The word from the nutritionist

Elder between legend and medicinal properties

The legends risen about the elder tree are lost in the mists of time but, in the past as well as today, it is very appreciated for its medicinal properties.

The legends risen about the elder tree are lost in the mists of time. A legend of German tradition says that a fairy with golden long hair called Holda used to live in the elder tree. The countrymen bowed before it in order that she guarded people and animals from the diseases and from poisonous snakes. The elder trees were planted around the monastery and the castles so that they guarded against evil. A prophetic power about the sex of the unborn children and the goodness of the harvest was associated to this tree.


Probably the mythical properties of the elder come from the gifts that the tree has given to people, in the past as well as today. The legend says that it was necessary to bow seven times before the elder because it gave seven parts of itself to the community: the resin, the root, the bark, the leaves, the fruits, the flowers and the shoots. The resin, in particular, is used to relieve the ache of luxations, the root decoction calms the gout, the bark cures the sties and the cystitis, the dried leaves have emollient propriety for the skin, the fruits are optimal to cure bronchitis, the flowers have a depurative function and finally the shoots is used to cure the neuralgia.


The elder berries are rich in tannins, flavonoids, vitamin C, betacarotene, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. The carotenoids, the flavonoids and the vitamin C are anti-oxidant and protect the cells against the damages of free radicals.


Published 09 September 2016