Licorice Bitters Recipe

This bitters recipe can help digestion and help alleviate darker moods.

  • Mix up your bitters concoction with other alcohols, such as brandy, in place of vodka, or add color with some dried fruit.
    Photo by Istock/sf_foodphoto

Bitter herbs aid in digestion and nutrient absorption through stimulation of the digestive system. A well-functioning digestive system can have a positive impact on your outlook.


• 1⁄2 cup dandelion root
• 1⁄2 cup dried orange peel
• 1⁄2 cup yellow dock root
• 1⁄2 cup licorice root
• 1⁄2 cup fennel seed
• 1⁄4 cup burdock root
• 1⁄4 cup calendula flowers
• 1 cup boiling water
• Vodka to cover


1. Chop herbs, place in a large glass jar, and add boiling water.

2. Stir herbs to moisten and let cool for a few minutes.

3. Then, cover the mixture with vodka, allowing space for the herbs to expand as they soak up the water and alcohol.

4. Cover the jar tightly and set in a cool, dark cupboard for 4 to 6 weeks. Check the jar periodically to ensure the herbs are covered, and add more vodka if necessary to keep the herbs submerged.

5. After 4 to 6 weeks have passed, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a glass bowl.

6. Squeeze the cheesecloth to remove all the liquid tincture.

7. Pour licorice bitters into smaller individual bottles, label them, and store them in a cool, dark place.

8. Take 10 to 20 drops 10 to 20 minutes before meals. Your licorice bitters will keep for 2 years.

For more depression and seasonal mood support:

About Herbal Remedies for Depression and Winter Blues
Teas for Depression and Winter Blues

Marlene Adelmann is an herbalist and the founder of The Herbal Academy, which is an international school of herbal arts and sciences that offers online training programs and serves as a meeting place for Boston-area herbalists

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