Elderberries Sambucus nigra are like shining purple jewels and you can find the trees growing along river banks and on hillsides. They have been used for centuries for food and medicinal purposes, often referred to as “Medicine Chest of the People.” The berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will boost your immune system but if you get exposed to a change of season flu or cold a hot cup of elderberry tisane or syrup with hot water is a pleasant medicine. We do not recommend eating them fresh as they often produce a feeling of nausea. Berries should be fully ripe when picked. They are not overly sweet but have an earthy and tart balance of flavour that would complement sweet apples in a cooked tart. Dried they become sweet little nuggets, adding colour and flavour to an autumn or winter tisane.