iron tonic syrup

most women who have investigated supplements for a healthy pregnancy have come across a lovely (and expensive) concoction known as floradix.  pregnant women need to consume nearly twice as much iron as their non-gravid sisters, and this sends many women after this lovely and mysterious elixir.  floradix liquid differs from typical iron pills in that it is plant-derived iron and therefore much more easily assimilated into the body.  anyone who has taken regular iron pills can tell you (as can their sore behinds) that floradix is well worth the cost since it bypasses the nasty constipation associated with the pills.

the good news?  you can make your own floradix-esque concoction!  for very little money!  below, you’ll find a recipe for what i (rather selfishly) call “lucadix”…..feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking, and please share it with others.  also, anemic women will benefit from a daily dose of this yummy syrup!


2 parts yellow dock root
2 parts nettle leaf
2 parts red raspberry leaf
1 part dandelion leaf
1 part dandelion root

(this is a very complete syrup when it comes to vitamins and minerals, but if you really just need the iron and want to save the $$, you can just make it with yellow dock root and the ingredients below)

a jar

step 1.  measure out 2oz by weight of your herb mixture (in a pinch, two big handfuls) per quart of water that you’re using.

step 2.  bring your water to a boil, add your herbs, and turn down to a medium-low simmer.

step 3.  simmer uncovered until the liquid is reduced by half (different stoves/pans vary, but 2 quarts boiled down to 1 quart for me in about 50 minutes–make sure not to burn it!)

step 4.  fill your jar halfway full with 3 parts molasses to 1 part honey (ish—experiment with taste here, but there should always be more molasses than honey because it is a very good source of iron)

step 5.  strain the decocted (boiled and reduced) mixture, and fill the other half of the jar.  (So it’s one part sweet, one part liquid)

step 6.  if you aren’t pregnant and are just taking this for the iron, you can add a dash of brandy to preserve it.

step 7.  stir or shake to mix the molasses, honey, and decoction, and then pop it in the fridge.

you can take up to 6 tablespoons a day, and feel free to get adventurous with it.  while you can’t add fruit juice to it (it will spoil), you can add fruit syrups as part of the sweet half.  for instance, i used the last of my elderberry syrup (another lesson forthcoming) in addition to my honey and molasses.  get creative eating it too.  you can put it on biscuits or pancakes or ice cream, or you can take it straight out of the spoon!  in the fridge, this should keep for a few weeks.

get your ingredients here.  shipping is expensive, so buy in bulk or go in with other herbies you know 🙂



yellow dock root--see all the yellow, iron-y goodness?




  1. Jennifer Nordstrom said,

    October 15, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Are you using B grade Molasses or Grade A?

  2. herbwifery said,

    October 15, 2010 at 2:14 am

    sulfur-free blackstrap 🙂

  3. Jennifer Nordstrom said,

    October 18, 2010 at 7:43 am

    k, thanks. 🙂

  4. January 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    […] 1.  yellow dock root (a weed here in the south—see my post on yellow dock syrup!) […]

  5. Sarah said,

    March 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I just wanted to leave a comment to let you know I have been making this syrup off an on for a couple of years now. I feel better myself taking it for my anemia. The great thing was a year ago, my son showed up with some very low iron levels from a medication he had to take for a chronic condition. The Dr prescribed some big, expensive iron pills with all the stomach-related side effects. I convinced him to give us 2 months on this syrup and then if he was still really low, we’d try his way. His blood test came back normal!
    Thank you so much for sharing this. It has really helped our family.

  6. Amy said,

    September 18, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Thanks for all the great information, I just found your site. How much brandy is needed to preserve this syrup without refrigeration? Would the addition of the brandy make this an elixir or does an elixir have a pretty high syrup to alcohol ratio? Thanks!

    • November 18, 2013 at 6:07 am

      i’ve found that you really just have to experiment with this based on your environment (temp, local bacteria, etc.) without refrigeration, i’d add a pretty healthy dose of brandy and would make small batches. sorry to not have a more exact answer for you–my advice is to make some small experimental batches with varying amounts of brandy and see how long you go without mold 🙂 honestly, i go through this quickly when i make it, and i keep it in the fridge 🙂

  7. Carolyn said,

    November 18, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Is it possible to reduce the amount of honey and molasses in the jar? If so, what might be the least amount? Thanks,

    • November 18, 2013 at 6:01 am

      i suppose you could reduce as much as you want. less honey means it will be less palatable and you’ll need to make it in smaller refrigerated batches so it doesn’t spoil. you can leave the molasses out altogether, but that will mean less iron in your tonic. hope this helps!

      • Carolyn said,

        November 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm

        Thanks for that.

  8. December 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Where can I get seeds so I can plant these items in my garden in the spring? S>

  9. Wendy Arnott said,

    July 5, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Hi, thank you so much for posting this recipe. Ten months ago my son’s hemoglobin was below normal at 7.4 and more blood work showed that his iron stores were also low. He was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. I gave this mixture to him, one tablespoon a day five days a week for ten months. Today his hemoglobin was found to be within normal range at 11.6, and after checking other related signs, his doctor is happy with his current condition. Today’s hemoglobin test was taken after a week of no iron supplementation in order to see that his iron stores has been replenished. One small victory for herbalism!

  10. Nicci said,

    September 26, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Floridix is NOT plant derived. I had to call the company to confirm. Everyone, midwives, chiropractors, acupuncturist, told me it was plant derived. Clearly on the label it does not say it is and it was clear to me it was not. It is mined from the earth and mixed with organic compounds and acids to clean it. The company could not give me a location because their supplier gets it from many locations in many different countries across Europe. Your recipie above is Fantastic!

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