Apparently once called Pop-gun in the south of England (Halliwell), it has always been popular, so much so that whole orchards of the trees were planted in Kent, and the berries have even been used for making ersatz port! (Jordan). Evelyn (in Sylva, 1729) was of the opinion that it "greatly assisted longevity", and Cobbett was enthusiastic too - "a cup of mulled elder wine, with nutmeg and sippets of toast, just before going to bed on a cold winter's night, is a thing to be run for". Besides, it is good for sciatica, so it is claimed (Moloney), and according to another Irish belief, drinking it will cure pimples on the face (Maloney). Mulled elderberry wine is certainly good for a sore throat, and also for asthma, so it is claimed (Hatfield).
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If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.