Iron Tonic Syrup Recipe (2024)

I’m so grateful to have shared this Iron Tonic Syrup recipe with hundreds of women over the years. What I love about syrups is that they taste delicious and are easy to take. This is truly an herbal medicine that goes down smooth!

The iron syrups at health food stores are often pretty expensive and high in sugar. This DIY tonic will help you save money in the long run. After you invest in the initial ingredients, you’ll be able to make batch after healing batch for months to come! This syrup is super dark in color, almost black, so you can really see and feel just how many good-for-you ingredients are packed into it.

Iron Tonic Syrup Recipe (1)

Why Do We Need Iron?

Before we dive into the step-by-step instructions for this incredible recipe, let’s take a moment to explore how important iron to our vitality, and how do you know if you have an iron deficiency?

Iron is an essential mineral that we all need for development and growth. Our bodies use iron to make hemoglobin and myoglobin, proteins that carry oxygen to the lungs and muscles. Our bodies also need iron to make hormones.

We all need different amounts of iron based on our age, sex, and life stage. Newborns only need approximately .27mg daily, whereas pregnant women need 27mg daily! That’s a LOT of iron.

Many people naturally consume enough iron in their diet, especially if they eat red meat, seafood, poultry, beans, spinach, nuts, and dried fruits. However, certain groups of people are a higher risk for iron deficiency (anemia) including:

  • Anyone with a heavy period
  • Pregnancy
  • GI disorders that interfere with nutrient absorption
  • Those who do not eat meat, poultry, or seafood (all of which help the body better absorb iron)

Signs of iron deficiency are weakness, tiredness, GI upset, brain fog, and decreased memory retention. If you have anemia, you may struggle to find the energy to work and exercise, and your body may have a hard time fighting off germs and infections. This can really add up to affect your quality of life, and my heart goes out to anyone who is struggling with this deficiency. I’ve been there myself, and it’s not fun!

I remember having just started my period at 11 years old. I developed anemia and went from being engaged in life to taking interest in nothing. I lost interest in school and even my beadwork!

At that time in our town, there was an old-time doctor in private practice. He diagnosed me as being anemic. Instead of giving me pills, what was the cure? ½ cup oat bran with milk every morning and stewed prunes twice a day.

Healing and a holistic approach to finding root or nutritional causes to health issues was never mentioned when I was growing up. I found this food “prescription” very interesting and it made an impression on me.

It got me wondering more about food and what else about food could affect health. So I ate those stewed prunes every morning. Eating the stewed prunes made me feel proud. It was something that I could do for myself, and it eventually took care of my anemia.

After about a week, I started to feel much better. I was so amazed, I told everyone! Thus, the beginning of me being a loudmouth about natural home remedies!

I see many folks turning to over-the-counter iron supplements. They are easy to find at stores and online, but they often cause upset stomach and constipation.

You can get yourself some prunes and learn to make your own Iron Tonic Syrup with gentle herbs, natural fruits, and molasses. All of the ingredients either contain iron or they contain properties that help your body absorb the iron.

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Featured Ingredients

Sure enough, prunes are one of those wonderful examples of old-time medicine that worked even though we didn’t have the scientific “facts” to confirm it. We now know that ½ cup of prune juice contains 3 mg of iron – 17% of the FDA’s recommended daily intake! This syrup recipe also includes apricots, another fruit that’s high in iron.

Rather than using traditional sweeteners like sugar or honey, our Iron Tonic Syrup is sweetened with blackstrap molasses. Molasses contains 20% of the daily recommended iron intake per tablespoon(!), along with pomegranate or black cherry concentrate, both of which also contain impressive amounts of iron. All of these ingredients are often used as natural iron supplements in and of themselves and they help make a wonderful, naturally sweetened base for this homemade syrup.

In this Iron Tonic Syrup recipe, we’ll also be adding a variety of other herbs and berries that are known for their high iron content, like nettle, seaweed, parsley, and goji berries, along with ingredients that help with iron absorption, like dandelion, yellow dock, turmeric, and fennel. We also add a dash of herbs that help specifically with flavor and nutrition, like comforting cardamom and rose hips.

Iron Tonic Syrup Recipe

Based on decades of teaching and direct empirical evidence of seeing people get results, I believe this is the ultimate combination of iron-rich herbs and fruits, and I’ve been honored to hear glowing feedback from countless women who have tried this syrup over the years. This recipe is a sneak peek into my online course, Herbal Kitchen Remedy Solutions, where you can learn everything you need to know to make delicious remedies with time-tested herbs from your spice cabinet.

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Print Recipe

Iron Tonic Syrup

Servings: 6 cups

Author: Kami McBride


  • 6 cups water
  • 6 tbsp dried nettle (Urtica dioica) leaf
  • 2 tbsp seaweed (whatever type is most available to you)
  • 1 tbsp parsley (Petroselinum crispum) leaf
  • 1 tbsp dried, chopped dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root
  • 1 tbsp goji berries
  • 1 tbsp dried, chopped yellow dock (Rumex crispus) root
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizome powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) seed powder
  • 1 tsp fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seeds
  • 1 tsp rose (Rosa spp.) hips
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 2 sliced prunes
  • 2 cups molasses
  • 1 cup organic pomegranate or black cherry concentrate (not juice)


  • Add all of the ingredients except the molasses and fruit concentrate to a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and let stew until the liquid is half its original volume (3 cups).

  • Strain the liquid through finely woven muslin cloth. Smash and press on the spent plant material to squeeze out every last drop or iron-laden goodness, then compost the plant material, if possible.

  • Transfer your strained decoction to a large glass jar, add molasses and pomegranate or cherry concentrate, cap, then shake to combine.

  • Label your jar “Iron Tonic Syrup” and include the date you made it. The syrup will last for approximately two weeks when stored in the fridge. Because it makes a fairly large batch (about 6 cups), I like to keep half for myself and share the other half with women in my life who I know could use a bit of extra iron in their diet. You can also freeze this syrup for up to six months.

  • Store in the refrigerator.


To use: Take 1 tablespoon up to 3 times per day when you need a boost of iron. For many women, this syrup is particularly beneficial after their period or after childbirth, when iron levels often drop. This syrup is an incredible pantry staple to have on-hand if you or someone in your household is anemic or needs regular iron supplementation.

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For another great syrup recipe, check out Elderberry Juniper Syrup for the Masses, one of my favorite apothecary staples for cold and flu season.

Do you want to empower your health by transforming kitchen herbs and spices into apothecary staples? Check out my video-packed online course Herbal Kitchen Remedy Solutions for dozens more recipes, herbal profiles, and healing tips.

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Iron Tonic Syrup Recipe (2024)
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