Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Elderberries - 'Sambucus nigra' - fam: Adoxaceae
Sambucus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae. In Sambucus, there are between 5 and 30 species of deciduous shrubs, small trees and herbaceous perennial plants.1
Elderberries are the fruit from the flowering this plant, Sambucus, and more commonly referred to as elder, or elderflower. The full scientific name of the most common variant, from which we get the majority of our elderberries, is Sambucus nigra. You will primarily find elderberries in the Northern hemisphere, particularly in Europe and North America, although some southern species are grown in Australia. The berries are black, or very dark blue, and have a sharp, sweet flavour that makes them highly preferred for desserts, syrups, jams, jellies, spreads, and as the base for various cocktails and beverages.2
Elderberry fruit or flowers are used as dietary supplements for minor diseases such as flu, colds, constipation, and other conditions, often served as a tea, extract, or in a capsule. There is insufficient research to know its effectiveness for such uses, or its safety profile.
Raw elderberries are 80% water, 18% carbohydrates, and less than 1% each of protein and fat. In a 100 gram amount, elderberries supply 73 calories and are a rich source of vitamin C, providing 43% of the Daily Value (DV). Elderberries also have moderate contents of vitamin B6 (18% DV) and iron (12% DV), with no other nutrients in significant content.
Most of the fruits of the various species of Sambucus are considered poisonous, the Sambucus nigra, is not - however, it is still recommended that its berries be cooked slightly for culinary purposes.1
REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1 - and Organic Facts 2