Immune Superhero: Elderberry Tea for Colds and Flu

Elderberries, or Sambuca/Sambucus nigra, are lovely little black, blue and purple berries with a myriad of health and healing benefits proven to help ease a cough, cold or fever. (Just don’t eat the red berries {Sambucus racemosa}, which come from another species and are toxic unless cooked).

There are many ways to take your elderberry medicine

elderberry tea for colds

When school rolls around each year this elderberry natural remedy can be a life saver. Help fight off the nasty cold and flu germs that hitchhike home every day.

While drinking elderberry tea every day might not keep you from ever getting sick it can certainly help shorten the duration and severity when you do. Plus it is great for boosting metabolism, relieving allergy symptoms, reducing inflammation, regulating blood sugar and over all heart health.

How to Make Elderberry Syrup

Elder syrup has been a popular European upper respiratory infection fighter for years and is steadily gaining in popularity in other parts of the world.


1/2 cup (adlink) dried elderberries
4 cups water
2 tbsp cinnamon (for extra immune boosting power)
1 cup honey


1. Bring elderberries, water and cinnamon to a boil.

2. Reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes - until liquid reduces by half.

3. Strain elderberries from the liquid, giving those berries a good smoosh to get all that potent yumminess out.

4. Drain liquid into glass bottle and add honey.

4. Sign, seal and deliver.... shake to mix well and refrigerate.

How to Make Elderberry Tea

Elderberry tea containing just 1-3 teaspoons of steeped Elderberries per cup can help loosen phlegm and allow you to breathe easier during a cold. While both the flowers and berries can be used, the berries have a light sweet flavor, almost reminiscent of a blueberry, and the berry flavor can be further enhanced with a teaspoon of raw wildflower honey which even little kids sick with the flu and no appetite seem to love.

When purchased in bulk elderberries are a very affordable option for boosting the 'ol immune system at the change of seasons.

A 1 pound bag of dried berries will last you a long time. These (adlink) organic elderberries from Frontier come highly recommended.

*Elderberry may also be combined with Echinacea or zinc for further immune enhancing benefits.

A cup of elderberry tea will stimulate the immune system, reduce a fever, fight a virus, and alleviate aches and pains by reducing inflammation.

Elderberries are made up of many healthy constituents including: volatile oil, palmitic, linoleic, linolenic acids, tannins, flavonoids, pectin, flavonoids, cyanogenic glucoside, vitamin A, and vitamin C, among others.

elderberry tea or syrups help boost the immune system



  1. Hi
    I know it shouldn’t of done but when I started reading this post the first thing that popped in to my head was a play I watched when I was at school. George’s marvellous medicine. Bought back a fond memory. Looks good though.

    Thanks lee

  2. The elderberry looks like a wonderful remedy for the flu that’s going around these parts. Maybe this was the marvelous medicine that Rohld Dahl was writing about! Thanks for the eye-opener Sandra!

  3. It’s the first time I’ve heard of an Elderberry. How is the consistency and the smell? I think there’s a difference between all kinds of berries especially with their smell. For example, blueberries smell a lot sweeter than raspberries.

    • I have always bought mine from a reputable source such as the local health food coop or an organic herb store online, so I have never had the fresh berry for comparison purposes, however that is a great question!

  4. I’ve tried this type of berry once but I didn’t enjoy it as much. It probably wasn’t brewed correctly, do you have any recommendations what not to do?

  5. Summer is here as a matter of fact. And instead of worrying about colds, sniffles and flu, we should be avoiding irritating rashes, bee stings and allergies. But there’s nothing a little elderberry won’t cure. Thank you for sharing this post!

  6. I’m actully thinking about brewing a cup of elderberry tea before I hit the sack. I can’t sleep without my cup of tea, it really helps with the relaxation. And if elderberry tea soothes the discomforts brought about by colds or flu, I’m sure it’s a relaxing brew to de-stress and detoxify yourself as well.

  7. Elderberries are not just for wounds, blemishes, or skin rash. I actually found dried elderberry leaves in my grandmother’s medicine cabinet last summer and she used to brew tea out of it for her grandchildren’s sore throat or runny nose. And even if it’s almost summer, I really appreciate your effort for posting an article about elderberry for flu, fever and colds.

  8. I always avoid medicines and would prefer natural or herbal remedies for illness even if it is a headache. I have not heard of elderberries before but will surely try it the next time i am down with cold. Could you please comment on the taste and smell of these berries? Appreciate your share.

  9. I hope elderberry tea that’s good for colds, sore throat and flu will taste good with lemons or a dollop of honey.

  10. Frankly I was not aware with the elderberries, but having read this post I am just astounded by the enticing thing the elderberries are; they are the perfect remedy for every trouble ranging from the cold, flu to wounds etc. This is indeed an amazing product. Thanks for the share.

  11. I love having tea and coffee anytime of the day. And even if elderberry tea is meant to soothe the discomforts brought about by flu and colds, I’ll still add it to my favorites. A dash of honey tastes great too. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  12. I hope this brew tastes good. I love having tea but ironically, I hate its bitter, sometimes grassy taste. It just annoys me and I get green sick. I always add a dollop of honey and some lemon to make the bitter taste more bearable. I hope this elderberry brew tastes good too.

  13. I love drinking tea and experimenting with different flavors. I would certainly keep this recipe in mind especially when I need instant relief from coughs, colds, and flu.Thanks for the share.

  14. Elderberries never grow in my part of the country, but I love how you educate your readers to the wonders of the shrub. Thank you for sharing this post.

    • Thanks for reading Calra, while a good local source would be great, like you, I don’t have easy access to elderberries where I live either, so I buy organic elderberries online, and that has worked very well for my needs!

  15. This is the first time to hear about Elderberry Tea.I will try to drink it and thanks for share this post with us.

  16. Timely to read this now as flu season is upon us. I’m not big on flavored teas, but this one sounds intriguing and the medicinal benefits are compelling!

    • There is just something so rewarding about making a tea from wild plants and berries – feels kinda like being a wild caveman explorer. 🙂 My go to remedy these days during flu season is Thieves oil works like a charm, but elderberry tea is great when you want to sit down and enjoy something hot in the winter.

  17. We’ve been giving our children natural cough remedies ever since I found out that honey is as good if not better in most cases than Robitussin. I understand not all things can be treated “naturally” but when it’s an equivalent option, it should ALWAYS be the choice. Great post!

  18. This is another one of those recipes that I’ve heard about, but never tried before. Time to try

  19. Always love new health hacks! I have shelves full of natural remedies and I can still never collect enough! 😉

  20. This is a very timely post, as cold and flu season is just about here!

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