Herbal Pastilles (Pills)

Herbal Pastille Making

What is a pastille?

A pastille (or pill) is made by simply combining powdered herbs with a liquid or honey and rolling them into small pea-size balls. Some common uses are for sore throats, coughs, and, digestive complaints.

Basic Pastille Recipe

Place medicinal powdered herbs in a bowl and mix with honey and enough water to make a sticky paste

You can add tinctures/glycerites/syrups/extracts instead of water

Roughly 3:1 powder to honey (for example 3 T powdered herb to 1 T honey). Add honey slowly and mix in between.


Knead until it has a dough like consistency.

Break off small bits and roll them into small balls, the size of a pea. Cover them in additional powder for a finished look, prevent clumping, and possibly to make them taste yummy! I found a smiley face in one! 🙂 


Yummy tasting herb (cocoa, cinnamon, peppermint, lemon balm, orange peel, licorice etc…)

IMG_9141 (1)

Dry the pills in a dehydrator, on a cookie sheet (at the lowest temperature – 150 degrees), or in the sun.

Once dried keep them in a glass container in a cool, dark place for indefinitely.

Herbal Pastille Recipes

Sore Throat

2 parts Marshmallow

1 part Rose

½ part Sage


Coat with Slippery Elm (ethically harvested) or Cinnamon


1 part Slippery Elm (ethically harvested)

1 part Marshmallow Root

½ part Cherry bark

1/4-1/2 part Ginger


Coat with Cinnamon

Digestive Bitters

1 part Burdock Root

1 part Dandelion Root

1 part Gentian Root

1 part Coriander

1 part Orange Peel

Pinch of black pepper


Coat with Fennel Seed Powder and a pinch of Salt


1 part Lemon Balm

1 part Rose

1 part Chamomile

½ part Passionflower


Coat with Orange Peel

*1 part can be whatever measurement you decide – tablespoon, teaspoon, cup, and so on


Why Bitters?

Bitter taste supports and influences different parts of the digestive system. Here are a few ways:

  1. Stimulates the secretion of saliva, which aids in carbohydrate consumption
  2. Increases HCL (Hydrochloric Acid) secretion, which breaks down proteins and helps extract nutrients from foods

    (Lack of HCL has been attributed to heart burn, stomach ulcers, nutrient deficiencies and food intolerance)

  3. Causes bile formation in the liver and bile secretion in the gallbladder. Bile is crucial for digestion of fats and oils.
  4. Regulates blood sugar levels and promotes regular bowel movements by supporting healthy peristaltic movement of the colon

Here’s a list of herbs to try

Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)

Heavily traded herb

Builds our digestive fires and increases the bio-availability of nutrients in our foods and herbal formulas.

Helps body extract more nutrients from the food you eat.

Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)

Nutrient-dense food


Move stagnant lymph

Supports live health

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Irritability and restlessness


Relaxing nervine and mild sedative

Cherry Bark (Prunus serotina)

Expectorant, antitussive, astringent, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, nervine, sedative, bitter

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Seed of the cilantro plant

Minor digestive complaints such as gas and bloating

Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale)

Helps poor digestion

Promotes healthy liver function

Digestive stimulant

Fennel Seeds (Foeniculum vulgare)

Relieves stagnant digestion like gas and bloating

Pleasant taste

Colic formulas

Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale)


Stimulating expectorant

Anodyne (pain relief)




Gentian Root (Gentiana lutea)

Cooling bitter herb in France/Italy

Used to treat fevers, parasites, and promoting digestion

Over-harvested from its native habitat in the Alps so purchase from cultivated sources

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Relaxing nervine

Used to decrease anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, and stress

Added to herbal formulas for taste

Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis)

Best for dry spasmodic coughs

Digestive inflammation

Sore and dry mouth and throat

Cold infusions

Orange Peel (Citrus sinensis)

Decreases phlegm and promotes digestion

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

Relaxing nervine

Aid in insomnia

Exhaustion, mental fatigue, anxiety

Rose (Rosa species)






Analgesic (relieves pain)

Sage (Salvia officinale)



Soothes sore throats

Helps with infections

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)

Soothes mucus membranes

Respiratory system

Digestive tract

Nutritive herb

Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitussive, mild astringent, demulcent, expectorant

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