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Elderberry Tincture

Elderberry Tincture

Cold and flu season is officially upon us. You may start to feel the telltale twinges in your throat and a wheeze in your chest as the plethora of winter viruses begin to attack. Homemade remedies have been around for hundreds of years to stave off minor ailments and elderberry tincture is one of the oldest and most effective! 


In the UK, Sambucus nigra or elderberry, is a common sight in our hedgerows. In late spring and early summer, these bushes are ablaze with fragrant white blooms which can be used to make things like elderflower cordial. In the autumn months, their branches are dripping with umbrellas of dark berries much loved by birds and wildlife. 
Elderberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins (especially vitamin C). They have been a medicine cupboard staple for hundreds of years! They're said by researchers to help manage inflammation and stress and the symptoms of common colds and flu. 
When foraging elderberries, be mindful to only take what you absolutely need. Elderberries are vital to the survival of birds and wildlife who rely on them for survival now that the days are becoming cold. Elderberries can be frozen once picked. 

Elderberry Tincture

Elderberry tincture can be taken as a preventative if someone you live with falls ill, or when you feel a cold coming on. This simple two ingredient method takes up to 6 weeks to brew, but can then be stored for months to see you through the winter.


Fresh or dried elderberries 


A mason jar with a lid, or wax paper to make a lid 


Fill the mason jar about a third- a half with fresh or dried elderberries. Fill with vodka until the berries are covered, and there is about an inch of vodka sitting atop the berries. Fit the lid and give the jar a good shake to agitate the berries. 

Pop the jar in a dark place. Every few days, give it a shake again. If the alcohol level starts to look low, simply add more vodka to the jar. Leave for 4-6 weeks to infuse into the vodka. 

After this time, use a muslin cloth to strain the elderberry liquid. Give the berries a squeeze to make sure you get every drop of goodness. Funnel the elderberry vodka tincture into amber dropper bottles and discard the berries. 

Dosage and Storage

Store your tincture in a dark place to keep it potent. If stored correctly, your tincture can last for up to five years. 

Take one teaspoon up to 3 times daily as required. Just one teaspoon should be enough if you've been in contact with a cold virus, more if you begin to feel unwell. 

Not recommended for children due to the alcohol content. You could however put half a teaspoon into hot water to evaporate the alcohol. 

Disclaimer: none of the advice given should replace advice offered by a medical professional. If symptoms persist, visit a doctor. Advise your doctor if you plan to take elderberry. All information regarding health benefits of elderberry sourced from WebMD. 







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