The Sambucus peruviana, commonly called Sauco or Rayan Elder or Elderberry, is the genus of 5 to 30 different varieties of shrubs and small trees that is distributed in the Andean mountain ranges from Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru to Costa Rica and Panama. There are several species of elder, but Sambucus nigra, or European elder (also called black elder), is the one used most often for medicinal purposes. Stay away from Sambucus ebulus, because this elder’s fruit raw or unripe as well as the leaves, seeds, and bark contain a chemical related to cyanide, which is poisonous. Sambucus nigra has been introduced in many countries (including tropical) where it coexists with native species.
The Elderberry plant is characterized by feathery leaves, and topped off with clusters of white or cream-colored flowers followed by blue, purple, red, or black berries. Sometimes, though rare, the berries can be white or yellow. Two of the varieties of Elderberry are herbaceous, which means that when they die off, they return to the ground so that there is no visible stump or remains left. There are many other species of Sambucus in the world, many are very near the black elderberry and considered by botanists as sub-species, most varieties. Thus Sambucus canadensis is widespread in North America from Canada to Mexico, Sambucus peruviana in South America, Sambucus mexicana in Central America, all three have black fruit maturity.
The Elderberry has been used as an ingredient in wines, marmalades, drinks, and desserts, but it has also been widely used for its medicinal purposes. Juice from the berries was used to relieve colds, influenza, bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory problems. The flower of the Elderberry plant would also be made into creams, washes, or poultices, and used for skin irritants and aliments including, scrapes burns, abrasions, and cuts. Of all the herbs, Elderberries are ranked third highest in vitamin C content. In addition, they also contain large amounts of vitamins A and B, carotenoids, and amino acids. The skin of the elderberry fruit has the highest concentration of athocyonins of any other fruit. Athocyonins are powerful antioxidants that build and boost the human immune system.
Many people still cultivate and use the Elderberry today. It is still common for Elderberries to be made into pies, jams, jellies, and other sweet desserts. The Elderberry has also been used in alcoholic beverages and soft drinks such as the “Shokata” which was marketed and sold by Fanta in 15 countries worldwide. Elderberry is also widely available to purchase today, and can be used medicinally by adults as well as children.
It can be found in various forms including, liquids, syrups, extracts, pills, capsules, and gummy drops. In some instances Elderberry is combined with Echinacea, goldenseal, and other herbs to help support the immune system, and improve respiratory problems associated with changing seasons and environmental conditions and allergens. Syrups are commonly used to fight off cold and flu like symptoms and support and improve respiratory health and function. The flowers are still used today to make teas and infusions.
Instructions and Ingredients
You make a basic batter the night before you want pancakes for breakfast. Put one cup of sourdough starter in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of warm water (up to 90° F) and 2½ cups of flour. Mix thoroughly. Initially, the mixture will be thick and lumpy but will thin down from fermenting and should be lively by the morning. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at warm room temperature (70-85 F.)
In the morning, add:
2 Tbs cooking oil
¼ cup instant dry milk
Then combine in a separate small bowl:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbs sugar
Blend together until smooth, eliminating any lumps of soda. Sprinkle the dry ingredients evenly over the top of the batter; fold in gently. This will cause a gentle foaming and rising action. Allow batter to rest several minutes, then fry on a hot, lightly greased griddle. Keep the size of the pancakes to about 1½ to 2 inches. Butter and syrup and enjoy!!