People use American elder for breathing problems such as asthma and bronchitis; for colds, cough, and sore throat; and for painful conditions such as headache, nerve pain (neuralgia), joint pain (rheumatism), toothache, and swelling (inflammation).
Other uses include treatment of bruises, cancer, intestinal gas, epilepsy, fever, gout, psoriasis, sores, syphilis, and fluid retention (edema) due to weak heart function (heart failure).
Some people use American elder as a "purifier" that empties the bowels. It is also used to rid the body of extra fluid by increasing urine production (as a diuretic), "sweat out a fever," promote healing, and cause vomiting.
American elder is also used as an eyewash, mouthwash, and poultice.
In foods, American elder is cooked and eaten and used to make elderberry wine. American elder is also used to flavor foods and beverages.
In manufacturing, extracts of American elder are used in perfumes.
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