Herbal Iron Syrup
A decoction of iron-rich herbs in a base of honey, molasses and brandy. This homemade iron syrup makes a wonderful alternative to iron pills for many people struggling with iron deficiency anemia!
Liquid measuring cup
Wooden spoon for stirring
Sieve for straining
A clean dishtowel, nut milk bag, or ~1 foot of cheese cloth
Medium to large mixing bowl
Two 1-quart mason jars or 32 oz. worth of glass amber bottles for storage
Medium to large funnel
Sticker and pen for labeling
- 3 TBSP yellow dock root dried, C/S - not powdered
- 3 TBSP stinging nettle leaf dried, C/S - not powdered
- 1 TBSP dandelion root dried, C/S - not powdered
- 1 TBSP dandelion leaf dried, C/S - not powdered
- 1 TBSP hawthorn berries dried, C/S - not powdered
- 4 cups filtered water
- 3/4 cup raw honey
- 1/3 cup molasses unsulphured
- 3/4 cup brandy, bourbon or scotch of choice (optional but recommended for preservation purposes)
Part 1: Herbal Decoction
Combine all herbs in a pot with the 4 cups of water. Stir with a wooden spoon so the herbs are completely submerged in water.
Stir uncovered over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low as needed to prevent boiling.
Continue to simmer until the liquid volume has been reduced by half, so about 2 cups of strong tea decoction will be left. (This takes about an hour on average.)Tip: You may want to mark a spot on the outside of the stove pot to see what it will look like when only 2 cups of decoction are left!
Turn the stove top burner off. Let the decoction cool for 5-10 minutes (don't let get too cool in temperature or it will become difficult to dissolve the honey and molasses!).
Using a sieve and clean dish towel(or nut milk bag or double layered cheese cloth), separate the liquid decoction from the herbs into a medium/large mixing bowl. Make sure to wring out the dish towel/nut milk bag/cheese cloth so you have as much of the "tea" decoction left as possible! The goal is to have 2 cups (liquid volume) of decoction.
Discard/compost the remaining herbs (or better yet, reserve them for making spagyrics if by any chance you’re an experienced alchemist!).
Part 2: Herbal Syrup
In the mixing bowl containing the two cups of tea decoction, add the honey and molasses, slowly stirring well for a few minutes until it's "uniform". Congrats – now you officially have herbal iron syrup!!! If no alcohol is added, this herbal iron syrup will last in the refrigerator in a sealed glass container for up to 2 weeks without going “bad”.
Optional but recommended if possible: Add 3/4 cup of brandy, bourbon or scotch to the syrup and mix well. This allows the syrup to last in the fridge for about six months… much longer than two weeks!
Using a kitchen funnel if needed, pour your herbal iron syrup into a glass container such as a mason jar, or better yet, glass amber bottles which help keep the potency stronger (since light and heat will generally degrade herbal potency).
Make sure to label and date your product before sealing and storing in the fridge.
Suggested use: Take 1 tablespoon daily for maintenance, or 2 tablespoons daily during monthly cycle if applicable, or as directed by your qualified healthcare provider(s).
Contraindications: Consult a doctor before taking this herbal iron syrup if you’re pregnant/nursing, take medications, or have a medical condition related to the heart/liver/kidneys.
- For optimal results, do not take within two hours of calcium supplements or dairy products.
- In most cases it’s okay to take this herbal iron syrup on an empty stomach without any side effects (that’s what I do usually)… but first and foremost, listen to your body and your healthcare providers!