Written by Divinity Nutra, Updated on October 29, 2022
There is good reason and sufficient evidence to support why elderberry’s cure-all properties are spreading like wildfire over the internet. These dark, purple berries may be of European descent, but they make appearances in folk medicine and home remedies all around the world.
Proponents are readily working towards presenting more versatile ways of consuming the berries. With elderberry gummies and syrups available in the market, they are now touting homemade elderberry tea as another option.
As more and more people consider integrating black elderberry into their diets, there must be a practical elderberry tea recipe to follow. Before we get into that, let us quickly review the benefits of elderberry tea in light of scientific research.
1. Boosts Immune System
Elderberry boasts a rich collection of antioxidants, such as vitamins A, B, C, and zinc. Furthermore, it takes its deep, purple color from anthocyanins, a pigment that exhibits antioxidant effects.
Such an immune-boosting composition allows the berries to modulate the immune response. It strengthens the body to resist foreign invaders and effectively fight off disease-causing microbes and viruses.
- Read the studies on elderberry immune support.
Colds and Flu
Elderberry’s influence on viral infections, such as cold and flu, best exemplifies its immunomodulatory effect. Anthocyanins can hamper the reproduction of flu viruses in the body.
For this reason, the use of elderberry extract reduces the duration and severity of symptoms. It is also resistant to other infections of the upper respiratory tract, such as sinus infections.
- Read the studies on elderberry cold and flu.
The efficacy of elderberry for respiratory problems led to an influx of people using it as a potential treatment for COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus attacks type II cells in the body and puts them at risk of a cytokine storm. Data has shown that elderberry exhibits an anti-inflammatory effect on the COVID virus and decelerates cytokine production.
- Read the studies on elderberry and COVID.
2. Reduces Bodily Inflammation
Several studies stand by the anti-inflammatory influence of elderberry on the body. Its antioxidant capacity reduces oxidative stress and fights free radicals in the body. Therefore, elderberry extract can help you get rid of inflammation and pain. Research has also specifically addressed its potential for treating rheumatoid arthritis.
- Read the studies on elderberry and inflammation.
Allergies & Asthma
Elderberry is widely used for treating allergic reactions and infections. It builds upon its antioxidant characteristics to activate a healthy immune response and subdues the severity of allergies.
Given its deep association with respiratory problems, it is also an effective agent against asthma. Several studies have reported that the berry is capable of improving lung health while decreasing the risk of lung function.
- Read the studies on elderberry for allergies.
3. Supports Digestion
Research suggests that at least 75% of elderberry’s phenolic content is absorbed in the digestive tract. The gut bacteria break down nutrients from the berries into a structure that inhibits the growth of bad bacteria. The process allows the elderberry extract to support a healthy gut environment where digestion can occur effectively.
- Read the studies on elderberry for digestion.
Constipation & IBS
Elderberry’s bioactive properties are especially useful for treating bowel problems. Supplementation of elderberry extract can relieve chronic constipation and increase the frequency of bowel evacuations. The plant derivative is also equipped with the right amount of anthocyanins to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Read the studies on elderberry for constipation.
4. Improves Heart Health
Elderberry manages to control the commonly recognized risk factors associated with cardiovascular health. This includes elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
The polyphenol make-up of elderberry helps relax the endothelial lining of blood vessels, which can, in turn, help control blood pressure. Elderberry’s antioxidant capacity also reduces uric acid levels in the body. Research suggests that lowered serum uric acid levels can be an effective therapy for lowering blood pressure in hypertensive individuals.
- Read the studies on elderberry and blood pressure.
Cholesterol & Triglycerides
The anthocyanins from elderberries are proven effective for managing cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body. Long-term supplementation of elderberry extract can increase the presence of good cholesterol. They alter the triglyceride levels according to the body’s needs and work to maintain a balanced ratio of HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol).
- Read the studies on elderberry for cholesterol.
