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Celebrating all the good qualities of elderberry, a long-loved shrub

Elderberry is a shrub that grows up to 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide throughout the eastern United States and in the Midwest. Its beneficial properties have served mankind for eons. Here are a few examples:

Farmers would attach it to cattle and horses’ ears to keep insects and vermin away.

The easy-to-hollow branches were popular material for making wind instruments.

The leaves, bark and berries can be used to make green, black and purple dyes and are used today even to make red wine a deeper red.

The use of elderberry for medicinal purpose dates to Hippocrates of ancient Greece (c. 460 BCE-c. 370 BCE), the father of medicine, who called it his medicine chest and used it to cure a wide array of ailments.

Elderberry is still being used as a cure to whatever ails the body or mind.

Shaelyn Forrest (Get Healthy with Shae) of Newport News, whose mother is from Mathews and father from Gloucester, has been learning, teaching herself and now working towards a degree as a hol...

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