Sambucus nigra, or European elder, is a tall tree-like shrub, native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and naturalized in the United States. Various parts of the elder have long been used in traditional medicine as a diaphoretic, diuretic, astringent, laxative, and emetic. The berries were used traditionally as a food to make elderberry wine and pies, and as a flavoring or dye. Currently, extracts of the berries are used primarily as antiviral agents for colds, influenza, and Herpes virus infection. Research has also demonstrated Sambucus nigra has immune-modulating, antioxidant, and insulin-stimulating properties.