Blood Elder, Blood Hilder, Danewort, Dwarf Elderberry, Palem, Peilam, Petit Sureau, Sambucus ebulus, Saúco Enano, Sauquillo, Sureau en Herbe, Sureau Hièble, Sureau Nain, Sureau Sauvage, Sureau Yèble, Sureau Yièble, Walewort, Yèble.


Overview Information

Dwarf elder is an herb. The fruit, dried leaves, and dried roots are used to make medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, people take dwarf elder to treat arthritis, for weight loss, and to increase urine production as a method for relieving water retention.

Don't confuse dwarf elder (Sambucus ebulus) with elderberry and American elder, which are also members of the Sambucus genus.

How does it work?

Dwarf elder might reduce swelling when applied to the skin.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Skin inflammation. Early research suggests that applying dwarf elder fruit extract along with hydrocortisone cream might improve certain symptoms such as burning and swelling in people with a skin reaction caused by a beetle. But it doesn't seem to improve other symptoms such as pain or itching.
  • Osteoarthritis. Early research shows that applying fingertip amount of gel containing dwarf elder leaf extract improves pain, stiffness, and movement in people with knee osteoarthritis.
  • Eczema.
  • Insect bites.
  • Urticaria.
  • Wounds.
  • Water retention.
  • Obesity.
  • Other Conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of dwarf elder for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Using dwarf elder in large amounts is LIKELY UNSAFE. It can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dizziness, and headache. It can also cause breathing problems, unconsciousness, and death.

It isn't known whether small amounts of dwarf elder can be used safely.

Dwarf elder is POSSIBLY SAFE when used on the skin. Some research shows that dwarf elder extracts can be used on the skin up to 4 weeks without serious side effects.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to use large amounts of dwarf elder, and the safety of smaller amounts is unknown. Stay on the safe side and avoid using dwarf elder if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.



We currently have no information for DWARF ELDER Interactions.



The appropriate dose of dwarf elder depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for dwarf elder. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Ebrahimzadeh MA, Rafati MR, Damchi M, Golpur M, Fathiazad F. Treatment of Paederus Dermatitis with Sambucus ebulus Lotion. Iran J Pharm Res. 2014;13(3):1065-71. View abstract.
  • Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
  • Jabbari M, Daneshfard B, Emtiazy M, Khiveh A, Hashempur MH. Biological Effects and Clinical Applications of Dwarf Elder (Sambucus ebulus L): A Review. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017;22(4):996-1001. View abstract.
  • Jabbari M, Hashempur MH, Razavi SZE, Shahraki HR, Kamalinejad M, Emtiazy M. Efficacy and short-term safety of topical Dwarf Elder (Sambucus ebulus L.) versus diclofenac for knee osteoarthritis: A randomized, double-blind, active-controlled trial. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016;188:80-6. View abstract.
  • Schwaiger S, Zeller I, Pölzelbauer P, et al. Identification and pharmacological characterization of the anti-inflammatory principal of the leaves of dwarf elder (Sambucus ebulus L.). J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;133(2):704-9. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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