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Elder Anyone?

Sambucus nigra 
Commonly known as European Elder, Black Elder, Common Elder, Bore Tree.  It grows up to 9 metres tall, spreads like a weed throughout New Zealand, its origins from England & Europe.  It has clusters of small creamy white flowers in the summer which turn into large drooping bunches of purplish-black juicy berries. Both of these i.e. flower & berry are used medicinally.  

The use of elder dates back to the father of medicine himself, Hippocrates (470-410 BC).  the word elder is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "aeld" meaning "fire", as you could create a fire by blowing through the young hollow branches of the elder tree.  Danish legend connected it with magic, believing that in the branches dwelt a dryad, Hylde-Moer, the Elder Tree Mother, and that if one stood under the tree on Midsummer Eve one would see the King of Fairyland and all his train ride by.  Russian peasants said that the compassionate spirit of the Sambucus nigra would drive away all evil and also give long life & in some countries they refuse to burn or destroy the trees because of this.  The Sicilians thought that sticks made of its wood killed serpents and drove away robbers, and the English believed that it was never struck by lightening. 

Its active constituents consist of:  

Flavonoids - rutin, isoquercetin, quercetin, kaempferol & astragalin
Phenolic acids - chlorogenic, p-coumaric & caffeic acids
Triterpenes - ursolic acid, beta & alpha amyrin
Volatile Oils - palmitic, linoleic & linolenic
Rich in Vitamin C

Elderberry tincture, wine, spirits, syrup, honey (flowers), jams, oxymels (vinegar & honey), champagne (flowers), oil, lozenges are the many mediums that are made to utilise it's health giving properties.  Traditionally Elder has been used to treat headaches, toothache, facial blemishes, cough, asthma, fever, smallpox, measles, arthritis, menstrual complaints, oedema, burns, melancholy, epilepsy, protection from the plague, wound healing & diarrhoea to name a few.  Nowadays Elderberries are used to treat colds, influenza, fever, sinusitis, nasal catarrh/rhinitis, dry cough, joint pain, nerve pain i.e. sciatica, high cholesterol.  Elderflowers are used as a diuretic, treating fevers, reducing mucus, laxative, scarlet fever, measles, fevers, joint pain.  Elderflower water has been used in soothing inflamed eyes, as well as in skin moisturisers and perfumes.

To get started on using your Elderberry as in infusion (tea), making syrup or oxymel click on or copy & paste the following link:  

We do have the Elderflower as well, it isn't listed at present but we have onboard so order Elderberry and in the notes tell us you want Elderflower.  

Carry on reading for more studies on Elderberry and how they can possibly help you and your family:

During the 2009 flu season, a short-term, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study was conducted on 64 volunteers suffering from three or more flu-like symptoms (coughing, fever, headache, muscle aches, and/or nasal congestion and mucosal discharge) for less than 24 hours.  The patients were randomized into two groups of 32 and administered four doses of 175 mg proprietary elderberry extract (HerbalScience Singapore Pte. Ltd.; standardized and enriched in phenolic acids, polyphenolics, and a broad diversity of other flavonoids) or placebo daily for two days. After 48 hours, the elderberry group reported a significant reduction in symptoms with 28% of volunteers being symptom free. The symptoms of the patients in the placebo group were either unchanged or worse.

In 2004, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (n=60) demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Sambucol in the treatment of influenza.  Patients with influenza type A or B received 15 ml Sambucol or placebo four times per day. Flu symptoms decreased significantly in the elder group by the third or fourth day versus seven-to-eight days in the placebo group. Treatment was initiated within 48 hours of symptom onset and the authors suggested that the elder preparation might have been even more effective with earlier intervention.

In a previous placebo-controlled, double-blind study conducted in 1995 on 27 patients with influenza symptoms for 24 hours or less, patients received either Sambucol or placebo daily for three days (two tablespoons per day for children five-to-11 years of age and four tablespoons per day for adults 12 years and older).  Within two days, 93.3% of the elderberry group experienced a significant improvement in symptoms, and complete resolution was achieved by 90% of the group within two to three days. The placebo group did not experience similar improvement or resolution until day six.

Links to further studies on Elderberries click on or copy & paste:

1.  Inhibitory activity of elderberry liquid extract against respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A & B viruses:

2.  Bone Mineral Density in Experimental Diabetes:

3.  Anti-influenza virus effects of elderberry juice:

4.  Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection:


Stress & Insomnia Anyone?

