Inspired by the elderberry syrup recipe I shared a few days ago, but without access to dried elderberries right now, I decided to experiment with the Instant Pot and some herbs I do have on hand. Introducing the Lavender-Fennel Belly Tonic!
Lately, the stress of hotel life and rebound hyperchlorhydria from several months on post-surgical proton-pump inhibitors has led to moments of intense acid reflux. Although the majority of acid reflux is actually a case of too little stomach acid (HYPOchlorhydria), in my case, I am experiencing a true overabundance of stomach acid (HYPERchlorhydria), and need to show my belly and esophagus lots of love to calm the storm.
I love using fennel for indigestion, as it calms cramping and gastric irritation, and is safe for kids and adults alike. The star anise adds a beautiful flavor profile to the tonic, and eases cramps and soothes nausea. I chose to add lavender, not only because I had some on hand, but because I know that a good amount of my digestive discomfort stems from stress, and lavender is a wonder at calming the nervous system.
Make this tonic and take sips of it after a heavy meal or during a stress-induced tummy ache, or drizzle it on ice cream for dessert. Your belly will love it!
Note: This recipe yields around 8 ounces of an un-reduced tonic, and will last several months in the fridge if you use honey to sweeten. If you're more of an agave or sweet-free person, store in the fridge and use within 14 days. Do not use honey with infants less than one year old.
About the Author
Sarah Ouano is a naturopathic doctor and writer. A fierce advocate for health equity and rights of the marginalized, she frequently writes about the intersection of naturopathic medicine and public health, throwing in personal anecdotes and tasty (and practical) recipes along the way.