How to Make an Elderberry Tincture

Elderberries are a great immune booster and making a tincture from the berries provides an easy way to get the plant’s benefits. Tinctures are easy to make and have a longer shelf life than most remedies available.

Tinctures are easy to make and this is one everyone should always have come winter!

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Tinctures are one of my favorite remedies because they are easy to use, have a long shelf life, and are easy to store. If you are unfamiliar with tinctures, they are essentially a strong alcohol extract. Infusing herbs in a high proof alcohol creates a potent herbal extract that contains the medicinal qualities of the herb used. You can learn more about tinctures here.

Elderberries have a long history and are a well known medicinal ingredient. In Germany, elderberries are approved for the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, fevers, and colds. Today, it is a common remedy for colds and flu due to it’s immune boosting properties. There are many ways to take elderberries including tea, syrups, tinctures, and even desserts. Elderberry syrup is easy to make as well but it has a short shelf life, must be kept in the freezer, and contains honey that not everyone can have. This tincture is great to have on hand and one dosage has the strength of two cups of tea!

Ingredients

You can use both fresh or dried elderberries to make this tincture. Keep in mind that dried berries will expand a bit so you’ll want to fill the jar up no more than 1/2 way. The type of alcohol that you use isn’t as important as what proof you use. You will want something that 80-90 proof (40%-45% alcohol). Vodka is very popular to use in making tinctures but you can also use whiskey, gin, or rum.

If you can’t do alcohol or want to give this to children you can make a glycerite. It is an alcohol-free tincture that’s not as strong as an alcohol-based tincture but it can be made in 3 days and is safe for children.

AuthorDaniCategory

Yields1 Serving

 80-90 Proof Alcohol

1

Fill a jar 1/4-1/2 way up with dried elderberries.

2

Add enough alcohol to cover the berries. I always add a little more simply because the berries will soak up some of the alcohol.

3

Put on the lid and shake. Store in a dark place such as a cupboard. Shake the jar a couple times a week to once daily. Make sure there is liquid covering the berries at all times. Add more alcohol as needed. Do this for 6-8 weeks.

4

After 6-8 weeks strain the berries out and toss out or add to compost. Store the liquid in a tincture jar.

Ingredients

 80-90 Proof Alcohol

Directions

1

Fill a jar 1/4-1/2 way up with dried elderberries.

2

Add enough alcohol to cover the berries. I always add a little more simply because the berries will soak up some of the alcohol.

3

Put on the lid and shake. Store in a dark place such as a cupboard. Shake the jar a couple times a week to once daily. Make sure there is liquid covering the berries at all times. Add more alcohol as needed. Do this for 6-8 weeks.

4

After 6-8 weeks strain the berries out and toss out or add to compost. Store the liquid in a tincture jar.

Elderberry Tincture

Dosage

There are a couple of different ways that you can take a tincture. You can take it directly into your mouth, in tea, in water or juice, or in capsules. Adding it to a hot beverage such as tea will burn off the alcohol is you can’t actually have alcohol.

Dosages are done by drops. 30 drops are one dosage and you can go up to three dosages a day or 90 drops per day. A full days dosage of 90 drops is the equivalent to 3/4 teaspoon. It’s not a lot but it is very concentrated and each dosage is the same a drinking two cups of tea (1 Tbsp of dried berries per cup of water)!

For the average adult, 10-30 drops a day is a good dose for preventative measures. When you are sick, go up to 3 dosages, or 90 drops per day.

For children, it is much different. Children 13 years and older can take an adult dosage but for a complete guide of dosages for children under 13 please reference this post.

For those pregnant and breastfeeding, it is safe to take tinctures made with alcohol while pregnant as it is very, very small amount of alcohol. However, not every herb is safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. There’s not much available on the safety of elderberries while pregnant or nursing so avoid this herb unless otherwise told by your doctor, doula, or midwife.

Talk to your doctor before making any health changes and especially if you want to take this while pregnant or breastfeeding or give it to a child.

*Take elderberry only during cold and flu season or while sick. Taking it every day year round will reduce its effectiveness.*

If you make this tincture feel free to share a picture on Instagram and tag it with #notyourtypicalremedy and see everyone else who’s making herbal remedies!


Disclaimer: All information on Not Your Typical Hippie is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor, veterinarian, dietician, or health expert. If you wish to have advice on a medical problem, please consult a doctor. I cannot guarantee that any information provided will work for every person. Please consult a doctor before making any health changes. I am not liable for any choices you make based on the information provided on this website. (Learn more here)