Botanical name: 

Related entry: Sambucus under diuretics

The flowers, berries and inner bark of Sambucus canadensis.

Preparations.—An infusion. Tincture of Sambucus (the inner bark and root).

Dose.—Of the tincture, from five drops to one drachm.

Therapeutic Action.—The Elder is described as alterative, laxative, diuretic, diaphoretic, emetic, hydragogue, cathartic, and resolvent.

The flowers are esteemed valuable in all impurities of the blood, or cachectic states of the system, as in herpetic and all forms of chronic cutaneous eruptions, scrofula, old ulcers, and other depraved states of the system. Though feeble in action yet they are highly sanative, and serve to improve the nutritive fluids and promote healthy secretions. They are mildly diaphoretic, devoid very nearly of excitant qualities, and are deemed useful in the diseases of children when of a mild character, in obviating costiveness, and in lessening febrile excitement, and promoting diaphoresis and diuresis.

The inner bark is used as a hydragogue cathartic and diuretic in dropsy, and as an alterative in chronic diseases; if taken in large doses it causes emesis. It is said to have cured many cases of dropsy that had resisted other agents of reputed efficacy. It is prepared by boiling one ounce of the bark in two pints of water to one, of which the dose is from two to four ounces, repeated often; in smaller doses it acts as an aperient and resolvent; or it may be used in the form of a vinous infusion.

An ointment, prepared by simmering the inner bark in fresh butter, cream or lard, and adding a small portion of beeswax to harden it, is an excellent application in cases of burns, abrasions of the surface, eruptions, irritation and superficial inflammation; and when prepared in the same manner, with the addition of white-oak bark, it is an efficacious application to abraded parts, occasioned by long confinement to bed.

The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics, 1898, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.