Herbal Digestion Tincture Remedy

how to make natural digestion tincture recipe

This is by far the most used tincture in my homemade herbal remedy cabinet. It is simple to make, but very effective against early pregnancy nausea, motion sickness, and tummy aches that happen when the kids eat unhealthy food when we are not at home.

I’ve used this herbal digestion tincture in transition during labor when nausea hits, to curb morning sickness, and even for stomach bugs to help stop vomiting. It also works great for indigestion, heartburn, and other digestive disturbances.

This digestive remedy can be used externally on babies tummies for colic and gas and externally on the head (adult or child) for headaches.

This digestive tincture remedy, along with my homemade chamomile tincture are two that I always keep on hand, especially with kids.

natural tincture remedy recipe


  • 1/2 cup dried peppermint leaves
  • 1/4 cup-1/2 cup very finely diced fresh ginger root
  • 1/4 cup dried fennel seeds
  • Approximately 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • Approximately 1 1/2 cups vodka or rum
  • A quart size glass jar with airtight lid


  1. Put peppermint, ginger and fennel in glass jar and pour boiling water until they are just covered.
  2. Fill the rest of the jar with vodka or rum (food grade only! no rubbing alcohol) and put on air tight lid.
  3. Keep in a cool dark place for at least two weeks, but up to six, shaking daily.
  4. After 2-6 weeks, strain through mesh strainer or cheesecloth and store in vials or small jars.


Dosage: for adults up to 1 teaspoon can be taken straight or in water as needed. For heartburn indigestion or nausea, one dose is usually sufficient, though sometimes a second dose is needed. In pregnancy, 1/2 teaspoon in the morning often helps with morning sickness, with additional doses if needed throughout the day. For children, 10-20 drops is usually enough, or it can be used externally.

If you are pregnant, nursing, or have a medical condition, you should check with your doctor or midwife before using any herbal remedy or supplement.

Have you tried any herbal remedies instead of conventional methods? How did they work? Will you try this one? Let me know below!

This homemade herbal digestion remedy is an all purpose tincture that eases nausea, heartburn, morning sickness, indigestion and other troubles.

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Reader Comments

  1. Where do you purchase your tincture bottles?

  2. H’mm, interesting. I must try this one.

  3. I’m new to herbal remedies. This is the first one thst i’m trying. It’s in the “cool/dark” phase right now.

    This is my question
    Is the vodka still a large part of the mixture when it’s over?

    • Nope, and if you’d prefer not to drink the alcohol at all, just put the tincture in a small glass of water and wait 15 minutes before drinking it… this gives the alcohol time to evaporate so you won’t taste it or get any at all.

  4. can you use ground ginger instead of the ginger root?

    • yep, just make sure to strain well, I’d use a fine strainer or a coffee filter to strain if you use ground ginger.

  5. Why do you pour boiling water over the herbs? I’ve made tinctures before, but I just poured the vodka over them? Does there need to be water for using dried herbs in tincturing them?

    • No, don’t necessarily need water but it still works with half water and you don’t need as much vodka that way. The boiling water just helps extract the properties from the herbs

      • Vodka is 80 proof or 40 % alcohol 60 % water. If you add more water your cutting the effectiveness of the vodka to extract the essence from the herb.

        • It’s only important to use vodka for its preservative effect, not because it actually extracts “better” than water.

  6. What do you think about essential oils and companies like young living?

    • I use a lot of essential oils and think they are excellent when used safely. I’m not a fan of Young Living personally, and I just order all of mine from Mountain Rose Herbs which are cheaper and also organic and food grade.

  7. You don’t happen to sell this by chance? I would love to buy!! I’m pregnant with constipation issues now… 🙁

    • Unfortunately no but you could also try some magnesium, probiotics or fermented foods. Good luck!

      • I eat greek yogurt with cinnamon and about 3 tsp of whole flax seed!!!

  8. Can I use the dried leaves from my tea bags to make a tincture?

    • As long as they have never been brewed and are dry you can.

  9. Would this help with IBS symptoms/discomfort?

    • It should offer some relief from the symptoms, though it won’t fix whatever underlying problem is causing the IBS.

  10. Can I replace the vodka with “The Mother”?

  11. Would something like this work for chronic reflux?

    • Bailey, I’m wondering the same thing. I suffer from chronic reflux. Did you get an answer?

  12. Is there a possible substitute for the alcohol? I don’t drink alcohol, but I’d like to try this recipe (even though I’m not pregnant)

    • You can brew as a tea (it won’t last as long though) and it will still provide the benefits

  13. Thanks for the post…great info and I am pinning this one!

  14. Hi, as I don’t consume alcohol and would like to give those to kids when needed, I would use apple cider vinegar instead of vodka… The hot water will get the mostly out of the herbal property and vinegar will nicely preserve it. Beside, vinegar is good alone in our stomachs, it kinda doubles the purpose. Ever tried it with vinegar ?
    Thanks by the way.. Great job… Pining this one as well…

    • Haven’t tried this specific one with vinegar, but have with others and it should work…

  15. Would you recommend a few drops of this internqlly for a 2 week old with gas? We’ve tried the chamomile tinct and it works well with him, but I just decanted this and was wondering about using it with him.

