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Trudy

are elderberries toxic?

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Does anyone here use elderberries for jelly? My friend has been making it this week, and I mentioned that I had never had it before. So yesterday she brought me some elderberries and while I was getting them ready to juice, I decided to see if they were sweet. I didn't chew but 2 or 3 ( :yuk: ) and in just a few minutes I was so sick at my stomach----stayed like that all night. I googled elderberries and the article said that they were Toxic until you cooked them! I did finish the juice because that was a lot of work to pick all those little berries off, clean and juice them! I put the juice in the freezer though because every time I looked at it I felt nauseous. Guess it will be a while before I cook that jelly! Has anyone ever heard of this, or was it maybe just a food alergy reaction? (I usually have a strong stomach.)I'm feeling a little better now. Was able to eat a little supper after nothing since last night but dry toast so I could take my insulin.

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I've eaten elderberries raw, in jam, in pies and in wine ever since I was a child! (except the wine part) I love them and they are what I miss most living in the desert. And seagrapes! I remember being told that the stems were toxic. Always thought my mom just wanted us kids to get all of them out. Maybe not.

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I have heard that same thing, Trudy. I want to try elderberry jelly or jam sometime. I have never tasted one.

Been wanting to. No way to get the elderberries.

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This is what Wikipedia says:

 

Toxicity

 

The leaves, twigs, branches, seeds and roots contain a cyanide producing glycoside. Ingesting any of these parts in sufficient quantity can cause a toxic build up of cyanide in the body. In addition, the unripened berry, flowers and "umbels" contain a toxic alkaloid.

 

Due to the possibility of cyanide poisoning, children should be discouraged from making whistles, slingshots or other toys from elderberry wood. In addition, "herbal teas" made with elderberry leaves (which contain cyanide inducing glycosides) should be treated with high caution. However, ripe berries (pulp and skin) are safe to eat.

 

The berries you tried may have been slightly unripe. Or maybe your body just didn't like the raw berries.

 

I've tried one or two but don't care for them raw, anyway.

 

 

 

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i had the same question. My husband and I went blueberry picking and came across what we think is Elderberries. They had a very bitter taste to them, it was only afterwards that i wondered what i was eating. They were growing my blueberries,, not sure what i was thinking.

 

So, once you cook the elderberries you can eat them and it takes the bitter taste out? If i took a picture of the berry could someone tell me if these berries are Elderberries?

 

kathy

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Yup, no problem. We have worked on other plant mysteries that way, Kathy. ;)

 

The elderberry plant makes little"umbrellas" of flowers, followed by the berries replacing each flower. So it's pretty distinctive that way. They don't cluster like grapes, all close together in one roundish "clump", but more like a flat, side-by-side layer. (Clear as mud, right? :huh: )

 

Here's a Google image search...

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&sou...q=&gs_rfai=

 

 

 

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I just got through making elderberry jelly. I also combine elderberries with blackberries when I don't have enough of one of the two.

 

Looked at the pics Cat. I had never seen red elderberries. Here in North Mississippi they grown along a lot of the roads and they are ripe right now. Tasted one, once. Nope, don't like them raw. The deer love them. So much so that they broke a couple of branches on a tall bush that I have.

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Maybe they were choke berries? Do a google search and click on images to see pictures of the plants you have questions about.

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Hey Cat, Thanks for the link for photos. the 7th photo was an exact match, only mine were not quiet that ripe. I did try to only pick off the real black ones though. I'm sure it was just my reaction to them, because from all the reading I've done, other folks seem to love them. Still just a little queasy this morning, but I need to get cranked up for a busy day. My dh has a dental appt. and my ds has orientation at collage so I better get my draging hinny moving! Thanks all you guys for the info. :wave:

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