Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Root-based Iron Tonic

Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus) grows profusely in my yard. It is a prairie plant and is also called curly dock due to its curled leaves. You can see rust spots on the leaves, indicating the plant pulls iron from the soil and thus is a good iron remedy.

Last week I made up some very good Iron Tonic. This recipe is from herbalist Aviva Romm and it's great for people who are anemic or maybe need an iron supplement for other reasons. I have given this to two friends who are chronically anemic and both have said the Iron Tonic has helped their energy levels.

Here's the recipe:

1/2 ounce each dried dandelion root and dried yellow dock root
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
1/8 cup brandy (optional; to preserve)

First harvest the roots and chop them into small pieces (about 1/4" thick rounds). Dry the pieces on a cookie sheet at the lowest oven temp. for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can purchase them already dried from a good source such as Mountain Rose Herbs.
Put the roots in a quart jar and cover with boiling water. Let sit 4-8 hours or so. Strain into a pot and simmer off until you're left with 1 cup of liquid infusion. Add to this the blackstrap molasses while still heating then remove from heat, and add brandy if using. Preserve this in the refrigerator or very cool place. It should keep 3-4 months especially with brandy--it will mold when it goes bad. One recipe yields 1 and 1/2 to two cups tonic. The dose is 1-2 tablespoons daily. Take it with 250 mg Vitamin C for best absorption.


plantainpatch said...

Thanks lisa, I will make this. I have Aviva's Naturally Healthy babies and children on my booklist. Do you recommend it?

LisaZ said...

I have to admit I don't have any of Aviva's books. I took a class from her way back in 2001, though, and it was good. I'd think any of her work would be great.


rachel said...

Hi Lisa thanks heap for your website I find it really interesting. I am often low in iron and dug up a whole lot of dandelion roots. I was looking at making a tea with the roasted roots. I was just wondering if the tea is just as effective for providing iron or if the tonic would be better to make. Also do you know how much iron one would get from a teaspoon full of the tonic. Thanks Rachel

LisaZ said...

Hi Rachel! Thanks for your comment. I don't have any idea how much iron you could get from a teaspoon of tonic. There might be some info. online if you google, but mostly I trust that the plants will give us what we need and lean away from quantifying it. Roasting dandelion roots and making a tea is great. The best time to do this would be in the fall when the plant is not putting energy into flowering but all of its energy is going into the roots, but what you've dug up is fine. I'd just do it again after the first frost or when it gets cooler wherever you live. Dandelion and yellow dock are two plants great for iron. Good luck!