Asian American Herbalism and Tea Asian American Herbalism and Tea

Elderberry Elixir Recipe

Elderberry Elixir Recipe
A classic remedy for preventing and treating an early stage cold or flu.

This formula balances elderberries (cooling) with cinnamon and cloves (warming) to strengthen the immune system. Elecampane and licorice are a pair of expectorants that clear airways, congestion and phlegm. It’s most effective when taken regularly or right at the onset of symptoms. Studies show that elderberry syrup can reduce the duration of a cold or flu by four days.

Elderberries can be consumed in larger amounts than other herbs. More like a food. However, the berries must be boiled before ingesting.

Herb Folk Elderberry Elixir:
  • 1/2 Cup Black Elderberries
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon (1/4 stick)
  • 1/2 tsp Cloves
  • 1 tsp Elecampane
  • 1 tsp Licorice (1-2 sticks)
  • 2 tsp citrus peel
  • 1/2 cup Local raw honey (Maple if vegan)
  • 1/2” Vanilla bean or 1 tsp Vanilla extract, optional
  • 2 Tbs Brandy or Vodka, optional
pouring elderberry elixir into medicine bottle

Add the herbs and 4 cups of water to a saucepan. Turn on the heat and leave pot partially covered. Keep an eye on the liquid to ensure that it stays between just at a simmer. The medicinal strengthen is weaker under rapid boil. Reduce liquid by 1/3 (20-40 min). Remove pan from heat, add in any optional aromatic herbs (vanilla, thyme, etc), stir and steep 5 minutes. Strain with sieve or cheesecloth. Once cool, add honey to taste. Store in refrigerator for a few weeks to months. The more honey added, the longer it will keep. Same for the liqueur.

The stranger dose is 1/2-1 tsp for kids and 1/2-1 Tbs for adults, once per day.

When sick the the standard dose ever 2-4 hours until symptoms clear or for 3-4 days.

Makes 2-3 cups.