How to Make an Elderberry Tincture

Ripe elderberries on the tree

This recipe for how to make an elderberry tincture, which can be a natural immune booster is easy to make, with only 2 ingredients!

Elderberries are high in vitamins, including high amounts of Vitamin C. As stated in this article, elderberries are known to help to prevent and fight colds and flus and can boost your immune system.

Fresh or dry elderberries can be used. Elderberries can be found in nature or dried elderberries can be bought online. If ordering, make sure you choose organic elderberries.

Elderberry tincture has a much longer shelf life than elderberry syrup because the alcohol helps to preserve the nutrients of the elderberries. Elderberry tincture can last up to 5 years if stored in an amber glass bottle, in a cool and dark place.

I happened to find 3 elderberry trees growing wild on my property. This is what the elderberries look like when they are ripe. It is important when you harvest elderberries that they are ripe. Unripe elderberries are toxic.

elderberry tree for elderberry tincture
Elderberry tree for elderberry tincture

How to Make Elderberry Tincture

If using fresh elderberries, gather the elderberries from nature.

Ripe elderberries on the tree
Elderberry Stem with berries

Separate the black berries from the stem. The stems are toxic and so are unripe berries.

Elderberries separated from the stem

Add the elderberries to a jar. I used a pint canning jar. For dried berries add about 1/3 full, for fresh berries about 1/2 full.

Elderberries added to jar for elderberry tincture

Pour vodka or grain alcohol into the jar (at least 80 proof) to at least cover the berries. You can fill the jar almost to the top if desired.

Adding vodka to the elderberry tincture

Cover with a lid and store in a dark place out of direct sunlight for at least 4 to 6 weeks. When ready, strain the elderberries from the liquid and add the elderberry extract to a clean jar. Store in an amber glass jar or in a dark cabinet.

Using Elderberry Tincture

When feeling cold symptoms or flu symptoms coming on, you can start taking a start taking 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the elderberry tincture 3 times a day. Dilute in a cup of water or other liquid, such as hot tea, to ease the burn of the alcohol and make it easier to drink, if necessary. You can also mix it with honey.

Elderberry tincture can also be used during flu season as a preventative remedy (source).

Safety Issues

If dealing with an illness, such as an auto-immune disease, or taking any prescription medication, check with your healthcare provider before taking the elderberry tincture. Pregnant and nursing women should avoid elderberry to be on the safe side.


Enjoy making and using this very easy-to-make elderberry tincture.

See my website at to learn more and for additional made from nature recipes, such as my sage salve recipepurple dead nettle salve recipeelderflower salve, elderflower lotion barrose petal lotion barpeony lotion barwhite clover lotion bar and my flower jellies including my dandelion jelly reciperedbud jelly recipelilac jelly recipe peony jelly and apple blossom recipe.

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Ripe elderberries on the tree

Elderberry Tincture Recipe

Yield: 12 ounces
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This recipe for how to make an elderberry tincture, a natural immune booster is easy to make, with only 2 ingredients!

Elderberries are high in vitamins and they can help to prevent and fight colds and flus.

Elderberries are high in vitamins and they can help to prevent and fight colds and flus.


  • 1 cup fresh elderberries (or 1/2 cup dried elderberries)
  • 12 ounces 80 proof or higher alcohol, such as vodka or Everclear


  1. Add 1 cup of ripe elderberries to the jar (or 1/2 cup dried)
  2. Add the alcohol
  3. Stir and shake the contents and then add lid
  4. Store in a dark place for at least 4 to 6 weeks
  5. Strain the elderberries from the tincture
  6. Add the strained tincture to a clean jar or amber-colored bottle.

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