I came across this beautiful yet menacing plant while hiking in Cascade Canyon near Jenny Lake in the Grand Tetons. I was watching specifically for medicinal plants that day but realized that I’ve never seen an Elder bush in Minnesota. What I learned upon doing a little reading is that I just wasn’t looking hard enough. It turns out these characters grow just about EVERYWHERE! Basically anything east of the Rockies is fair game for this member of the honeysuckle family.
Crunchy mamas know all about the benefits of elderberry syrup. The boards I follow are full of mamas who turn to their homemade elderberry syrup at the first signs of a cough, sniffle or flu. The berries are nutritious: rich in flavonoids, and high in vitamin C, vitamin A, bioflavonoids, beta carotene, iron, and potassium. (Gladstar, 2012). Perfect for boosting the immune system and helping the body stay healthy at the first sign of a cold! It’s as magical as the elder wands in Harry Potter - the most powerful wand known to wizard kind and even able to mend other wands!