Sambuco – Sambucus
The common sambuco, that is the Sambucus nigra is a very vigorous deciduous perennial shrub, widespread in the uncultivated areas of the Italian peninsula found at sea level up to 1200 above sea level. The sambuco has woody branches, pleasantly perfumed inflorescences and a head which can reach various sizes, notably it can be up to five metres wide and as tall. Another component of the Sambucus ebulus, or ebbio, it is easily distinguished from the first in that its stems are herbaceous and not very well developed, instead rather woody, the flowers have an odour of bitter almonds, its fruit is poisonous.
The Sambuco grows well in a decidedly calcaereous and tolerates damp soil; but does not tolerate stagnant water which could damage the plant. This plant enjoys a sunny position but can settle well in semi-shade.
FLORA AND FRUIT
The creamy white star shaped flowers inflorescence in an umbrella and bloom in the late Spring and early Summer. In Winter it reaches maturity and little shiny, purplish black berries with a sour flavor, bunch together and are very rich in vitamin C.
The Sambuco is a common plant in uncultivated places at the sea or in the mountains, where it grows numerously in areas where there are beech, chestnut and oak trees.
USE AND HEALTH PROPERTIES
You can make a herbal tea from the flowers, noted for its ability to increase body sweat, and thereby eliminating toxins and the restraint of the body’s temperature during a fever. When the leaves and the flowers bound together, you can make a herbal tea which aids respiratory problems such as asthma, coughs and colds; also because the flavones of the plant have a widening effect which unblocks the occlusions caused by excess mucus. For this reason, the flowers and the leaves can be used to improve blood circulation, especially the peripheral system, both when consumed orally as well as with localized wraps to limit the breakage of capillary or for the rapid relief to burns. The Sambuco wraps are useful to soothe pains in the leg and articulation in women such as puffiness caused by intense physical activity or a day wearing high heels. For men instead, a herbal tea aids backache.