Stress can affect us all, and at all ages...what can we do to help lessen this?

At Naturalus we have a few differing options to help relax your nerves and calm your mind....

Naturalus Relax Tea
A blend of 4 herbs:  Withania, Lavender, Lemon Balm & Lime Blossom

Withania is a strengthening and rejuvenating tonic for all forms of weakness, fatigue, wasting and convalescing.  It is said to provide fresh energy and vigour for a system worn out by any constitutional disease and to strengthen the nerves and promote restful sleep.  Regarded as a rasayana herb, promoting health, increasing resistance of the body to stressors, revitalising the body in debilitated conditions, increasing longevity as well as improving learning and memory retrival.  Modern research on Withania has stressed its antitumour and adaptogenic actions (Adaptogens increase the ability of an organism to cope with stress.)  It therefore helps to conserve energy as well as boosting energy reserves.  While it's compared with Ginseng it lacks the stimulating effects of it, it has a mild sedative action as indicated by its latin name "somnifera".

Lavender is very well known for its calming and relaxing properties, it brings a lovely fragrant aspect to this tea, it has been shown to help with the following health conditions: Hyperactivity, insomnia, aching joints & muscles, stress, depression, hangovers, headaches, tension, exhaustion, colds, many reasons for why we may not be sleeping!

Lemon balm is native to the Mediterranean, Western Asia, South Western Siberia & Northern Africa.  Its usage dates back at least 2000 years.  Its Greek names meaning bee/honey bee. It is noted use in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1840 - 1890.  Lemon balm was a sacred herb in the temple of Artemis/Diana, it assisted the ancient beekeepers in keeping honeybees fed with nectar.  Lemon Balm has been shown to help with:  Insomnia, Alzheimers, agitation, mood disorders, restlessness, & anxieties.

Slavic mythology see Lime Blossom as a sacred tree (it is there national emblem).  Croatian currency 'kuna' consists of 100 lipa, meaning linden.  In German mythology it's believed the tree will help unearth the truth - judicial meetings were held under the trees.  It has been called the "Tree of Lovers".  In Greek Mythology Baucis & Philemon an elderly couple, Baucis was turned into a Linden tree & Philemon was turned into an Oak tree.  Lime flower has been shown to help with the following health conditions:  Restlessness, hysteria, headaches, colds, coughs, fever, hypertension,  digestive disorders, anxieties, insomnia,  joint pain, bacterial infections, indigestion & irregular heartbeat.

This tea can be taken during the day at work, or taken during the evening & before bed to help create a good nights sleep....if you prefer you can brew up in a pot with milk of choice: cows, goats, almond or rice bring to the boil and let simmer for 5-10 minutes with the lid on...strain and enjoy :-)

Naturalus Therapeutic Bath Salts

If you have a bath then this one you would love....our Lavender Therapeutic Bath Salts, containing Baking Soda, Epsom Salts, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Gardenia Blue Powder, Lavender Essential Oil, Organic Cornflour.....A very cleansing, calming, healing mixture leaving your skin feeling silky smooth, while easing tension in your muscles as well as mind!   If you are saying I don't have a bath, it works just as well in a foot soak....on a cold wintery night what better to relax into.

Naturalus Massage Oils

If you're lucky enough to have a partner at home perhaps a massage after work is what you'd prefer...but for all those single guys and girls you can still benefit by giving yourself a neck massage! This can help relieve any stress & tension built up in the neck & shoulder muscles....If you're heading to bed I'd recommend the Awakening Blend with Sandalwood & Patchouli....or if you're going to carry on with work try our Refreshing Blend with Lime, Orange & White Grapefruit!  

If you prefer more of a cream/wax for your massage, then check out our 3 Body Butters in Rose, Lavender or Patchouli....or if you have stiff muscles, aching joints you may prefer the healing actions of our Cayenne Plus Cream with Cayenne, Arnica & St Johns Wort Oil it is perfect for all muscle, joint & nerve pains be it sciatica, R.S.I., arthritis, or sports injuries....

Other products for stress & insomnia you may want to consider are:

Malcolm Harker Calmunurse (suitable for all ages: babies to adults)
Naturalus Valerian Tea
Naturalus Essential Oils
Naturalus Chamomile Tea
Naturalus Red Clover Tea (especially good for insomnia & menopause)
Naturalus Hoijicha Green Tea

Click on any of the above links to go directly to that product...
Any questions??.....just email


How to use our Toothpowders....

