Digestif (herbal remedy & an elixir)

What is a digestif?

This herbal infused beverage is used as an after-meal drink to aid digestion. There are different types of digestifs, but let’s talk about the herbal elixir that you can handcraft at home.

Have you ever felt the negative effects of a heavy meal? Your stomach is full, and it aches. Your body is having trouble digesting the contents of your stomach. Ya’ know…

Instead of reaching for a *Tums*, why not try an herbal solution instead? Our plant friends have the instinctive capacity to enter the body and travel through to the parts that need them most. These living plants are quite intelligent. ?

Our symbiotic relationship with plants allows for this to occur. ?

Marlene Adelman at the Herbal Academy says this,

“There is not a single human being on this planet that does not depend on plants for life itself. You see, herbalism is all around us. We as humans share a symbiotic relationship with the plant world.”

I believe this to be true. What do you think?

We’re designed to live harmoniously with the natural world. In fact, we are part of the natural world. When this mutually beneficial relationship is recognized and nurtured, our general health is often restored.

By including herbs in your daily life, your body, mind and even your spirit are strengthened.

With disease on the rise, it’s time to reevaluate our daily habits and ask ourselves if we’re living in agreement with nature. Often, this simple adjustment in our daily routine can be a substantial spark in improving our health.

I’m always on the look-out for another way to include herbs and nature into my day. So, when I learned about digestifs, I was instantly inspired to make my own.

As an herbal handcrafter, new projects are the fire that ignite my creative energy!!

I don’t have a lot of digestive issues, but when I do, I feel good knowing I have an herbal remedy on hand to address the problem. No *Pepto Bismal* for me, just a sip or two of an herbal infused elixir is all I need.


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.

Back to digestifs

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 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).

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.

How to make your own digestif

I’ve made these using a variety of different herbs through the years. My latest batch was made simply with Angelica Root and Rosemary.

  • Start with herbs of choice
  • Place in a sanitized glass jar with an airtight lid
    • dried herbs, fill to 1/3 full
    • fresh herbs, fill to ½ full
  • Cover with your choice of solvent
    • I like to use Brandy because it’s very palatable and your final product will taste yummy. Some people like to use Vodka, has less flavor, but it just doesn’t taste as good to me in the final product. You get to choose!! There’s power in having options!!
  • Add an intention or prayer if desired
  • Let this infuse (macerate) for at least one moon cycle (29.5 days) and up to 6 weeks
  • Remove herbal matter using a strainer and cheese cloth (place in compost)
  • Add sweetener to taste, I always use raw local honey
  • Label and use as needed

It’s just this simple. Now, you have an herbal remedy on hand for times when your eyes were bigger than your stomach. LOL Typically, 1/2 ounce is enough to calm the stomach. You may need to have a second sip if symptoms haven’t subsided within an hour or so.

Benefits of herbs in this remedy:

Angelica Root – with its warming and circulatory action, this herb stimulates digestion

Rosemary – stimulates blood circulation and relaxes the nervous system, anti-inflammatory

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

Honey – a pre-biotic supporting healthy gut bacteria


Try this and let me know how it works for you!! 






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

The Herbal Kitchen, Kami McBride 2010


Disclaimer: The information written in CRY 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 joy and honor to explore the historical and contemporary practices of herbalism for the purposes of education and personal fulfillment. ?


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