowers are also used for a face wash that improves complexion.
The berry syrups and wines have been produced to heal bronchitis, colds and coughs.
The antiviral herb strengthens immune system and protects against flu and fevers.
The flowers tone the throat and nose mucous membranes.
Elder encourages urine production, sweating, and circulation, helping in removing toxics and harmful acids from the body.
The studies concluded that the flowers kill the Herpes simplex virus, facilitating treatment of cold sores or fever blisters.

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