Digestive Tincture Recipe - bitters & carminatives and what they are

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Isn’t it amazing how our bodies are supported so beautifully by ingredients found in nature? Humans have used herbals since the beginning of time to heal and support their bodies in countless conditions and in all life phases.

One of my favorite ways to naturally support my body is through tinctures of digestive bitters and carminatives. Digestive tinctures are traditional, medicinal preparations of bitter plants used to treat digestive ailments like gas, bloating, cramps, heart burn, and to support overall digestive health.

Bitter herbs support your body’s own ability to release digestive enzymes, HCL, and bile and therefore, help you to digest and absorb your food properly.

You may be familiar of bitters as an addition to certain cocktails like old fashioneds! Not only do bitters provide another flavor element, but they also help to aid in digestion! Examples of bitters include dandelion root, burdock root, ginger root, orange peel, and many more.

When it comes to digestive support, bitter herbs work especially well in combination with a class of herbs that we call “carminatives”. While the bitters help to stimulate gut motility and digestive secretions, carminatives address gas/bloating as they reduce the formation of gas in the digestive tract! They are also often antispasmodic and so help to relieve digestive cramps.

You can find some high quality and effective bitter blends online, but you can also have fun making your own!

This digestive tincture recipe is my own and is made of fresh & dried foods/herbs to promote good digestion and get your digestive fire revved up!

Application: I recommend a few drop in your mouth pre meal. You can also mix it in a little tea or water and throw it back or use a little spray bottle and spray it into your mouth.

Each ingredient here has a specific digestion promoting role. For example, chamomile is a carminative. It is antispasmodic- meaning it soothes muscles throughout the body- this Includes the digestive tract. Dandelion root is a bitter which helps to stimulate the release of digestive enzymes.

As far as sourcing goes, I always like to purchase from organic sources- my preference being Mountain Rose Herbs!

Comment below with your favorite digestive support herbs/spices!

Digestive Tincture Recipe

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dried dandelion root

  • 1/2 cup chamomile

  • 1/2 cup fennel

  • peel from a fresh orange

  • 4 in knob fresh ginger, chopped

  • 1 cup fresh mint, chopped

  • Two pint size wide mouth mason jars

  • vodka (40 or 50-proof)

  • wax paper

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Method:

  1. In jar #1: Add equal parts chamomile, fennel, and dandelion root. Fill jar to the 1/2 mark.

  2. Fill to the top with vodka. Take care to cover the plants completely.

  3. In jar #2: Add enough mint, ginger, and orange peel to fill jar 3/4th full. Fill to the top with vodka. Cover plants completely.

  4. Cap both jars with parchment paper and add the outer part of the lid mason jar lid. (as seen in the photo) If you are not using mason jars, simply apply a rubber band to secure parchment paper.

  5. Shake several times a week and check the alcohol levels. If the herbs are not fully submerged, top off with more alcohol. Allow to sit in a dark place for 6-8 weeks.

  6. Once the wait time is over, line a wire mesh strainer with a cheese cloth. Strain the jars one at a time.

  7. Once you’ve strained them, combine the tinctures into one large jar. Fill up little droppers or spray bottles with the tincture for your use!

  8. Don’t forget to label your tincture with function, ingredients, and date.

I hope you all enjoy! Let me know know you’re digestive tinctures turn out and how you like them!

xo,

meg

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Calendula & Lavender Infused Salve

It’s winter in the states right now! And that means for many of us… DRY, CRACKED SKIN. Well, I have the antidote. And that is this recipe right here! 

I adore this herbal combination! It is healing, soothing, anti-inflammatory, and smells like floral heaven! Calendula is a super flower. It is most often used to treat scrapes, burns, minor cuts, rashes and bug bites. Lavender oil is great to combat acne, soothe dry skin, and reduce redness.

This salve is SO simple to make. The only bummer is that you have to wait 2-3 weeks in order for the oils to infused. But patience little butterfly! It is so worth it.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried lavender 

  • 1/2 cup dried calendula flowers

  • 3, clean, empty 8 oz mason jars

  • 2 cups sweet almond oil

  • 1 ounce beeswax

  • double boiler

Part 1: Infuse your oils

  1. Fill one of the mason jars half way with dried lavender. Fill another 1/2 way with dried calendula flowers/petals. 

  2. Fill the jars with sweet almond oil- ensuring the herbs/flowers are covered completely by at least 1 inch. 

  3. Cap the jar and shake well!  Shake the herbs at least once a day.  At this time, also inspect them and ensure no herbs are traveling above the surface. If they do emerge, they will grow mold and your oil will ruin! After 2-3 weeks, strain through a mesh strainer.

Part 2: Make the salve!

  1. Prepare your double boiler with simmering water. (You can even make a make shift one at home if you don’t have one!) 

  2. Pour 1/2 cup Infused lavender oil and 1/2 cup infused calendula oil in the double boiler. Add 1 ounce beeswax and stir until the beeswax has complete dissolved. 

  3. Carefully pour hot salve into clean jar and cool completely before use. 

Fresh calendula flowers

Fresh calendula flowers

I infused this oil with fresh flowers- but I HIGHLY recommend using dry instead. Fresh goes rancid easily.

I infused this oil with fresh flowers- but I HIGHLY recommend using dry instead. Fresh goes rancid easily.

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Herb & Flower Burning Bundles (Repurpose your Christmas tree!)

I have an obsession with bringing the outdoors into my home- I think many of you feel the same way. Whether you actually burn these bundles or not, they are beautiful items to have around the home or to gift to others. 

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My most favorite part of these bundles particularly is that I used bits of evergreen that was going dry. As well as "woody" herbs from my garden. 

Traditionally, burning bundles are made by tightly binding dried woody, resinous herbs that slowly burn. This is a beautiful way to put to use the herbs from your garden! And if you don’t have an herb garden yet, this is good motivation to create one! 

Great herbs to use are white sage, cedar, sagebrush, mugwort, thyme, lavender, juniper, pine, rosemary, lemon balm, mint, and more!

I personally used pieces of fraser fir from a Christmas tree, as well as sage, rosemary and lavender from my garden. I also used rose buds that were dying and about to be thrown out. 

*Note* : Common garden sage is not a safe herb to burn and therefore, I will not burn the bundle that contains is and will use it for aesthetic purposes only. :) If you plan on burning sage, you will need to purchase or grow white sage. 

Supplies:

  • An array of “woody” herbs of your choice. 

  • roses and/or lavender buds

  • cotton culinary twine 

You don’t want to “pre dry” your herbs or flowers- this will make binding tightly more difficult. 

Directions:

Follow the following photos. Essentially, you will tightly bind layers of herbs on top of each other. 

Place bundles in a dry area and wait for them to dry completely before burning. Better yet, string them up upside, down.

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