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Did you know… the Elderberry Shrub’s  Latin name (Sambucus nigra ), comes from the Greek word “sambuke”, which is a wind instrument made from the wood of the elder.
               Elder berry has long been used to treat coughs, colds and influenza. Pharmacies and alternative health stores, sell lozenges and cough syrup with elderberry. Elderberry can also be made into a delicious wine or jam. Elder water is still sold in some old-fashioned pharmacies as skin lotion.
               Elder Flowers are used for clearing congestion during the onset of colds and flus. A tea of the flowers combined with equal parts of mint (some also add yarrow flowers) makes an excellent internal cleanser for these conditions. As a matter of fact, I was able to relieve my 90 year old grandmother’s bronchial congestion, and keep it from advancing into pneumonia, by having her drink elderflower and peppermint tea, repeatedly throughout the day. Within 2-3 weeks her congestion was gone. While her daughter had a similar infection and followed the antibiotic route, only to find it lasted almost 2 months. 
               In lore and legend the Elder can be a symbol of either sorrow and death, or has magnificent protective powers. It is one of the more ancient trees… and has been found in some excavations of Stone Age dwellings.  Some old traditions held that ‘the Cross of Calvary was made of a large Elder Tree. From then on it could no longer grow larger than a bush’. In Europe the Elder was trimmed into the shape of the cross and planted at new graves. If it blossomed, the soul of the deceased supposedly was happy. In pre-Christian Europe, it is said that magic wands were made from elder branches.  An old northern European story tells that the goddess Freyja chose the black elder as her abode because of its wonderful medicinal qualities.  In medieval Europe the elder was associated with evil and witches, probably because most parts of the elder are poisonous when eaten raw, and poisonous things were always associated with the devil or witches.
               Elder is ruled by Venus and Scorpio, it’s element is Air. It is associated with rebirth, transformation, change and metamorphosis. It reminds us to not fear change. If we resist change, we may experience pain both emotionally and physically. We must be able to shed old ideas and habits to allow new ones to flourish. It asks us to look into our true yearnings for emotional and spiritual peace.
               I have not spoken to anyone in the past couple of years that is not going through some major changes in their life, myself included. Life is all about change, it helps us grow. It is our reactions to those changes that will determine our physical, emotional and spiritual health.  Everything we experience is meant to teach us something. Most times if we take the time to look at our changing circumstances in an objective way…we can find at least one positive thing to take away from it. Deepak Chopra once said “When we change the way we look at things… the things we look at change.”
                                                This article is for informational purposes only.
Bright Blessings
Pam Getz @ Amber Myst Alternatives

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