[NAFEX] elderberries stem toxicity

Ernest Plutko ernestplutko at wiktel.com
Sat Sep 10 20:51:09 EDT 2011


I saw many elderberry bushes heavily loaded with fruit in the suburbs
of St Paul.  Never stopped to pick them.

---- Original Message ----
From: nave1 at comcast.net
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] elderberries stem toxicity
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 17:51:05 -0500

>Just picked the first elderberries from two plants that were planted
>1 year ago.  John's and Wild 
>Elderberry.  By the way, the wild elderberry seemed to bloom a bit
>later than the John's so I am not 
>sure that we got all of the John's to fruit.  (Or do they really need
>another variety to pollinate 
>them?)  Fruit was not abundant but we got almost 2 cups of small
>berries.  Not that many canes came 
>up but I think it is because it is planted under a maple tree
>(branches are cut up high) but I think 
>there is some competition with the roots...
>
>I remember several years ago collecting elderberries and making wine
>out of them.  It was incredibly 
>difficult to get the berries off the stems.  I ended up using, and
>ruining, one of my wife's plastic 
>bristle hair brushes.  Using your method of freezing them it was
>extremely easy to get the fruit off 
>the stems.  So, thanks a lot for that.
>
>I notice many very small stem pieces loose in the bag with the
>berries so I will have to come up 
>with a method of separating these out.  I would think that spreading
>them out on a terrycloth towel 
>or something like that and rolling the berries off might leave the
>twigs behind in the cloth.  Maybe 
>they could be winnowed out.  Any other suggestions?
>
>Dan
>St. Paul, MN, zone 4
>
>On 9/3/2011 6:56 AM, John Bunker wrote:
>> We make elderberry juice.  We steam the berries and extract the
>> juice.  Then we freeze it and use it later.  It has a strong flavor
>> but we like it and it has never made us ill.  We have not tried
>eating
>> them uncooked.  One of our apprentices ate one S. pubens (Red
>Elder)
>> berry.  She decided not to do that again.
>>
>> A friend taught us one way to remove the berries from the stems
>rather
>> easily.  Freeze the clusters, stems and all in a plastic bag.  Then
>> whack the bag against a counter or with a stick, etc.  Cut a small
>> hole in the corner of the bag and then "pour" out the berries.
>> JB
>>
>> John Bunker
>> Fedco
>> trees at fedcoseeds.com
>> www.fedcoseeds.com
>> PO Box 520
>> Waterville ME 04903
>> 207-873-7333
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Aug 28, 2011, at 12:05 AM, mIEKAL aND wrote:
>>
>>> It would be interesting to see an analysis of the elderberry goo
>>> compound.  I wonder if the toxicity is part of what gets bound up
>in
>>> the goo in the juicing process.  The goo sticks to everything
>along
>>> the way, the primary, the juicer, siphons, so by the time it gets
>in a
>>> bottle there is very little sign of it.  I flunked chemistry in
>high
>>> school so I'm just wondering out loud.
>>>
>>> As for removing it.  The link I posted worked for surfaces where I
>>> could rub oil on it first&  then scrub vigorously with a lot of
>soap&
>>> water.  The oil seems to break it down.  This process won't work
>for
>>> the inside of siphons&  for my glass secondary tho...  At last I
>got
>>> the primary bucket clean enough to fill it with another load of
>>> elderberry must.
>>>
>>> ~mIEKAL
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sat, Aug 27, 2011 at 9:56 PM, Jay
>Cutts<orders at cuttsreviews.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> I once got violently ill after eating elderberries right off the
>>>> bush.
>>>> Days later, when I had finally recovered, I did some research and
>>>> found
>>>> that the elderberry stems contain a toxin. I had stripped the
>berries
>>>> right off the clusters with my teeth (Ok, it was really hot out
>and I
>>>> was really parched and I didn't have the patience to pick one
>berry
>>>> at a
>>>> time.)
>>>>
>>>> Any run into this? When  you mentioned bits of stem being
>included I
>>>> thought of this.
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>>
>>>> Jay
>>>>
>>>> Jay Cutts
>>>> Director, Cutts Graduate Reviews
>>>> Lead Author, Barron's Test Prep Publications
>>>> (800) 353-4898
>>>> In New Mexico, (505) 281-0684
>>>> 10 am to 10 pm Mountain Time, 7 days
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