How to Make An Elderberry Tincture

Elderberries are a wonderful home remedy when it comes to colds and flu. Every year we make elderberry syrup for our kids (recipe here). It’s a sweet and tasty syrup that they look forward to taking daily throughout the winter months. Tasty as it is, my husband and I prefer to use elderberry tincture instead.
How to Make An Elderberry Tincture
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Elderberry Tincture

I choose to make elderberry tincture for the Mr. and myself. A quart-size jar will generally last us all winter (and we have some to share with friends). Just be sure to start your tincture early. It’s best if it sits for at least 6 weeks. Not only do tinctures have a longer shelf life than syrups, but you’ll also use less elderberry.

Benefits of Elderberry

Hippocrates is said to have called the elder plant (Sambucus nigra) his “medicine chest” for the wide variety of ailments it can treat. The leaf, flower, and berries all have wonderful medicinal properties.

Elderberries have immune-enhancing and powerful antiviral properties that are fantastic in helping treat viral infections such as flu, colds, etc. They can also be used for treating upper respiratory infections.elderberry tincture

Ingredients Needed

– Dried Fresh Organic Elderberries (I use these)
– 80 proof or higher Vodka or Brandy
– Canning Jar
Mesh Colander or Nut Bag
– Bottles for storing finished tincture in (This is what I use)

How to make Elderberry Tincture

1. If using dried elderberries, fill your jar about 1/4 of the way.

2. Add Vodka or Brandy to the jar until it’s filled almost to the top.

3. Cover with a lid, label and tuck away in a dark cabinet for at least 4-6 weeks. The longer, the better.  (Be sure to give the tincture a little shake a few times a week)

4. Strain using a mesh colander or a nut bag and place in jars or bottles. Store in a cabinet out of direct sunlight.


Dosage will vary depending on the person. My husband and I take 1/4 teaspoon of elderberry tincture, 3 times daily. Children under the age of 12, will take a much smaller dose.

Is it safe for kids

My boys personally prefer a syrup or a tea over tincture. However, when it comes to kids and Elderberry tincture, it’s generally safe. Just be sure to follow the recommended dosage for children.

**If pregnant, nursing or on certain forms of medication, consult a qualified health care provider before using home remedies.

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