20 January 2021

Benefits of Elderberry Tea + How to Make Elderberry Tea

 Learn about the benefits of elderberry tea and get an easy elderberry tea recipe.  This only has three ingredients, and I give you options for more herbs and spices to add to it for their benefits as well.  Learn how to make elderberry tea hot or cold for a delicious drink to support your immune system.

I learned about elderberry and their benefits a few years ago.  Now, elderberry syrup is part of my immune support all year round.

I take elderberry syrup to support my immune system, and my kids love elderberry gummies.  I don't take it daily, so sometimes I make this elderberry tea recipe to have instead of the syrup.

This is a very easy recipe with just three ingredients.  This is a perfect recipe for when you are out of syrup since it's so quick to make.

You can also use your spent elderberries to make an elderberry tea recipe so you can squeeze all of the goodness out of your berries.

Benefits of Elderberry Tea + Elderberry Tea Recipe

Elderberry Health Benefits

There are almost 30 types of elderberries, but Sambucus nigra is the one that has the most health benefits.  It's native to Europe and has been used since Hippocrates in about 400 BC.

Elderberry flowers and berries are high in antioxidants and vitamins that are said to support your immune system.  The berries are also said to reduce inflammation naturally.  

You can also drink turmeric and cinnamon hot chocolate to reduce inflammation naturally.

According to a study, elderberry may activate your immune system by boosting inflammatory cytokine production.  It can also act stimulate the immune system when used with other treatments for some diseases.  

Further, another study found that elderberry reduced upper respiratory symptoms in a trial with 180 participants.  

These benefits of elderberry tea are why people drink this elderberry tea recipe.

I use elderberries for this elderberry syrup recipe with honey.  You can also make an elderberry tincture recipe with herbs.  

Benefits of Elderberry Tea

Since this elderberry tea recipe is made with elderberries, you'll get their benefits.  People drink this tea for many reasons, including:

  • Cold
  • Flu
  • Inflammation
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Stress
  • Minor skin conditions

Although there are some studies that I've referenced above, elderberries do have some nutritional benefits as well.  They are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which are good benefits of elderberry tea.

Where to Buy Elderberries

Elderberries are more common now, and you can find them more and more places.  I get my elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs.  Note that they sell Samucus ebulus from Albania, which will yield many of the same benefits of elderberry tea.

Starwest Botanicals carries Sambucus nigra elderberries.  

I do recommend buying elderberries from a reputable source like Mountain Rose Herbs or Starwest Botanicals.  Some inexpensive brands have a lot of sticks and debris that you'll have to pick out.  

How to Use Elderberry Tea

You can drink elderberry tea as a drink to replace water or other drink.  You can drink it daily or as needed for the benefits of elderberry tea.

Elderberry Tea Side Effects

There is too much of a good thing, and drinking too much elderberry tea recipe can cause negative effects.  

Do not drink elderberry tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.  

It can be unsafe to consume the leaves or stems, so be sure to pick them out before you make this elderberry tea recipe.  

Cooked elderberries are generally recognized as safe, but unripe or raw berries can make you sick.  They can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Elderberries should be avoided if you have an autoimmune disease because they can make your immune system overactive.

Elderberries are a diuretic, so ask your doctor before drinking it if you take medications that this can interfere with.  

Side effects of elderberries can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Stupor

If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately.  

Where to Buy Elderberry Tea

Although you can learn how to make elderberry tea, you may want to buy it instead.  It will be cheaper to buy a pack of tea rather than buying a pound of berries so you will know if you like it

Does Elderberry Tea Have Caffeine?

No, elderberry tea does not have caffeine unless you make it with black tea.

What Does Elderberry Tea Taste Like?

This elderberry tea recipe has tart taste with almost earthy notes due to the elderberries.  You can also add raw honey for a sweeter taste.

You can add herbs, spices, and other teas to change the flavor.

Iced Elderberry Tea Recipe

To make this an iced elderberry tea recipe, make as directed below and let cool.  Pour over ice for an iced tea.

You can store the iced tea in the fridge for a few days.

How to Customize Your Elderberry Tea Recipe

You can make your elderberry tea exactly as described below to get the benefits of elderberry tea, or you can add other things to it. 

If you don't care for the taste of elderberries, you can add a bag of tea to mellow the flavor.  You can add chamomile tea, peppermint tea, or green tea.  

You can use unsweetened cherry juice in place of all or part of the water to change the flavor.  

You can also add one of the following herbs or spices:

How to Make Elderberry Tea After Making Elderberry Syrup

After you've made elderberry syrup, you can use your spent berries to make an elderberry tea recipe.  Simply use 2 cups of spent elderberries and 8 cups of water and follow the directions below.

Elderberry Tea Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons dried elderberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Elderberry Tea Recipe Directions

Step #1

Combine the water, dried elderberries, and cinnamon stick in a small pan.  Heat over medium high until boiling.  

Step #2

Turn down the heat to a simmer.  Let simmer for 15 minutes.  

Step #3

Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Step #4

Pour the tea through a strainer  I use a small strainer and pour directly into a mug.  Add honey if desired.

If you want iced elderberry tea, pour it over ice.  

You can reuse the elderberries to make a second cup, but it won't be as strong.  

elderberry tea, herbal tea, recipe, drink
Yield: 2
Author: Cari @ Everything Pretty
Elderberry Tea Recipe

Elderberry Tea Recipe

Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 30 Min
Learn about the benefits of elderberry tea and how to make elderberry tea.


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons dried elderberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Combine the water, dried elderberries, and cinnamon stick in a small pan. Heat over medium high until boiling.  Turn down the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the tea through a strainerI use a small strainer and pour directly into a mug. Add honey if desired.


If you want iced elderberry tea, pour it over ice.

You can reuse the elderberries to make a second cup, but it won't be as strong.



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