easy homemade herbal iron syrup in a glass bottle

An Epic Herbal Iron Syrup for a Blood-Building & Iron-Boosting Daily Tonic

Healthy blood is literally life! And to have healthy blood, we need to be consuming enough iron through the foods we eat. However, sometimes we need a little help. This herbal iron syrup is a daily tonic made with iron-rich herbs, spices, & dried fruits that is also formulated to aid digestion so that you can actually absorb and use the iron you’re consuming. Sweetened with honey and blackstrap molasses, this syrup is extra delicious too.

SEARCH THIS ARTICLE:
An Easy & Delicious Herbal Iron Syrup
Blood Building: What Does It Mean?
How Iron Functions in Your Body
About the Herbs Used in This Recipe
How to Make This Syrup
FAQs
Recipe

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ingredients for herbal iron syrup on a plate

An Easy & Delicious Herbal Iron Syrup

I call this an “epic” herbal syrup because there are lots of ingredients involved. If you’re a regular kitchen witch, you likely already have most, if not all of them in your home.

However, if you don’t, don’t let the long ingredient list scare you away. You can leave out what you don’t have or can’t find. Add a little more of this and a little less of that.

This herbal syrup is a blood-building and iron-boosting tonic meant to nourish and restore over a longer period of time. And while it’s meant to support healthy iron levels, it’s is not meant to necessarily treat iron deficiency.

Just had to get that lil’ disclaimer out of the way.


Blood Building: What Does It Mean?

Blood building, a term very characteristic of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), refers to nourishing the cardiovascular system by making sure that the blood circulating through it is healthy. And in TCM, our blood is built through the foods we eat.

Having unhealthy blood may leave us feeling tired and weak but unable to sleep. We may experience frequent headaches, shortness of breath, or have pale skin.

And from a Western medicine perspective, all of these symptoms point to low levels of iron which may be due to either not getting enough iron through the foods we eat or not being able to properly absorb iron. And because iron is not made in the blood, it must be absorbed from the foods we eat.

Here enters this delicious blood-building and iron-boosting syrup as a lovely alternative to many over-the-counter supplements that may contain health-harming ingredients.


The Function of Iron in Your Body

Iron plays a huge role in your health! Its most well-known role is as an essential mineral used in blood production. In this role, iron serves to carry oxygen from your lungs around to all of the cells in your body from the top of your head and down to your toes. And the flip side of this: without oxygen, our tissues die.

But that’s not the only thing iron does for us. Here’s a list of other crucial functions of iron:

  • An essential component of proteins needed for respiration and energy metabolism
  • Used to make up enzymes that are responsible for collagen production
  • Used in the synthesis of some neurotransmitters
  • Needed for proper immune function
organic herbs and spices from mountain rose herbs

About the Herbs Used in This Recipe

This recipe is a variation on a much more involved recipe that I’ve been making for many years. I’m sad to say that I can’t remember where the original recipe came from, but it’s inspired by some incredible herbalist that formulated this blood-building herbal syrup around 4 components or categories of ingredients.

The original recipe was made of ingredients landing in one of 4 groups: roots, fruits, leaves, and spices. I’ve put my own little spin on this recipe, filling in the blanks with ingredients I had on hand.

And while the recipe for this syrup may look a little overwhelming, it all comes down to including herbs and spices that:

  • are generally rich in vitamins and minerals like oatstraw and red raspberry leaf;
  • easily absorbed plant-based sources of iron like yellow dock root, dried dates, and stinging nettle leaf;
  • support healthy digestion in a variety of ways (so that we can absorb and assimilate iron) like fennel, cinnamon, and dandelion root;
  • and ultimately serve to nourish our overall vitality.

How to Make This Blood Building Herbal Iron Tonic

This herbal iron syrup, in spite of its long list of ingredients, is really quite simple to make. If you can make herbal tea, you can make this herbal syrup. It’s as easy as making a strong herbal decoction (a tea that’s gently simmered), straining out the herbal ingredients, and then sweetening with honey and blackstrap molasses. Piece of cake!

Here’s a quick rundown of how to make this iron tonic. If you’re ready to skip ahead to the recipe, pop down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Equipment You’ll Need:

  • Measuring Cups & Spoons
  • A 2-quart Pot with Lid
  • Fine-Mesh Strainer (This set of 3 fine-mesh strainers is an herbslist must have!)
  • Organic Cotton Muslin or several layers of Cheesecloth (Althernatively, use a nut milk bag.)
  • 4-cup Glass Measuring Cup
  • Wooden Spoon for stirring
  • Quart-sized Glass Jar with Lid (such as a canning jar or clean recycled jar)

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Make a strong herbal decocation (or tea). Combine all ingredients except for the rosehips, nettle leaf, oat straw, red raspberry leaf, honey, and molasses into a large soup pot. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to just a boil, and then turn heat to low, place a lid on the pot, and gently simmer for ~45-60 minutes.
  1. Remove from heat and add in remaining herbs. Add in the rosehips, stinging nettle, oatstraw, and red raspberry leaf. Give the mixture a stir and then replace the lid on the pot. Allow the mixture to steep until the mixture has cooled down to just barely warm (~1 hour).
  1. Strain the mixture. Line a fine-mesh strainer with organic cotton muslin or several layers of cheesecloth and place it over a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Carefully pour the mixture through the strainer. You can use a ladle to help if that’s easier. Then use the back of a spoon or your clean fist to gently press any remaining moisture from the mixture into the measuring cup.
  1. Turn your herbal decoction into an herbal syrup. To your strained decoction, stir in the honey and blackstrap molasses until fully dissolved.
  1. Store in a quart-sized glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Enjoy as a daily tonic iron-boosting herbal syrup by the spoonful, stir into bubbly water, or drizzle it over buttered toast or warm biscuits.

