June 29, 2020
Elderberry is recognized within the wellness space as an immune-supporting herb that promotes overall health. Its beneficial use is thought to date back to Hippocrates, who valued the plant because of its health-supporting versatility.
Elderberries are the dark purple fruit of the elderberry shrub. A rich source of antioxidants known as anthocyanins, elderberry is reputed by some to be effective in treating the common cold, flu, constipation, hay fever, and sinus infections.
Many of elderberry's health benefits can be attributed to anthocyanin. As an antioxidant, anthocyanin works by clearing the body of free radicals that damage cells at the DNA level.1 It also has antiviral properties that may prevent or reduce the severity of certain common infections.
Elderberry also exerts anti-inflammatory effects, reducing swelling and pain by tempering the body's immune response.2
In addition to supplementing with elderberry capsules, elderberry tea is also an easy way to reap the benefits of this beneficial herb. It’s warm, comforting and serves as a natural immune-supporter.
What Is Elderberry Tea?
Elderberry tea is made from dried berries and flowers of the elder plant. They are simmered in hot water, infusing the plant’s beneficial compounds into a sweet, comforting tea.
Like capsules and syrup made from the plant, elderberry tea contains flavonoid antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which are found in superfoods like berries and cherries. These antioxidants help support a healthy immune system, and are capable of supporting overall neurological and cardiovascular health.
What does elderberry tea taste like? It has a naturally sweet taste from the berries, with earthy, sometimes described as tart undertones. Your tea can be sweetened with honey and stevia, or adding cinnamon and turmeric works well, too.
Research on the elder plant has been conducted for the last 20 years, investigating its antioxidant benefits and immune-boosting potential. Today, it’s one of the most well-known herbs because of its unique performance.
It’s easy to make your own elderberry tea, and you’ll have the soothing effects on the body and mind.
To make two cups (16 ounces) of tea, follow this easy elderberry tea recipe:
- Heat two cups of water in a small saucepan.
- Add 2 tablespoons of dried elderberries.
- Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat.
- Simmer elderberries for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Strain berries through a fine mesh strainer.
- Stir in additional herbs or sweeteners.
To add your preferred flavor, you have some options. Spices like cinnamon and turmeric work well in elderberry tea. If you go this route, add the spices during the simmering process so that the flavor and beneficial compounds come out into the tea.
For a sweeter flavor, honey and stevia are great options. Add in these natural sweeteners after the tea has been strained and cooled.
If you’re looking to enjoy elderberry tea during the hotter spring and summer months, you can add it to glass mason jars and put them in the refrigerator for a refreshing iced tea.
- Duymuş HG, Göger F, Başer KH. In vitro antioxidant properties and anthocyanin compositions of elderberry extracts. Food Chemistry. 2014 Jul 15;155:112-9. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.01.028
- Krawitz C, Mraheil MA, Stein M, et al. Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses. BMC Compl Alt Med. 2011;11(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-16.