Elderberry Tea is a warm drink you can make at home in just minutes! It’s a faster alternative to making elderberry syrup, to help get more antioxidants into your day.
What is Elderberry Tea Good For?
Elderberries have been long used in folk medicine to help with inflammation, headaches, and cold symptoms, but they must be cooked to be consumed. Boiling the elderberries to make tea is a great way to do that!
Health Benefits of Elderberries
Here’s why you’ll love elderberries:
- Black elderberries have antiviral properties, and have been shown to reduce the symptoms and length of influenza.
- In one study of patients with influenza, taking elderberry syrup 4 times a day was shown to reduce influenza-like symptoms 4 days earlier than those who didn’t take it.
- Elderberries are rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which may have anti-inflammatory and anti-carinogenic properties.
- The flavonoids found in elderberries may help to lower the risk of heart disease.
- Black elderberries (also known as Sambucus nigra) may help with blood sugar control.
Where Can You Find Elderberries?
Some health food stores may sell dried elderberries, otherwise you can buy them online. Brand availability will vary, but I feel comfortable buying most brands that are certified organic.
When storing dried elderberries, be sure to keep them away from kids and pets. Dried elderberries may be toxic when eaten straight from the bag, and my kids think they look like mini chocolate chips– so keep them stored up high, safely out of reach.
How To Make Elderberry Tea
To make elderberry tea, you’ll simply simmer together elderberries with water, and any other add-ins you like. I like to add in a cinnamon stick and a few whole cloves, when I have them on hand.
Simmer the elderberries in water for 15 minutes. The liquid should be dark purple, and your kitchen will start to smell like elderberry juice!
Pour the liquid through a strainer into your mug to serve, since you won’t want to consume the elderberry pulp.
The best thing about making elderberry tea at home is that you get to control the flavor. Here are some other add-ins you might want to consider.
- Fresh rosemary. Rosemary has potential antibacterial and antioxidant properties, too! It makes a great addition to elderberry tea, if you want to maximize your antioxidant intake.
- Whole Cloves. Cloves also have antimicrobial properties and contain potent antioxidants, which may help to inhibit tumor growth.
- Cinnamon Sticks. Compared to 26 other spices, including garlic and oregano, cinnamon has the most antioxidant activity. It’s also been shown to promote heart health and healthy blood glucose levels.
- Orange Peel. Did you know the peel may have up to 3 times more vitamin C than the fruit inside? It may also have anti-cancer properties and is rich in polyphenols.
- Fresh Ginger. Ginger is known for its potential anti-inflammatory properties, and may even help with weight loss. It may also help to lower blood sugar levels.
Can You Boil Elderberries Twice?
Yes! You can get more “bang for your buck” by reserving the boiled elderberries from your first cup of tea. Just add more water and boil again, for a second, slightly less-strong cup of elderberry tea.
If you’re going to boil a second batch, I recommend you do it on the same day, so you don’t have to save the soggy elderberries in the fridge for later.
Elderberry Tea (3 ingredients!)
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons dried elderberries
- 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
- Combine the water, elderberries and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and let it gently simmer for 15 minutes.
- Pour the tea through a fine mesh strainer to remove the elderberries and cinnamon stick.
- Serve warm with any add-ins you like. I sometimes like to add a squeeze of lemon or orange juice, along with a drizzle of honey. Leftover tea can be stored in the fridge and enjoyed warm or cold, if you want to make a larger batch.
More Warm Drinks You’ll Love
- Ginger Tea
- Vegan Latte
- Golden Milk
- 3-Minute Matcha Latte
- London Fog
- Vegan Hot Chocolate
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- Vegan Eggnog (nut-free)
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
If you make this Elderberry Tea recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it! And if you make any modifications, or add in extra ingredients, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite warm drink?