Prevent Illness: Elderberry-Rose Hips Tea

L.StarLetitia L. Star has written for The Herb Companion, Natural Home & Garden and GRIT since 2005. To date, she's written more than 1,100 published articles, including features on green living, travel and food. Reach her at or visit her website, Letitia L. Star | Healthy Living Writer.  

Inspired by Allison Martin’s editorial “A Practical Guide to Dodging a Cold,” in the March 2012 issue of The Herb Companion,  I created this Elderberry-Rose Hip Tea that combines the amazing immune-boosting benefits of both elderberry and rose hips to help prevent illness. (Rose is the 2012 Herb of the Year.) 

How long has it been since you’ve been stricken with a cold or flu? Many of us suffer from several bouts every year. Drink this tea as a preventative tonic or to help you recover more quickly from illness. This can be enjoyed in warm or cold weather.

Both elderberry and rose hips are highly regarded for their health-promoting properties.
Photo by dorena-wm/Courtesy

Elderberry-Rose Hips Tea 

This healing brew only takes minutes to make. Serve hot or cold. Can be made in advance and refrigerated in a glass jar for several days. MAKES 1 TO 2 SERVINGS  

• 2 cups water
• 2 tea bags (black or green) OR 2 tablespoons loose tea
• 2 tablespoons dried elderberries
• 2 tablespoons dried rose hips
• 1 short cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat and steep for at least 5 minutes. 

2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Immediately serve warm in mugs or teacups.   

Healing tip: If you’re unwell, take a few peaceful minutes to slowly sip this tea until you feel better. Drink tea hot or cold as a tonic throughout the day and evening. 

For more healing recipes: Be sure to read my Elderberry-Ginger Tea recipe in my article “Warm Up with Winter Drinks,” published in the January 2012 issue of The Herb Companion.