Friends who have watched “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will not be unfamiliar with the old wand. In the bizarre magical world of Harry Potter, there are three powerful Deathly Hallows: the old wand, the rebirth stone, and the invisibility cloak. Among them, the old magic wand at the top has become the coveted object of many wizards because of its powerful mana.
Many people may not know that the old magic wand that sounds so mysterious and strange can actually be seen everywhere in the UK. Whether you are in a city or a country, people can see a tall shrub full of purple and black berries. It is the Western elderberry that is very popular among the British. The old magic wand in the movie is made of Western elderberry native to Europe.
There are more than 20 species of elderberries in the world. In the cultures of many countries and regions, elderberries are regarded as folk traditional herbs. According to the “Compendium of Materia Medica”, elderberry “wood body is light and unintentional, and it grows when it is cut.” Therefore, the ancients regarded this plant as an herbal medicine that can reinforce the bones and treat traumatic injuries, and called it “elderberry.” In Europe, elderberries are also highly valued for their medicinal properties.
In September each year, when the autumn is full in Britain, the branches of elderberry will be covered with purple and black berries. The clusters of black and bright berries are attractive in color and often attract some birds to eat. However, if you have the same idea, I advise you to dispel it as soon as possible. Because most plants of the elder genus are toxic. Take Western elderberry as an example. Its roots, branches, stems, and leaves contain a toxic substance-cyanogenic glycoside. Even its immature fruits and even seeds contain slight toxicity. Causes vomiting or diarrhea. This is because cyanogenic glycosides can be hydrolyzed into highly toxic hydrocyanic acid under the action of enzymes, and 60 mg of hydrocyanic acid reaches the lethal dose for adults. A fairy tale by Danish writer Andersen tells that after drinking elderberry tea, a child with a cold not only saw elderberry growing in the teapot, but also triggered a series of wonderful adventures. In fact, this is the hallucination caused by elderberry leaf poisoning.
Despite this, there are still many people facing the seemingly sweet and juicy bunch of berries, unable to restrain their curiosity and want to satisfy their appetite. Later, people really found a solution that had the best of both worlds. These small juicy berries have a sour taste and are not suitable for direct consumption. People process them to make the dried fruit into a safe drink, or make it into jam. The taste is sweet and sour, and has a unique flavor.
The flowers of Western elderberry are also a good source of nectar. Europeans would pick its flowers and use them to soak elderflower dew or elderberry syrup. These floral dews and syrups are often used to make cocktails, champagne, juices, or various tea drinks. Its flowers are also used to make cakes, desserts, popsicles and cosmetics, with a variety of uses. Its flowers or mature berries can also be used as traditional herbs to treat cough, fever, sore throat and many other diseases.
Not only humans, but Western elderberry is also loved by many animals. Its tall plants can provide shelter for many mammals, and mature berries are important food for some birds. Fungi such as black fungus will also appear on elderberry, and ants and elder aphids will also symbiotically live on the tender stems of elderberry.
Unexpectedly, the magical species of Western elderberry actually possesses a certain magical power. So, don’t underestimate the power of the magic wand!
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