    • I would use it on my own kids, but it would be gentler to just use on stomach externally instead…

  16. I’ve never made a tincture with water before. Can you do this with straight vodka?

  17. What is the shelf life of this tincture?

  18. Thanks Katie for this awesome post!!! I can’t wait to mix a batch to try it out. I have a 6 week old, is it ok to use externally? Just their skin is so sensitive, is there a minimum you would recommend?

  19. I was just wondering if this is safe to take daily. My father has reflux and takes OTC meds daily. He is looking for something healthier than eating tums and rolaids all day. Thanks so much for your site. It is awesome.

    • Hi Sofie
      My husband uses a tincture similar to this. One tsp in a glass of water.
      When we are temporarily out of the tincture he uses 1 tsp on aluminum free baking soda in a glass of water. He still carries tums for when we are away from home.

  20. How do you fill the tincture bottles? I have some I bought with a tincture in it that I want to reuse, but my small metal funnel does not fit. If I pour it it will spill.

    • Really? Why not get a funnel that will fit then. I’m aghast at all the lame questions this poor woman gets when she posts something. Folks, do your research, Google stuff. If you want tincture bottles, type in “tincture bottles” in the Google search window. Mountain Rose Herbs has all this stuff. Check it out before asking. Read the posts so you’re not asking the same thing over and over again. Apply some common sense about the alcohol. Try it out yourself and see. This gal is a mom like everyone else just letting you know what works for her.

      • No need to be so mean heather!!! If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything

        • Thank you Heather.

        • With respect, I agree: Heather is trying to spare Katie some exhaustion, even though all the questions were innocently meant. Folks, let’s remember that Katie is a busy home-schooling mother as well as an independent researcher with a solid academic background, sharing her practical common-sense wisdom and experience with us.

          I don’t think Heather meant to sound ‘mean’; I think she had a metaphorical exasperated mother smile on her face when she wrote. : ) (I’m allowed to say this because I am 60 and have home-schooled our five kids!) Her advice is wise: we all need to think twice before posing unnecessary questions that we could answer ourselves with a quick Google; if said Google fails to provide the answer, then fine, we can give ourselves permission to ask away.

          Thanks to all of you, BTW: my husband is growing some Holy Basil in our small greenhouse (‘hoop house’) in Alberta, and is about to start experimenting with tincture making for the first time. This is all in aid of trying to cure our son, who has chronic IBD (long story) and is in far away Australia doing everything in his power to cure himself. We are not expecting one small thing to provide a complete cure, but if it can add to other small things, each helping bring our son closer to healing, then we shall be eternally grateful.

          God bless each and every one of you, and Katie and her family in particular.

  21. Would it work to use glycerine instead of vodka? I’ve made echinacea tincure but used glycerine instead of vodka so was wondering if that would also work for this?

  22. Would spearmint leaves work with this? I have never made a tincture before. My grandfather has awful nausea and horrible stomach troubles after his chemo treatments. He has another treatment scheduled in about two months. I have spearmint on hand from the root beer recipe you have (Mountain Rose Herbs had absolutely no listing for wintergreen which is what the recipe calls for). Would subbing the peppermint with spearmint make this less effective?
    By changing to the “wellness” way of eating, I have lost a little over twenty pounds, my husband has lost over thirty-five pounds, and it has cured our youngest son’s severe eczema that was unknowingly caused by a grain sensitivity. Your website was our sole reason for switching, and I am so glad we did. 🙂 Thanks in advance for your answer about the spearmint.

    • So glad my website has been helpful and congrats on your progress. You could use spearmint instead. 🙂

  23. I just made this last night, forgetting I am going out of town in 3 weeks. Is it better to strain the tincture before I go or can I let it continue to marinate without a daily shake for the week that I’m gone? Thanks!

  24. Hi,
    I’m wondering if you’ve ever tried crushing your fennel in a coffee grinder before using. It might add more flavour, or is there a reason not to?

  25. If you don’t get to taste the alcohol, what’s the purpose of using it? I’ve been searching the web for any and all natural remedies for myself as well as my toddler. These are great ideas but I’m a bit concerned about the alcohol part. Could you elaborate a little more on it, it’s purpose and that it’s not harmful for my toddler to ingest? I noticed a comment above asked about the alcohol as well and you responded that you can’t taste it once the mixture is complete. Just making sure it’s perfectly okay to give to my toddler. Thanks!

  26. Hi just an observation concerning your instructions on tinture making. If u pour alcohol Ito the hot water won’t that evaporate the alcohol leaving u with essentially a tea also if your going half and half with water and using 40% alcohol you end up with a 20% alcohol tinture which is not very strong if I’m right

    • I am thinking the way you do….I would probably let the water cool before adding alcohol I dont use water but it would save money over time

  27. I’d love to make this but cannot stand the taste of fennel. Does is taste strongly of fennel or is there anything I could substitute for it?

