One of the (many) beautiful things about herbal medicine is that there are endless, creative and delicious means of consuming them; teas, decoctions, tinctures, syrups, and herbal pills just to name a few. Truly, the possibilities are endless!
If you’re not familiar with herbal pills, they’re basically herbs with a liquid, usually honey, rolled into a candy-like ball. ‘Pastilles’ is another term you may have heard these referred to which means ‘pills’ in French but to keep things simple, and easy to pronounce, I call them pills. If you search “herbal pills”, you’ll find a lot of examples and recipes being used for stomach complaints however they can be used for whatever it is that ails you!
I try to engage and include my children in all kitchen activities whether I am making meals, creating herbal medicine or crafting body-care items. It took me well into my adult years to have my eyes opened to all the healing gifts Mother Earth provides for us. I strive to teach these skills and share the knowledge I’ve gained with them so that they develop a deep admiration for the power of plants and can maintain their health naturally.
Creating these herbal pills is fun, messy and hands on; which makes them the perfect project for everyone from adults down to toddlers!
One of the benefits of herbal pills, besides how easy they are to create, is their customizability. You can choose the herbs you’d like to use based on you or your family’s current needs. You can use either honey or maple syrup, cacao or carob powder and even add additional flavoring from essential oils like orange or peppermint.
Need some inspiration for what herbs to use?
If you’re suffering from stomach issues, Activated Charcoal, Peppermint, Slippery Elm, and Ginger would be a fantastic mix. If headaches are your complaint you can try adding in: St. John’s Wort, Passion Flower, and Feverfew for example. Our loose leaf tea blends are a great option if you have a specific complaint you’re trying to address but aren’t ready or able to invest in each individual herb. Our tea blends have already been carefully and meticulously formulated to treat a wide variety of ailments. For instance, if you’re looking for women’s health support, our Goddess blend is fantastic. If your goal is to improve your overall health our Immune Booster blend will get the job done!
Are you ready to make your own herbal pills? Here’s how!
Once you have your herb or combination of herbs selected, add them to your coffee grinder and pulse until it’s a smooth powder. We had a bit of a sore throat and cough going around recently so I chose our Cough Tea blend which includes Red Clover Blossoms, Licorice Root, and Ginger Root.
Once you have a smooth and consistent powder, add it to a bowl large enough for little hands to fit into. It’s about to get messy! You could, in theory, use a spoon for this next step… but where’s the fun in that?
Mix in your sweetener of choice. I chose local raw honey for its additional medicinal benefits and its ability to sooth sore throats. If you have allergy or dietary restrictions, maple syrup is another sweetener option which binds all the ingredients together in the same way and still yields the desired results.
After you’ve created a sticky paste, slowly start adding in your cacao or carob powder. I find that by adding small amounts at a time, it helps to ensure I reach the desired “bread dough” like consistency. When making these, you’ll realize that this isn’t a science, but more like art which is why I haven’t provided any measurements!
With your fingers, knead the mixture until a smooth dough in formed.
Roll into small bite sized balls and finish by tossing them in the powder of your choosing, either cacao or carob powder.
Place your finished pills into a dehydrator for approximately 12 hours. Other drying options include the oven at its lowest setting or if it’s a warm, dry day, place them outside and let the sun both dry them and add its healing powers! If stored correctly in a cool, dark place, they will keep for at least a year. But only if your kids, or let’s be honest, you, don’t eat them all first!
Have you made something like this before? Any tips or tricks you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below. Or ff you haven’t made herbal pills before, let us know if you decide to create them and how they turn out!