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FAQs

How much herbal iron syrup should I take?

This herbal iron syrup is meant to be taken as a daily tonic to support healthy iron levels, not to treat iron deficiency in any way. One tablespoon per day is an acceptable dosage to not only provide a regular dietary source of iron but also support efficient absorption and assimilation.

If you suspect you may be deficient in iron, please work with your licensed healthcare practitioner and/or a practicing clinical herbalist to determine an appropriate course of treatment.

Is this herbal iron syrup safe for everyone?

Many of the ingredients in this herbal iron syrup recipe are considered culinary ingredients that are generally safe for all. However, fo-ti root and red raspberry leaf can act similar to estrogen in the body may be contraindicated with estrogen-sensitive conditions like certain cancers. Just leave these herbs out of the recipe if you have concerns.

And always speak with your licensed healthcare practitioner or a practicing clinical herbalist before consuming new herbal medicines, especially those using herbs you’re unfamiliar with.

What are some plant-based dietary sources of iron?

There are many ways to make sure you’re getting enough iron, including many of the foods you might be already eating every day. Some good plant-based dietary sources of iron include:

  • Leafy greans like spinach, kale, watercress
  • Legumes
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Dried fruits like dates, plums, raisins, prunes, mulberries, and apricot

Speak with your licensed healthcare practitioner or a practicing clinical herbalist if you’re unsure as to whether or not you’re getting enough iron in your diet.

What is herbal iron used for?

Herbal iron is used to support iron absorption and assimilation to combat symptoms of iron deficiency. Symptoms of iron deficiency may include general tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, headaches, and dizziness as well as pale and lifeless-looking skin.

Including a herbal iron syrup tonic in your daily self-care routine may help to prevent these symptoms. However, it is not meant to cure iron deficiency. If you suspect you may be deficient in iron, please work with your licensed healthcare practitioner and/or a practicing clinical herbalist to determine an appropriate course of treatment.


For more plant magic & herbal wellness in your life, be sure to follow along on ➡️ Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter, & snag my herbal 📚 eBooks Nourishing Herbal Gifts & Holiday Pies from the (Un)Bakery. 🌿 And please don’t forget to tag me in your snaps 📸 @_botanyculture_. I love to see all the plant magic you make happen!


The Blood-Building, Iron-Boosting Herbal Syrup

Course: RemedyDifficulty: Easy
Servings

48

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Total Time

2.25

hours

This herbal iron syrup is a daily tonic made with iron-rich herbs, spices, & dried fruits that is also formulated to aid digestion so that you can actually absorb and use the iron you’re consuming. If you don’t have an ingredient, just leave it out and add a little more of another. This recipe is easily customized. Makes about 48-1 tablespoon servings. Delicious when taken by the spoonful, stirred into bubbly water, or drizzled over buttered toast or a warm biscuit.

Ingredients

Directions

  • Make a strong herbal decoction (or tea). Combine all ingredients except for the rosehips, nettle leaf, oat straw, red raspberry leaf, honey, and molasses into a large soup pot.

    Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to just a boil, and then turn heat to low, place a lid on the pot, and gently simmer for ~45-60 minutes. The liquid should reduce by about 1/2.
  • Remove from heat and add in remaining herbs. Add in the rosehips, stinging nettle, oatstraw, and red raspberry leaf. Give the mixture a stir and then replace the lid on the pot. Allow the mixture to steep until the mixture has cooled down to just barely warm (~1 hour).
  • Strain the mixture. Line a fine-mesh strainer with organic cotton muslin or several layers of cheesecloth and place it over a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Carefully pour the mixture through the strainer. You can use a ladle to help if that’s easier. Then use the back of a spoon or your clean fist to gently press any remaining moisture from the mixture into the measuring cup.
  • Turn your herbal decoction into an herbal syrup. To your strained decoction, stir in the honey and blackstrap molasses until fully dissolved.

    An herbal syrup is generally made with 1 part water (eg. tea or decoction) to 1/2 part sweetener. I was left with ~2 cups of liquid after straining, so I added 1 cup total of sweetener (1/2 cup blackstrap molasses and 1/2 cup local honey). You may need to alter the amount of sweetener used if you have more or less liquid after straining. (See notes.)
  • Store in a quart-sized glass jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Give a shake or stir before using. Enjoy as a daily tonic iron-boosting herbal syrup by the spoonful, stir into bubbly water, or drizzle it over buttered toast or warm biscuits.

Notes

  • MAKING AN HERBAL SYRUP: While the general recipe for an herbal syrup is 1 part water component to 1/2 part sweetener of your choice, this does result in a syrup that is on the thinner side. If you would like a thicker syrup, just increase the amount of sweetener used to 3/4 or even equal parts. For example, if you have 2 cups of tea after straining, add a total of 1 1/2-2 cups of honey and blackstrap molasses.

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how to make homemade herbal iron syrup tonic

DISCLAIMER: The information given in this article is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before consuming certain herbs & medicinal foods, especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking any prescription medications.

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