How to Make Elderberry Tea (Powerful Natural Remedy Recipe)

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Immune Boosting Elderberry Tea
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Drink Recipes » How to Make Elderberry Tea (Powerful Natural Remedy Recipe)

It is no secret that I’m a fan of elderberries for their natural immune-boosting powers. I make elderberry syrup in batches during the cooler months to keep the flu at bay, but my favorite way to take it is actually a warm, comforting cup of elderberry tea.

Imagine for a moment … six small children … all getting the flu … all at the same time …

I’ll do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen! I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for this natural remedy.

Health Benefits of Elderberry Tea

Black elderberries (technically sambucus nigra) are small, dark purple berries common in parts of North America and Central Europe. Elderberries can be used in jellies, pies, or baked goods much like any berry. They can also be dried and made into teas, tinctures, and syrups for medicinal purposes.

Several studies (like this one) show that elderberry syrup administered at the first sign of illness seems to shorten the severity and length of colds and flu. Its effectiveness is probably thanks to elderberry’s high levels of vitamins A and C, as well as a flavonoid and antioxidant profile that outranks other berries.

Elderberry tea combines immune boosting elderberries with cinnamon, turmeric and honey (optional) for a delicious and healthy tea.

How to Use Elderberries (+ Recipes)

There are plenty of easy ways to make natural cold and flu-fighting remedies from elderberries for the whole family.

Elderberries for Kids

Here are 5 ways to transform elderberries into natural immune-boosting remedies for kids:

  1. Flu-Busting Gummy Bears – Kids won’t even know these tasty gummies are really a cold and flu remedy.
  2. Elderberry Marshmallows – I’m ok with “a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down” in this case. These marshmallows are sweetened with natural honey and contain gelatin, ginger, and other ingredients known to boost the immune system.
  3. Fizzy Elderberry Kombucha Soda – Please their palate and their gut at the same time with this healthy soda alternative!
  4. Elderberry PopsiclesThese popsicles are the perfect choice to soothe sore throats.
  5. Elderberry Syrup – The classic approach. Sweeten to taste and store in the fridge to administer during flu and cold season. Here’s how to make it.

How to Make Elderberry Tea

Nothing against elderberry syrup, but I prefer my gelatin in coffee and my elderberries in tea. It’s quick, simple, and comforting when I’m feeling under the weather.

This tea has a naturally sweet flavor on its own from the elderberries, but sweeten to taste with a small amount of raw honey if desired. I like adding herbs like turmeric and cinnamon for added benefits and flavor, but these aren’t necessary either.

If the taste of elderberry isn’t your cup of tea to begin with (sorry, had to go there!), try adding an herbal tea bag like peppermint or chamomile to mellow out the flavor.

Without further ado, here’s how to make a “cuppa” elderberry tea that’s good for the body and soothing for the soul:


Immune Boosting Elderberry Tea

Immune-Boosting Elderberry Tea Recipe

This delicious immune-boosting homemade elderberry tea is made with dried elderberries, herbs, and spices.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Calories 26kcal
Author Katie Wells





  • Put water and elderberries into a small saucepan.
  • Add turmeric and cinnamon.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes. This helps bring out the beneficial properties of the elderberries.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Finally, strain through a fine mesh strainer and pour into individual mugs.
  • Stir in raw honey if using.
  • Enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Immune-Boosting Elderberry Tea Recipe
Amount Per Serving (8 oz)
Calories 26
% Daily Value*
Sodium 9mg0%
Carbohydrates 6.6g2%
Fiber 1.4g6%
Sugar 2.9g3%
Protein 0.2g0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


For an iced tea, pour into a mason jar and allow to cool, then refrigerate for up to 1 week. Serve over ice if desired. 


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Where to Get Elderberries

Elderberries are common in forests and wooded areas in parts of the U.S., but please don’t try gathering them without an expert. There are plants that resemble elderberries that are not safe to eat (or drink). The berries also must be properly dried and separated from the leaves and stems or they can cause digestive problems.

Rather than forage in the woods for my tea ingredients, I order organic dried elderberries in bulk since they are much less expensive this way. I store them in our deep freezer between uses and they last for years, especially if we — hopefully — stay healthy!

Store-bought Options

If illness strikes without dried elderberries on hand, some stores carry good natural brands of elderberry tea like this one as well as ready-made elderberry syrup.

Do you use elderberries to ward off sickness? What other natural remedies do you swear by? Please share!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


87 responses to “How to Make Elderberry Tea (Powerful Natural Remedy Recipe)”

  1. Catherine Sattler Avatar
    Catherine Sattler

    I forgot about my tea and left it out overnight, is it still safe to drink?

