Digestive Herbal Tea Recipes

If you’re like most people, there are days when you make poor food choices, eat on the run, or eat when stress levels are high. All of these things can influence how well we’re able to process the foods we eat – and they can even cause problems with how well we absorb nutrients from our meals. One of my favorite ways to get the most out of the food I enjoy is to start with a digestive herbal tea.

Many indigenous cultures have a bitter food that’s eaten before the main meal is started. This is often in the form of pickled or fermented greens or veggies. These bitter foods help alert the digestive system to an incoming meal while also toning the stomach, spleen, and release of various digestive fluids. Bitters before meals makes sure that your digestive system is ready to make the most out of what’s on your plate.

The Benefits Of Digestive Herbal Tea

Here are some of the reasons I’m such a big fan of adding a digestive tea to my meals – especially large meals!

  • Foods that may cause a spike in acidity and lead to heartburn can be neutralized.
  • Lessen the experience of bloating, digestion pains, and gas.
  • Encourage the presence of important digestive fluids and enzymes which help to break food down more completely and aid your body in extracting more nutrients.
  • Relax the body and mind so that eating is more enjoyable. Even the smallest bitter taste can help activate the parasympathetic nervous system which brings on a sense of calm well-being.
  • Better breakdown of fats.
  • More connection to your appetite – when you’re really full.
  • Help encourage a lacking appetite, or balance an overly-active appetite.
  • More mindfulness in the process of eating and digesting food.
  • Make it easier for your body to eliminate foods once they’ve been processed – less bathroom drama!
  • Tone the Liver, Spleen, Stomach, Gall Bladder, and other digestive organs.
  • And much more!

You’ll notice that I base my digestive tea recipes in Chamomile. I do this because it’s a deeply relaxing herb that also has the positive benefits of bitters with a really wonderful flavor profile. I believe that when we eat we should be in a state of calm mindfulness, and Chamomile is a wonderful herbal ally to make that happen!


Digestive Herbal Tea Recipes

Here are three delicious and effective variations on a digestive herbal tea I use all the time. Feel free to experiment with them all!

For best results, start sipping about 10-15 minutes before your meal begins.

Note: A ‘part’ can be any volume measurement you choose. For large batches of tea, you might choose to have 1 part equal 1 cup. For smaller batches, 1 part might be 1 Tablespoon. For example, 5 parts would be 5 Tablespoons if that’s the measurement you choose.

Calming Digestive Herbal Tea

If you find that your mind, emotions, and body never slow down enough for you to get the most out of your food, this tea blend is for you. In addition to the digestive benefits it offers, there are two bitter herbs which help calm the mind, relax the body, and soothe agitated emotions. The calmer we are when we eat, the better we feel!

10 parts Chamomile Flowers

1 part Orange Peel

1 part Licorice Root

1 part Fennel Seed

1 part Skullcap

1 part Catnip

Combine. Steep 1 heaping Tablespoon in 8-10 ounces boiled water for no more than 6 minutes.

Aromatic Digestive Herbal Tea

This is a wonderful all-purpose herbal tea blend that can be used by most people with great effects. It’s got a rich, aromatic profile and makes a wonderful aperitif.

10 parts Chamomile

3 parts Licorice Root

2 parts Dandelion Root

1 part Turmeric Root

1 part Fennel Seed

1 part Anise Seed

1 part Gentian Root (optional – this will add bitterness to the flavor profile)

Combine. Steep 1 heaping Tablespoon in 8-10 ounces boiled water for no more than 6 minutes.

Sweet Digestive Herbal Tea

This herbal tea blend can be enjoyed as a light aperitif, or it can be taken after eating as a dessert tea! It has an understated sweetness that helps ease the palette, calm the stomach, and prepare the deeper levels of digestion.

10 parts Chamomile

5 parts Marshmallow Root

3 parts Slippery Elm Bark

3 parts Licorice Root

2 parts Turmeric Root

2 parts Fennel Seed

2 parts Anise Seed

2 parts Orange Peel

Combine. Steep 1 heaping Tablespoon in 8-10 ounces boiled water for no more than 6 minutes.

Josh Williams Herbalist

organic herbs digestive bitters