  28. I’m wondering how this is safe for kids and pregnant women with the alcohol in it.

  29. My wife and I have been researching the use of Fennel during pregnancy. We have family that sell Young Living essential oils and recommended using fennel oil. However in our research we’ve found contradicting views on it. Some say it can be harmful and in some cases cause early labor or to lose your baby. Others say you can use it just fine while pregnant to increase milk supply. This article I found the most helpful, they use Gentle Babies as a guide: http://www.thankyourbody.com/essential-oils-pregnancy-nursing/

    What is your take? Are seeds and teas safe and not the oil? Young Livings website says the oil should be avoided. My wife is pregnant and losing her milk supply, and we’re looking at our options. Also would like to caution our family if they are recommending something that’s unsafe.

    • I am much more cautious about EOs because they are so concentrated. You could leave the fennel out though and it should still be pretty effective.

  30. Wanted to say thank you. Have been using this with my family for over a year now. Even those who were skeptical use it as their go-to favourite 🙂

  31. Would it make any difference using amber colored glass jars instead of clear glass jars? I wonder if the amber glass would block out any UV rays, making the tincture more potent and last longer.

    • YES!! Keep your tinctures in a cool, dark place.
      Ok, so we do not all have a really COOL, dark place…some are kind of Nerdy or Vampire-ishy, , but not Cool and Hip like mine!! (lol, sorry XD)
      Ok, COOL as in temperature? Just make certain the room is not a real warm. I keep mine in my walk- in pantry.
      So I made this a six weeks ago, NOT this exact recipe, but herbs were changed, and I used 190 Proof Grain Alcohol, (Everclear is what I used). It was my understanding that the higher the proof, the better the tincture. Boy does it burn under my tongue!!! Whew! It does the trick, it just tastes so gull-darn horrid! What can I do to change that? Mine is HERBS and the alcohol and nothing else. herbs were ground to a fine powder, gently warmed in a 275 degree Farenheit oven for 15 minutes then placed into room temperature grain alcohol . while still warm. I used no water. I worry that will cause bacteria/mold and not keep it’s shelf life of many years I am told. Placed in dark glass container for six weeks shaking daily. After that, I strained/filtered four times: fine metal mesh strainer, then the cheesecloth, and then use a coffee filter, discard filter and do it again with a fresh clean one. So do that step Twice! Then put in your dark glass bottles. Don’t use plastic!
      So any ideas for better taste…besides SUGARS?
      Did I do anything wrong in my making of it?
      Thank you!

  32. Hello – thanks sharing these awesome recipes. I made 2 tinctures last night and I put them in my old mason jars. I don’t think the containers are airtight, I’d that okay?

    Also my mom loves the elderberry syrup, thanks again!

  33. Do I have to use fennel? I can’t stand the stuff.

  34. Could you use fresh mint leaves instead of dried, and if so would you use a greater quantity?

  35. Wondering if you have ever made a tinture with essential oils?

    • There isn’t a need to. When you distill a plant, you get the volatile factions (the essential oil). With tinctures, the alcohol removes different fractions. Adding EOs to alcohol would just create an EO diluted in alcohol and not provide any additional benefit. I also avoid EOs internally, so I wouldn’t recommend that…

      • Thank you! I was trying to find a way to safely use them in something like my water. I already have the oils, so was looking for ways to use them, but of course want to be cautious. I figured diluting the essential oils in alcohol would create a concentration that would incorporate in water when added and be diluted enough to be safe for ingestion. I appreciate your caution! I am taking baby steps to living a healthier lifestyle and often refer to your blog for information! Thank you for the response!

  36. Hi, is there a way to make this without alcohol for morning sickness please?

  37. So, I left my mix unstrained for a couple months…. In the instructions, it says to let stew for “up to six weeks.” Should I toss it out and start over?

  38. I screwed up and bought anise seeds instead of fennel. Could I use them instead or ?

    Thank you

      • Thank you and congratulations!

  39. This is such a great creation!! Is there any possible way to make this any quicker? Or maybe an alternative you know of? I’m 38 weeks and would love to have this during labor to avoid the nausea!!

  40. Hi Katie, what can I use to substitute the peppermint leaves? My 3y/o is having constipation issues and she’s sensitive with peppermint. Thanks for your reply!.

  41. How long is this tincture likely to last?

    • Tinctures last almost indefinitely because they are preserved in alcohol.

  42. Peppermint is not safe to use on babies :/

  43. Katie, your site is wonderful! I have started working on my own herbal remedies recently, so I’m very glad I found this blog- and in particular this digestion one. I’ve seen a few people ask about internal versus external use. I’m a bit at a loss to imagine how could this work externally? You rub it on your belly and it does the same thing? 🙂


    • I find it works best internally but it can be rubbed on the stomach externally and seems to help that way as well.