After a discussion with one of my herbal teachers about herbs that are beneficial for iron absorption and intake, he suggested a syrup was another useful way to incorporate iron rich foods/herbs into the diet.
This recipe is as simple as making a strong pot of tea, adding molasses and then condensing the mixture down. So easy.
The discussion of iron, absorption, anemia and digestion comes up often with women, and this post could end up being very long, so I am only going to include some basic tips that could help improve absorption of Iron.
If you are a meat eater, eat your iron rich meats ( beef, salmon, liver, egg yolks) with vegetables and citrus fruits (squeeze of lemon or lime juice). The acidic environment these create, plus the dose of vitamin C can help the absorption of iron once in the gut.
If you are a vegetarian, especially a vegetarian woman, be active in ensuring you are eating a healthy amount of iron rich foods. These include steamed greens (steaming is best due to the oxalates found in these greens that can inhibit iron uptake) such as spinach, swiss chard, kale. Also pumpkin seeds, whole grains, legumes like kidney beans, lima beans, lentils, and soybeans. Soaking/sprouting grains & legumes are very helpful in making these more digestible.
A healthy gut will improve the uptake of iron in the digestive process. This means having proper hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The regular use of antacids and excess coffee/black tea can decrease healthy HCL content and thus decrease absorption of iron.
If you are taking supplements avoid taking Calcium at the same time as Iron, as it may cause an alkaline environment in the gut and inhibit absorption.
So with that all said, here is the simple recipe to an iron rich syrup.
Add 1.5 cups water to a pot then add the Yellow dock and Ashwaganda.
Because it is the root of these plants we are using they require more time to simmer away.
Allow these to simmer for up to 20 minutes in the pot.
Then add the Nettle leaf, remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Allow the nettle to infuse into the pot with the other herbs for at least 10 minutes.
Strain the herbs from the tea and add the tea back to the pot and put on the stove on very low heat.
Add the molasses and stir. Allow this syrup to heat gently for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Store the syrup in glass jars and keep refrigerated.
Try 1 tbsp a day in your morning granola, oats or fruit salad.
It can be added to smoothies or drank in a cup of hot water like a tea.
Get creative and make salad dressings from it or a reduction of molasses for your dinner.
This is not recommended for pregnant women.