Characteristics of a digestive tonic

How to make a digestive tonic at home

What is a digestive tonic?

The digestive tonics are those preparations which are used to whet the appetite.

A digestive tonic incites stomach with no appetite to eat again.

The digestive tonics are also known by the name of bitters.

How does a digestive tonic work?

The bitter principles stimulate appetite by acting on the hypothalamus and increasing peristaltism (intestine movements). In addition this product aids digestion.

Types of digestive tonics

  • Medicinal plants with digestive properties: we can distinguish between those medicinal plants that have medicinal properties and need not be combined with other products to get up an appetite.
  • Wine with tonic- digestive properties: They are wines where medicinal plants have been macerated in, which has given them digestive properties

How to prepare a digestive tonic?

Cinnamon for digestive tonics

Sprinkle cinnamon powder on food whets the appetite.

In case of medicinal plants with tonic- digestive properties, they can be added to food, as with many spices, or they can be prepared as an infusion or decoction.

If tonic wines, they should be made with the adequate preparation, which consists on macerating the herbs in wine from grapes for a few hours in a warm place. Subsequently, the preparation is strained and stored in a glass container, preferably dark.

Using digestive tonics

You can drink a little cup of digestive tonic wine before the two main meals.

Nonalcoholic preparations must also be supplied before eating.

How to preserve the digestive tonics?

Non-alcoholic preparations should be be taken during the same day they have been prepared..

Tonic wines can be kept several months, provided they are sheltered from light and kept in a cool place.


Among the many preparations to whet the appetite, we can mention the following:

Cinnamon digestive properties

Wine gentian tonic

Digestive tonic liquor of angelica (wild celery): See formula in right column

Fennel with digestive properties

Angelica digestive tonic liqueur


  • 40 gr of fresh angelica stem (wild celery)
  • 10 gr of fresh angelica root
  • 1 liter of liqueur of anise
  • 4 glasses of water
  • 1 kg of sugar


  • Mix the stems and roots with the anise liqueur
  • Macerate for 5 days
  • Add the water and sugar and let macerate for another 7 days.
  • Strain, drain and filter.
  • Place the contents in a sealed glass bottle and let stand for 30 days.


  • Take a little cup before the two main meals

* See contraindications

punto rojo More information on other types of tonics and medicinal plants

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

6 May, 2022

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