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Elderberry Tea and Pregnancy: Safety and Benefits

    Native Americans and Ancient Egyptians have been drinking elderberry tea for centuries. It is a herbal medicine that has been used to fight off common colds, and to help cure constipation but is it safe to have elderberry tea during pregnancy as well?


    Elderberry is a purplish small round fruit that grows on the Elder tree, also known as the Sambucus tree. It grows in bunches on trees and looks a lot like cranberries. It has a tarty but sweet flavor and has a distinct color as well.

    Elderberry is known to be an immunity booster, it is full of Vitamin C and antioxidants and is widely used in medicine all over the world. You will see many over-the-top counter medicines for cough and cold that have elderberry as one of their main ingredients.

    Elderberry is not normally consumed like any other fruit, it is mostly used in medicines such as lozenges, gummies, juices, and teas.

    What Is Elderberry Tea?

    Elderberry tea is a tea that is made from the elderberry fruit. Consuming elderberry tea is perhaps one of the safest ways to have from this tree. The reason is, when you make tea from the elderberry fruit, you can say that it is cooked and that makes it safe to consume.

    What Is Elderberry Tea

    Yes, safe. You may be wondering what ‘safe’ means and whether is it not safe otherwise? See, the thing is, the elderberry tree, including the seeds, raw fruit, stem, bark, and leaves are all toxic. They have a substance called cyanide which when consumed can create a buildup of cyanide in your body and make you critically ill.

    However, when you cook the dark purplish elderberry fruit, then it gets rid of all toxins and becomes safe to consume. Furthermore, when you have it in the form of tea, you are not only cooking the fruit but technically not consuming it directly because you will strain it. That is why elderberry tea is safe and effective to have.

    Significance of Elderberry Tea in Pregnancy

    Elderberry tea is one of many types of organic pregnancy tea that is available in the market. Organic pregnancy tea is naturally caffeine-free tea or a blend of teas that is safe for you and the baby. Almost all organic pregnancy tea brands are FDA-approved and don’t have any adverse effects on you.

    However, there is a grey area when it comes to the credibility of having elderberry tea in pregnancy because there is not enough scientific research done on this topic and without scientific backing, no one will recommend anything to a woman when she is pregnant.

    Yes, there are various benefits of elderberry tea per se, it is not just antimicrobial but is a great source of anthocyanin which helps release mucus from your body which helps if you have a cold. There are many other benefits as well.


    • Boosts immunity.
    • Great source of vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin E, etc.
    • Replenishes antioxidants in the body.
    • Great to fight off common colds and coughs.

    Is It Safe to Drink Elderberry Tea During Pregnancy?

    The only concern people have is whether to consume elderberry tea during pregnancy or not. Despite all the benefits it offers, the most common side effect is nausea, and this will only make your morning sickness worse.

    Is It Safe to Drink Elderberry Tea During Pregnancy

    Another major drawback of elderberry tea is that it causes diarrhea and it could make you lose essential minerals from your body and could also lead to dehydration which could complicate your pregnancy.

    There are several drawbacks to having elderberry tea during pregnancy.


    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal cramping
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Dizziness

    When to Drink Elderberry Tea in Pregnancy?

    There is always a level of skepticism when it comes to the consumption of elderberry tea during pregnancy. The first trimester or the first three months of pregnancy are already full of morning sickness and vomiting and elderberry tea could just worsen it.

    The second trimester is when your body is growing and if you consume too much elderberry tea, you could end up with an upset tummy and diarrhea which would make you lose minerals.

    Having elderberry tea in the third trimester could lead to abdominal cramping which could be mistaken for Braxton Hicks and would just make your pregnancy complicated.

    So, owing to the lack of scientific research on the topic and the adverse side effects, it is advisable to avoid elderberry tea during pregnancy altogether. There are many other immunity boosters such as rooibos tea that you could opt for which are completely safe in pregnancy.

    How to Make Elderberry Tea

    There are a few ways in which you can prepare a hot steaming cup of elderberry tea.

    Fresh Elderberry Tea Method

    This tea is made using an age-old recipe that does not require much. It is made with only three ingredients: elderberry fruit (fresh or dried), water, and flavoring such as cinnamon, clove, lemon slice, ginger root, etc.

    How to Make Elderberry Tea
    1. Take 1 cup of water, add a teaspoon or a tablespoon of elderberry (depending on how rich you want the flavor to be), and a piece of your preferred flavoring.
    2. Combine the ingredients and put them in a pot.
    3. Put it on medium-high heat for 10-15 to let it brew.
    4. Turn off the heat and let the tea rest for 5 minutes.
    5. Strain the tea into a cup and enjoy.
    6. You can also sweeten it a little with honey.

    Elderberry Tea Bag Method

    There are plenty of ready-made elderberry tea blends available in the market such as Earth Mama Elderberry Immune Tea, Birds & Bees Teas Elderberry Tea, etc. These are convenient to use and can be stored for long periods of time. All you have to do is:

    1. Pour boiling water into a cup.
    2. Add the tea bag.
    3. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes or as instructed on the box
    4. Take the tea bag out.
    5. Enjoy a good cuppa. You may sweeten it with honey.

    Iced Elderberry Tea

    Elderberry tea is usually consumed hot but nowadays, people are experimenting and making iced elderberry tea which is as rejuvenating as the other one. It won’t be long till you start getting elderberry iced tea in cans and bottles just like you get all other iced teas, because the flavor is insanely refreshing.

    Iced Elderberry Tea

    All you have to do is prepare a cup of tea using any of the two methods above, let it cool, then add chilled water or ice to the beverage and enjoy!


    Elderberry tea, without a doubt, is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and is an excellent immunity booster, but due to the lack of research done on this particular tea and its significance in pregnancy, no one can say whether it is safe to consume it during pregnancy or not.

    For this reason, it is better to avoid elderberry tea during pregnancy. There are many other tea blends such as raspberry leaf tea, ginger tea, rooibos tea, peppermint tea, etc. that you could have instead.