How to Make Elderberry Tea (Powerful Natural Remedy Recipe)

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

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. 


Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

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. Barbara Avatar

    5 stars
    I add dried elderberries to my daily tea. I mix red clover, alfalfa, Passion flower, elderberries, dandelion root, dried ginger in a gallon jar.
    I also keep a quart jar 3/4 full of elderberries, 1 cup of honey and clear alcohol. This is perfect for emergency feelings of illness. A tablespoon in a small glass of water or juice stops colds/flu in its tracks.

  2. Kelly Avatar

    This may seem silly, but has anybody just mixed elderberry syrup into a cup of tea with the herbs? I’ve taken elderberry syrup by the spoonful but never thought to mix it in a brewed cup of organic green tea, but I might have to try! I wonder what the benefits would be and how they would compare.

  3. Vince Avatar

    I love this recipe just because it’s different. I’m not sure I’d call it a tea personally but I see why you do.

    It’s an odd pattern really. I’ve noticed that syrups and cordials to make hot drinks are incredibly uncommon in the United States but they’re an everyday thing in some other countries. Honestly, it’s something we need to get involved with more, as there are many benefits to be had.

  4. Lara Avatar

    I’d like to make a comment on the picture with the cup and the berries… There are red and green berries there as well as black ones, and I worry that some people might think it’s ok to use all of them. It is not! Only the black berries should be used, because those unripe berries can cause problems similar to those caused by the twigs, leaves and bark.

  5. Alicia Bayer Avatar
    Alicia Bayer

    1 star
    I am writing a book of elderberry recipes and foraging information, so I’ve been trying new elderberry recipes besides all of our family’s favorites. I made this yesterday but couldn’t finish it. It looked like muddy water and smelled very nice from the cinnamon but was not very pleasant to drink, even after adding honey. This is the first elderberry recipe I haven’t loved. I’m thinking I may try again by just simmering dried elderberries in water and then adding a couple of herbal tea bags instead. That might eliminate the gritty, muddy nature of the tea and also add another good flavor to balance the elderberries. Lemon may help too, as lemon tends to complement elderberries nicely.

    1. Barbara Avatar

      I’ve never had gritty/muddy tasting berries. You might try rinsing your dried berries.

  6. Anna Avatar

    5 stars
    Hello~ I have a bag of organic dried elderberries but I noticed very very tiny stems on some of them. I read the stems are poisonous but I am uncertain that these very small small ones ones are. Do you happen to get those in your bags of elderberries as well? Are they safe?

  7. Jayne Avatar

    I’m definitely going to try your elderberry recipes – sadly the dried elderberries you use are £52.83 here on Amazon UK that’s about $66 according to google!!! :-(. Will have to find another organic brand, but I will try these recipes so thank you for sharing!

  8. Chloe Avatar

    What a great recipe, I will definitely be trying this one out in the cold winter months!

  9. Lynda Avatar

    I just take a tablespoon of frozen elderberry syrup (your recipe) in a cup of hot water to make tea. Tastes great. Will add the tumeric and cinnamon next time. Good idea.

  10. Sara Avatar

    Is this OK to drink if someone has an auto immune disease? Do you still drink elderberry products even though you have an auto immune disease?

  11. Richard Avatar

    5 stars
    Glad to have found your site. Will be back and back some more. I have been using Elderberry Syrup now for years and haven’t gotten the flu or a cold. I buy my Elderberries from Mountain Rose like all of my herbs. Great place and great prices. I like your writing down to earth and understandable. One thing is we laugh each time we make our syrup as it smells funny and we wonder what the neighbors think we are cooking. I learned about Elderberry Syrup from John Gallagher. Wellness Mama thanks.

  12. Tina Avatar

    If I picked some wild elderberries, are they safe to use if I follow this recipe?

  13. DavetteB Avatar

    4 stars
    Made this yesterday for the first time. Didn’t have turmeric, but since the syrup recipe had ginger in it
    I added a few chunks of crystallized ginger.
    As it cooled I added some Vit C powder since I’ve been around sick people.
    Very tasty! (I’m the picky eater in the house so that is a big deal); as it cooled it reminded me of grape
    KoolAid; I could see making a whole pitcher of this in the summer time.
    Now I have to get more elderberries!

  14. Faith W Avatar

    Have you ever reused the elderberries from your syrup recipe in the tea? Wondering if simply adding the “finished” berries to some new water and simmering for 10 minutes or so would make a good tea? I hate just throwing out those berries when there might be some more goodness left in them! (I’ve tried making elderberry muffins with them, but no one in the fam was a fan.)

    1. Barbara Avatar

      I add them to my loose tea and use the same batch all day, just adding more water. The taste changes through out the day as different properties of the herbs/berries come out. The berries seem to last a long time.

  15. Erika Avatar

    Hello! I was wondering how often I can give this tea to my 7 year old and my 4 year old. They both developed a cold and I gave them each a cup of tea two days in a row. I am wondering if its safe to give them another glass today?

  16. Patricia Avatar

    How can i store the tea and keep it fresh without putting in the refrigerator. How long would it stay fresh?

  17. Nancy Avatar

    I wonder if you could just let the elderberries steep in a tea strainer (like you would use for loose leaf tea), or if you need higher heat of them kept at a constant boil/simmer for the 15 minutes. Any advice on this?

  18. Rozanna Avatar

    Hi Kaity
    I’m still nursing my 19 month old son . Do you take this when nursing? And do you think its ok to also give some to my toddler. Thank you so much for all the info youshare with us you have blessed our family and the people that we love with your blog!

4.17 from 61 votes (47 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating