Anise Hyssop Digestif, an herbal ally (recipe included)

Anise Hyssop, Herbal Digestif | Empower yourself with knowledge to support your health and well-being.


Please note: if you have an ongoing digestive issue that doesn’t resolve in a day or two, please see your trusted medical provider. Herbal remedies are great for everyday ailments, but we must be smart and see a doctor when symptoms don’t subside within a day or two.

Also, acute pain shouldn’t be ignored, see your doctor.

I can’t stress this enough (cuz I care about you and your health). Pay close attention to your symptoms.


How do they work?

Digestive bitters are foods or drinks that stimulate digestive acids. Digestifs often contain these bitters. When we consume digestive bitters before or after a meal, our digestive juices are activated and these ingredients assist with digestion. A perfect design, right?

All foods have different characteristics (tastes). For example, sweet, salty, bitter, sour and/or pungent. Our taste buds are strategically laid out on the surface of the tongue and each corresponding taste bud detects the characteristic of the food or drink.

Think about the dinner salad that is often served before, during or after a meal (depending upon cultural preferences). These salads include ingredients like arugula, chives, dill, rosemary, cumin and fennel (to name a few). These foods get digestive juices flowing.

Herbal bitters register on the tongue, and a chain reaction occurs within the body. “Get ready to digest food,” is the message received, and then the body goes to work.

“Plants speak in a tongue that every breathing thing can understand. Plants teach in a universal language: food.” Robin Wall Kimmerer in Braiding Sweetgrass

How to make your own digestif

My latest Herbal Digestif Recipe for You (Yum)

My friends, Sean and Mary, have an organic garden, and they love to share the bounty. They gave me a beautiful batch of fresh Anise Hyssop, which I immediately put to good use in an herbal digestif.

I carefully examined each leaf for bugs and debris, and then removed most of the stems, though I could have used them too (after all they possess nutrients). I had enough leaves and flowers to fill a quart sized glass jar to about ¾ full, so I didn’t need much of the stems. When working with the aerial parts of a plant, keep in mind, fleshy pliable stems can be used, too. I wouldn’t use woody stems, tough.

Once the jar was filled with the leaves and flowers, I added the following herbs that I had on hand:

  • 2 crushed organic dry bay leaves
  • 20 grams of organic dry orange peel
  • 5 grams of organic dry ginger root (can use fresh, too!)

Next, I filled the jar with Brandy (the solvent) to about 2/3 full and then topped it off with raw local honey (also a solvent). To be exact here are the following measurements, but you don’t have to be exact.

  • 500 mL Brandy
  • 250 mL Honey

I covered it with an airtight lid and set it on the counter up-side-down. As the honey began to mix with the brandy due to gravity, I turned the jar upright, and continued this every few hours over the next few days. This allows the honey to mix with the brandy thoroughly. You can mix it with a stirring stick, but I find that tedious, and prefer to let the gravity do the work.

On day two, open the jar to make sure the liquids are completely covering the herbs inside. It’s important to leave only a little room at the top of the jar, so the contents inside will move and mix when you gently shake daily. If it’s packed too full, the contents won’t move freely and it’s possible the herbs won’t get fully saturated with the solvents. You want your herbs to be fully saturated. If you have too much space (aid) at the top of the jar you run the risk of oxidation. Choose the right size jar for the amount of herbs you’re working with.

Label your jar with the contents and date. I like to leave my jars on the counter in the kitchen where I’ll see them daily for the first week. That way, I can easily check on them daily. After that, I place them in a dark room on a shelf. I gently shake them daily for as long as they are macerating. Some days, I might forget, but that’s okay. It’s especially important to shake them daily for that first week to make certain the herbs are fully saturated with the solvent.

It’s up to you how long you let the herbs macerate in the jar. I like to let them sit at least one moon cycle (~29.5 days), but often, I let herbs macerate eight weeks. I was originally taught to macerate herbs 6-8 weeks, so that’s my general rule of thumb. There are lots of variables, though, so experiment a bit to see what you prefer.

At the end the maceration period, I simply strain out the solvent from the herbs using a mesh bag and fruit press. I then bottle-up the digestif, attach labels to the bottles, and it’s now ready to share.


Sound easy? It is. Making these types of herbal products is fun, inexpensive, and you’ll love having them available if there’s a need.

This anise hyssop digestif is wonderful for gas, bloating, and even diarrhea. I use myself for times when any of these occur. Sometimes, I take it just because it tastes good.

Digestifs (also known as aperitifs) are excellent to consume prior to a heavy meal or as am after dinner drink. You can add a smidge to seltzer water over ice for a refreshing drink.

Get creative and use your favorite carminative herbs your own digestif recipe. Here’s more from me on another digestif recipe.

Share it!! 

If you’ve made an herbal digestif, please share your experience. We’d love to hear from you.

Don’t want to make it – order here.

Some Known Benefits of herbs in this remedy:

Anise Hyssop – like most herbs in the mint family it aids digestion by reducing gas and increasing peristalsis

Bay leaves – on its own it is known to help with gas, bloating, and diarrhea

Orange Peel – can help dry out a damp system, relieve nausea, and is full of vitamins

Ginger – can help to create ‘fire in the belly’ which may support healthy digestion

Brandy – is a digestif on its own, adding herbs may enhance its effects

Honey – a pre-biotic supporting healthy gut bacteria, also soothing to the digestive tract



Herbal Academy, Herbarium Monograph

The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D. 1998

Anise Hyssop: The Delicious, Prolific Mint The Alchemist's Kitchen (link)

The Herbal Kitchen, Kami McBride 2010

Disclaimer: The information written in C.R.Y. Herbals’ emails, blog & website is for creative and educational purposes only. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical advice. All questions regarding any health condition should be addressed to your primary care physician or other healthcare provider. We are simply ordinary folk who love experimenting and working with natural herbal products to enhance and support the body in health and well-being. It is a joy and honor to explore the historical and contemporary practices of herbalism for the purposes of education and personal fulfillment. ?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This