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While elderberry syrup is currently the most popular go to for those wishing to arrest the symptoms of colds and flues and to boost immunity before illness arrives, elderberry tincture is another way to achieve the same results.  Elderberry tincture contains the same beneficial properties and compounds, but is created without boiling, without honey, and is more shelf stable.  I love using tinctures of other herbs, so I was very eager to try this when I heard of another blogger tincturing her elderberries.

Elderberry Tincture Benefits

Elderberries are not new as they have been an herbal supplement for years and have always grown naturally in the United States and in the rest of North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa.  Why do we hear of them so much more now?  As more parents are moving away from medical options with a long list of side effects and risks, they are looking for natural ways to keep their families healthy.  Elderberry is one of the solutions to this problem.

The berries of the elder bush contain Vitamins A and C, quercetin, rutin, and anthocyanins, all of which are great for the immune system.  What we notice when we use herbs from nature is that they do not create an artificial response within our body, but have a normalizing effect.  It is my belief that elderberry works to normalize the immune system rather than make it go in over gear.  By giving the body what it needs to succeed against viruses and bacteria, we are not forcing our body to act, but giving it the ability to act.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, Sambucol reduced the duration of flu symptoms to 3-4 days.1


Elderberry Tincture Recipe

Below is my elderberry tincture recipe.  Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts that have alcohol as the solvent.  I learned to make tinctures at a class taught by Christiane Wurmstedt the owner of Rosalie Apothecary in New Orleans.  She is an excellent resource for herbal knowledge in that area and hosts many classes during the year.


Organic Elderberries (I buy –> these)

Organic Vodka (or some people use Everclear) (I use –> this brand)

Glass jar (Like –> these) – you can also find these at your local supermarket

Fine Mesh Colander  (Like –> this or this)

Dropper bottles (Like –> this to give out an appropriate amount)


  1. Fill your glass jar half full with elderberries.
  2. Fill the rest up with organic vodka.
  3. Keep on your counter for 4 weeks (some suggest 6 – 8, but I find that 4 weeks is sufficient)
  4. Shake daily for the first few days, then weekly after that.
  5. Strain your tincture using the fine mesh colander into a glass measuring cup.
  6. Pour your tincture into 2 ounce dropper bottles to store.  Be sure to label your tincture!

How to Use

As an adult, I use 1 dropper full once a day when avoiding illness.  I use a dropper full 2-3 times a day when ill.  You can add it to a half a glass of water to easily ingest it.

For my 9 year old son, I use a half a dropper full in water once a day when ill.  The amount is very small and about the same as using vanilla extract in a drink.

The dosing for younger children is up to you and according to your own beliefs about herbal medicine.  Options include adding a few drops to honey or maple syrup, rubbing a drop under the tongue, or adding a drop into yogurt.

And as always, take a look at my Disclaimer page.  I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose, prescribe, or treat.  You are your own best resource.  Do your research and make informed decisions.

Caution: I wanted to add this extra information as it may be relevant to some of you with gastric issues.  Herbalists seem to disagree on whether elderberry should be made into a tincture, so please study up and make your best decisions on this matter (Read –> this and –> this for more information).


I hope this blog post and the elderberry tincture recipe are very helpful for your family to keep you well and to help your body heal when ill.  As mothers, we have a wonderful opportunity to promote the wellness of our family and it is such a privileged to provide great options for mothers across the world.  Follow my blog on –> Facebook, –> Instagram, and –> Twitter.

Further Reading

  1. The effect of Sambucol –> https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11399518


Affiliate Disclosure

I am an Amazon Affiliate and the links included in this post will take you to Amazon.  As an affiliate, I get paid when my readers shop from those links.  Feel free to shop from the links if you’d like to support my blog, but feel free to shop elsewhere especially locally!


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