We've had a few people lately unsure on how to use our toothpowder's, so I thought I'd tell you more about them and how to use them.

Toothpowder's are the original bases for what became toothpaste.  The Ancient Egyptians used, as did Ancient Asian cultures.  Europeans used toothbrushes without toothpaste or powder up until the 1800's when toothpowder's became popular.

We have 3 powders for you to enjoy:

Spearmint & Sage
Clove, Calendula & Sea Salt
Citrus (orange), Patchouli & Bamboo Charcoal

All 3 have a base of Kaolin Clay & Aluminium Free Baking Soda.  The Kaolin Clay is a very gentle abrasive, suitable for the most sensitive of teeth, helping to remove stubborn plaque deposits as well as supply minerals that help to strengthen tooth enamel.  The tiny ridges on the kaolin particles work together like miniature files to produce a micro-smooth surface on the teeth, with maximum gloss and lustre.  Kaolin also helps to fight bacterial infection and relieve pain from a toothache.

Baking Soda as well as helping to clean your teeth, acts as a whitener.  Helping to scrap off the yellow and brown stains by penetrating the teeth's enamel and lightening the stains to give a much whiter appearance, giving a polished effect without scratching the tooth surface.  Another bonus with baking soda is that it helps to fight bad breath (halitosis).

The ingredients we have chosen alongside kaolin clay & baking soda were chosen for the effectiveness in healing in the oral area i.e. our mouths.

Sage & Spearmint
Sage has astringent & anti-bacterial actions making very suitable for strengthening the gums, lessening bleeding of the gums, bringing some relief from toothaches & lessening infection, helping to whiten & clean as well as giving a fresh taste & smell.  Spearmint as well as tasting & smelling fantastic, helps with healing sore gums as well as having a whitening effect on your teeth.

Clove, Calendula & Sea Salt
Clove has anti-bacterial actions, documented usage as early as 3rd Century B.C., chewing cloves before having an audience with the Chinese Emperor was required to fix any bad breath.  Ancient Hindu texts describe how they used clove oil in their dentistry procedures.  The 1945 Dentistry Medical Text list many essential oils including clove & spearmint as being therapeutically active for use in dentistry procedures.  Hippocrates the "father of medicine" himself treated rotting teeth and gums with pills of clove oil.  Bernard Schechter DDS said that "since the 19th Century the germ killing molecules in clove oil have functioned for root canal work and other more serious dentistry."  Calendula has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial & anti-fungal activity, helping to fight infection as well as heal bleeding gums by strengthening the gum tissue itself.  Salt works by drawing out water from the pathogens, dehydrating them which helps to kill the bacteria causing discomfort.  It also helps to firm the gums, keeping them healthy as well as help in the removal of plaque and whitening of teeth.

Citrus, Patchouli & Bamboo Charcoal
Orange Essential Oil is very astringent, this astringency helps to relieve bleeding gums, soothe sensitive teeth, while freshening the breath.  Patchouli Leaf is also very astringent strengthening the gums hold on your teeth, contracting blood vessels thereby relieving bleeding gums, aching gums and sensitive teeth.  Bamboo charcoal helps to heal any infection by pulling/drawing on the toxins/poisons from the infection.  Helping to relieve pain, addressing any inflammation in the gums as well as help to heal any abscesses.

As you can see we've chosen some great ingredients for your teeth & gums & we hope you like them as much as we do.  But now... how do I use them you say?

It's a lot simpler than it looks....just wet your toothbrush (electric or manual)....shake off the excess water.....dip into your favourite toothpowder mix.....and brush.....once the recommended 2 minutes of brushing is easy as that!

Click on any of the photos above to get your favourite Toothpowder!



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Naturalus has been making and selling natural products here in Christchurch
New Zealand since 2008. Being a Clinical Medical Herbalist, Tanya has an understanding of how natural ingredients work on the body and how to combine them to give the most benefit. Also over the years more pure essential oils have been sourced and added. To compliment that there is a great range of Ultrasonic Oil Diffusers, being one the first in NZ to have them. There are plenty of other products to check out and if you want to read some feedback its’s here: Feedback.
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