  2. Becca Hill Avatar
    Becca Hill

    How many cups of this can I drink a day while sick? Is there such a thing as too much?

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      General recommendations are 2-3 cups of elder per day as needed. You likely wouldn’t get too much, but your body can only utilize so much of the tea’s compounds in a day.

  3. Tina Hopper Avatar
    Tina Hopper

    I like the product and I add some honey to make my tea a litle bit defferent then I found it so nice. I used other brand brand of coffee before but now I use this and found out that it’s so good.

  4. Jennifer Martin Avatar
    Jennifer Martin

    5 stars
    I’m making the above recipe only I added 2 tsp of echinacea root and one tsp of rose hips. I’ll skip the honey and add stevia to sweeten it up. I bet adding licorice root would add a sweetness to this recipe too. Happy sipping and staying healthy during these times. ???

  5. Michell Haskin Avatar
    Michell Haskin

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. I am wondering how often you can drink the tea In a day. Do you drink the same amount if ill as you would taking it daily? Thank you for all of the information you put out for us Wellness Mama!! You have been helping me keep my family healthy for years.

  6. Billie Avatar

    This is at the bottom of the Elderberry tea recipe in the FAQs:

    “According to Katja Swift and Ryn Midura, founders of the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism and co-authors of Herbal Medicine for Beginners, “Unlike some immune-stimulating herbs, elder is typically well tolerated in individuals with autoimmune conditions.”

  7. Luti Erbeznik Avatar
    Luti Erbeznik

    Thank you for the recipes!
    Did you know that gelatin comes from ears, hooves and joints of cows and pigs? If you did, that doesn’t bother you?

    1. Adam Avatar

      Use agar instead of gelatin. Agar is made from seaweed. It also doesn’t soften when it gets warm after it is set, unlike gelatin, which does.

  8. Ivy Jo Avatar

    I ordered Sambucus Ebulus from Rose Mountain Herbs not realizing that Nigra is what is typically used. Is Ebulus as effective and is the taste similar when making the Elderberry Syrup? Thank you!

  9. Dorie Avatar

    I started taking Sambucal Elderberry OTC dissolving pills every 3 hours at onset of symptoms. Yesterday morning. I bought stuff to make homemade elderberry tea, and liquid gold. I have been taking all of my supplements and using my neti pot. I even boiled oregano in my distilled water to strain into my neti. Pray for no brain eating amoebas.
    Well, 30hrs into it I still feel absolutely terrible. Not even a little better. My husband just caught me taking dayquil and ibuprofen, and laughed at me because I’m always on my high horse about natural remedies because it seems he drinks that stuff by the bottle when he’s sick.

  10. Jackie Avatar

    I was thinking of making a large Mason jar size batch for my diabetic fil. You think that would work? What about the powders in one jar and the berries in another? Thoughts?

  11. Tara Avatar

    5 stars
    Hi Katie! I hear mixed things about storing dried herbs. Do you always store yours in the freezer, or just Elderberry in particular? I have been keeping mine in well-sealed mason jars, in a dark and dry closet. But so many people speak of using the freezer- I’m just not sure what is best! Thanks for the recipe also!
    P.S. You are supposed to always boil dried Elderberries before use because of the seed is that correct? I just got my first bulk order & I am too excited!!

  12. Stephanie Avatar

    Would you recommend or have you taken elderberry tea or syrup while pregnant/breastfeeding? I have had the store bought elderberry while breastfeeding and my baby and I were fine. I have dried elderberries and wanted to make some syrup for myself and almost 14 month old, but just today I read that taking elderberry while breastfeeding is not recommended or at least there have been no studies done too show if it has any negative effect. What is your opinion?

  13. Alison Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this simple healthy
    recipe! Have you ever done an additional brew with the used berries after this recipe? I’m wondering if I could refrigerste them then steep them again in hot water. Similar to how I would brew a single cup of tea. I’m sure it might be diluted, but I feel like the berries might still have a little punch of benefit in them. I want every drop of healthiness Ivan get with these!

  14. Heather Brasseur Avatar
    Heather Brasseur

    5 stars
    I love this tea hot or cold! I have made the elderberry syrup, too, and it’s awesome! Thank you so much! <3

  15. Carol L Avatar

    I do like the idea of the additional turmeric. However, turmeric isn’t completely available for the body to use without the addition of pepper and some form of fat/oil. Neither of which is going to be good in tea! I think I might just leave it out. But I actually never thought of making elderberry tea! I usually make the syrup as that is what is usually thought about when thinking about elderberry. This is a great idea!

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