The Easiest Elderberry Tincture Recipe

elderberry tincture recipe

Using the perfect elderberry tincture recipe allows you to get the benefits of elderberries. An elderberry tincture is a concentrated liquid form of elderberries that is easy to make and easy to take. Tinctures preserve and concentrate the properties of the berries, making them more effective and longer-lasting.

The best reason to learn how to make elderberry tinctures is health benefits. Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world. The berries and flowers of elderberry are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system (1). Elderberry is reputed by some to be effective in treating the common cold, flu, constipation, hay fever, and sinus infections.

There’s evidence that the elderberry plant may have been cultivated by prehistoric man. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995. There are also recipes for elderberry-based medications dating back to Ancient Egypt.

Elderberries are particularly rich in flavonoids, especially anthocyanins which are responsible for their deep purple (almost black) coloring. These flavonoids have antioxidant properties that can help stop cell damage and chemical compounds that are known to have immune-boosting qualities (2).

What Is Elderberry Tincture?

Tinctures have been around for millennia and are a key component of traditional herbal medicine. Elderberry tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking the berries in alcohol. The alcohol pulls out the active ingredients in the elderberries, concentrating them as a liquid (3).

Tinctures make it easy to consume the natural immune-boosting chemicals found in elderberries. This recipe is similar to the recipe we shared for the aronia berry tincture. It is inexpensive to make and can be easily prepared at home.

While there are many different ways to create an elderberry tincture, we’d like to show you an easy method on how to make elderberry tinctures. This method is simple without having to fuss over how many elderberries to use or doing lots of math.

How to Make an Elderberry Tincture

The Easiest Elderberry Tincture Recipe

  • Fresh elderberries—enough to fill a jar
  • 100-proof vodka or brandy
  • Wide-mouth glass jar of any size
  1. Fill up the glass jar with elderberries halfway.
  2. Add vodka so that the level of the liquid is at least two inches above the berries. Note: If you are using dried elderberries, you might have to add more vodka at a later time.
  3. Place parchment paper between the lid and jar. (This is done to prevent the rubber seal from dissolving.) You can also purchase plastic mason lids.
  4. Seal jar tightly.
  5. Label jar.
  6. Shake two times per day for one month to 6 weeks.
  7. After a month squeeze out the resulting liquid using cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.

If you are more of a visual learner check out this elderberry tincture recipe video above.

You can add a few pinches of antiviral herbs to this elderberry tincture recipe if you’d like. Tincture recipes usually take longer to make than the elderberry elixir recipe. Elderberry tinctures can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to fully saturate the liquid with the elderberry properties. Alcohol-based tinctures have a shelf life of several years and are easy to use when needed!

How to Use Elderberry Tincture

Tinctures are taken orally, often deposited directly beneath the tongue, and a single dose (two droppers full) produces the same effect as a cup of elderberry tea.

  • The standard adult dose: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times a day as needed.
  • The standard child dose: 1/4 to 1/3 of the adult dose.

For children, pregnant women, or those not wanting to consume alcohol, it is recommended to dilute elderberry tincture with a hot liquid like tea to evaporate the alcohol before consuming.

elderberry tincture recipe
Fresh elderberry juice in a glass with a bunch of autumn berries and assorted spice ingredients in a still life viewed from above

Elderberry Tincture Benefits

1. Provides Cold and Flu Relief

Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Elderberry acts as an antiviral, which helps prevent and treat both cold and flu viruses. Compounds from elderberries can directly inhibit the virus’s entry and replication in human cells and can help strengthen a person’s immune response to the virus (4).

2. Pain Relief

Topical elderberry tinctures have long been used in folk medicine to treat dental pain, cuts, bruises, and burns.

Anthocyanins within elderberries are known to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of nitric oxide by the body’s immune cells. Nitric oxide works as a signaling molecule that triggers inflammation in response to injury or disease. By strengthening this response, pain and swelling may be relieved.

3. Helps fight cancer

People have used herbal medicine for centuries to treat many different health conditions, even cancer. Amygdalin is a compound that many believe is good for cancer prevention. Research suggests that anthocyanins help protects against oxidative stress, thus reducing inflammation. The study looked at the anti-cancer bioactivity of elderberries against multiple stages of cancer cell growth.

4. Improves Skin

Elderberries have anti-aging and free-radical fighting properties to keep your skin radiant and healthy for long. The anthocyanins mentioned above were found to give a natural boost to your skin’s health. Elderberries contain high levels of vitamin A to speed up healing, prevent breakouts and support the skin’s immune system and it promotes natural moisturizing. It is the perfect skin tonic, particularly for dehydrated mature skin.

5. Reduces Sinus Infection Symptoms

Sinus congestion occurs when fluid becomes trapped in the sinuses. Nasal passages become swollen with excess fluid and mucus and can be triggered by infection. Elderberry has been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria and may improve symptoms of sinusitis and bronchitis (6). Elderberry can help clear sinus infections, it’s also a natural diuretic and laxative and can ease symptoms of allergies.

6. Improves Digestive Health

Elderberry may aid in the treatment of constipation and improve your digestion. This laxative effect is connected to a compound in elderberry known as anthraquinone that inhibits the consumption of water in the intestines (7). This improves the intestinal pressure, inciting muscle contractions to promote clearance of the bowel.

Elderberry is also known around the world as one of the top herbal antivirals. This elderberry tincture recipe is naturally effective for respiratory distress, nasal and lung congestion, sinusitis, allergies, inflammation, cold and flu symptoms.