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Elderberry Tea

Bhakti Satalkar Mar 20, 2020
Elderberry tea has been used by Native Americans for treating a number of ailments. This story provides information about the benefits of this tea and its method of preparation.
Elderberry is a large shrub, native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa, and it is also found in North America. This shrub bears white flowers early in summer, and black berries in late summer. Both the flowers and berries are used as an ingredient in various recipes and are also used for making wine.
It has many different species, and the European elder is said to have good healing powers. However, American elderberry is different from its European cousin. The most common use of this shrub is to make tea. However, it is also used for making juice and wine.
The native Americans used the tea for the treatment of fever and joint pain. Let us look at the other benefits of this tea.

Tea Benefits

There are many species of this shrub, but the Sambucus nigra species is the most recommended one. Poisonous alkaloids, lectins, and cyanogenic glycosides are present in some parts of the plant. The berries are safe to consume, especially when cooked. However, the leaves and stems should not be used while making the juice.
  • It helps in the treatment of influenza and fever. In case of fever, it is recommended to drink this tea hot, as it induces heavy sweating. For better results, it should be taken as soon as the first signs of fever appear, such as chills and body ache.
  • It helps in alleviating conditions like cold and flu, asthma, and bronchitis. It is also helpful in clearing accumulated phlegm in the air passage.
  • Since it is helpful in clearing the airways, it is also used in the treatment of allergic colds, laryngitis, tonsillitis, and sinusitis.
  • A number of allergies can be cured by mere consumption of this tea.
  • It is also known to enhance functional effectiveness of the kidney, by getting rid of toxins present in the system.
  • Consumption of this tea helps in quick recovery of patients affected by eruptive diseases caused by viruses, such as measles, chickenpox, etc.
  • According to a latest research, it has been found to be useful in the treatment of arthritic and rheumatic pain.
  • It is rich in Vitamin C, and has antioxidant properties which delay the aging process of the body .
  • It has high content of immuno-stimulants such as, anthocyanin and bioflavonoid, which prevent a number of immune system diseases. This is one of the important benefits of the shrub.
  • It is said to reduce the damaging effects of bad cholesterol (LDL), and is thus helpful in preventing heart diseases.
  • Cooled tea concoction can be used as a mouthwash for treatment of sore throat and mouth ulcers.
  • Sciatica and neuralgia can also be treated with this tea.
  • It can also be used as an astringent for the skin.


A person can consume as many as 3 to 5 cups of this tea a day. It should be taken till the person recovers from the ailment.
  • To prepare the tea, pour 3 cups of water in a pot and bring it to boil.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of dried flowers of elderberry and let them steep in the water for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Strain and consume it hot, if you are suffering from fever.

Side Effects

 The cyanogenic glycosides present in the plant may release the poisonous cyanide group, which can cause instant death. The stems, roots, and leaves of this shrub contain the poisonous compounds. 
Although the flowers of this plant are said to be safe, some people have suffered from mild gastrointestinal distress and allergic reactions. The other side effects of this shrub are irregular heartbeat, stomach upset, diarrhea, etc.
Although the tea is known to be beneficial, it is not recommended to young children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, or people with complex liver or kidney diseases. In case you do notice any of the side effects, contact your health care professional immediately.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.