Bitter Fennel Digestive Pastilles

Recipe by Rosalee de la Forêt

Eating something bitter with meals is a tried-and-true way to strengthen and support digestion. While the bitter taste is highlighted in this recipe, the aromatic herbs and spices, along with the honey, temper it so it’s more of a treat.

This recipe uses powdered herbs along with honey to form pastilles (a fancy French term for pills). I recommend eating one pastille 15 minutes before each meal.

Yield: Approximately 20 pea-sized balls


For Pastilles:
  • 1 teaspoon angelica root powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon gentian root powder (Gentiana lutea)
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange peel powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • About 2 teaspoons honey
For the Coating:
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed powder (6 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • To make the coating: Combine the fennel seed powder and salt in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  • To make the pastilles: In a separate bowl, combine the angelica root, coriander, gentian root, orange peel, and black pepper. Mix well.
  • Gently heat up the honey in a small saucepan or double boiler. You don’t want to cook the honey; just heat it up enough that it has a thinner, syrupy consistency. This will make it easier to mix with the herbs.
  • Little by little pour the honey into the powdered herbal mixture, while stirring. You’ll have enough honey added when the mixture can be molded together without breaking apart.
  • Roll the mixture into pea sized balls. To keep it from sticking to your hands, try putting some of the fennel-and-salt coating on your hands.
  • Roll each pastille in the fennel powder and salt, then store them in an airtight container.
  • These will last for up to three months, but the fresher they are, the more potent the herbs will be.

This recipe has is by Herbalist, Rosalee de la Forêt from her book: Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies that Heal and has been reprinted with her permission.

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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!