Diabetes & Blood Sugar
Diabetic treatments heavily rely upon the consumption of polyphenol-rich fruits and berries. Therefore, elderberries can play a vital role in managing the blood sugar levels of the body. Research shows that it can reduce fasting glucose and insulin resistance. This helps to reduce an individual’s vulnerability to developing type II diabetes.
- Read the studies on elderberry and diabetes.
5. Fights Chronic Diseases
Research has laid very strong foundations for the chemopreventive influence of elderberry on cancer patients. It is capable of hindering tumor cell proliferation and cancer cell growth. Its antitumor effect can be helpful against various kinds of cancer. Currently, there is preliminary evidence for elderberry use for pancreatic, breast, and colon cancer.
- Read the studies on elderberry for cancer.
6. Enhances Skin Health
Elderberry’s nutrient-rich content also demonstrates potential in the dermatological sphere. It is a highly effective therapeutic agent for improving skin health, reducing photoaging, and treating acne scars.
Elderberry supplementation, as well as topical applications, may also enhance scalp health. This can ultimately lead to stimulated hair growth and strengthened roots.
- Read the studies on elderberry benefits for skin.
How to Make Elderberry Tea
Elderberry tea can be a great way to enjoy a warm and healthy beverage that provides immune support. While you can purchase tea bags from the market, they can be tricky to find in a pinch.
Fortunately, the elderberry tea benefits can be enjoyed at home by following an easy recipe. It is prepared at a fraction of the cost of store-bought products and only requires pantry-staple ingredients.
Need an elderberry tea recipe? It’s easy if you follow the steps below:
- Grab a small saucepan and add 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of dried elderberries.
- Let the berries heat for 5 minutes before adding a cinnamon stick.
- Gently stir the mixture until it comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a medium flame and let it simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down a bit.
- Use a strainer to set aside the leftover fruit and pour the tea into a mug.
- If you’d like to add a natural sweetener, pour a teaspoon of raw honey.
A cup of elderberry tea is very mild in flavor. Therefore, customize the tea as per your liking with different juices, herbs, and spices. For instance, you could boil some turmeric along with the ingredients or add some lemon juice at the end to increase its anti-inflammatory benefits. There are many other notable turmeric benefits, as well.
Other Ways to Take Elderberry
Gummies are your best choice for an off-the-shelf supplement if you would like to skip the hassle of making elderberry tea at home. Elderberry gummies combine the best natural antioxidants such as vitamin C and zinc to create a wholly beneficial immune booster.
Gummies are excellent substitutes for children and adults who dislike swallowing pills or syrup. Given their enhanced immune response, they are the most effective option for relatively severe symptoms, as well.
Elderberry syrup is also a great way to consume elderberry extract. While they often lack the additional vitamin C and zinc, they can provide a good punch of immunity. Store-bought versions are often pricer, which is why you should make elderberry syrup at home.
Side Effects and Dosage
How much elderberry should you take per day? The optimum elderberry dosage is 150-300 mg of extract per day. That will roughly translate to drinking one cup of elderberry tea a day or consuming 2-4 gummies per day.
What are the side effects of elderberry tea? Elderberry poses no grave side effects in supplement and tea form. However, consuming raw elderberry can put you at risk of severe gastrointestinal problems.
Who should not take elderberry? We advise women to avoid elderberry tea or supplements during pregnancy as there is no supporting research on the matter. If you have a thyroid-related autoimmune disease, you should consult a certified medical professional before using elderberry.
- Learn More: Is Elderberry Safe for Kids?
Final Thoughts on Health Benefits of Elderberry Tea
Traditional medicines are great, but sometimes nature’s versatile solutions can produce just as effective results. Elderberry tea benefits the body in many ways. Most notably, it can accelerate healing by lending immense immune support to the body.
A cup of elderberry tea packs these immune-boosting benefits into a great-tasting product. It is easy to prepare and customize for a palatable experience. Yet, if your symptoms are rather severe, consider purchasing a gummy that contains the added vitamin C and zinc for best results.
- Our Picks: Best Elderberry Gummies