More and more of us are suffering with digestive concerns. This can be from food intolerances, antibiotic use, or chronic conditions. So, finding natural products that can help us and not upset our digestive system can be difficult.

Most of us are familiar with taking tablets or capsules, they are quick and easy and they do not have a taste associated with them. However, if we have a poor digestive system we can find it hard to break down the tablets or capsules - whether they are natural or not. Another thing to consider is if they have fillers added that we don't need.

Food can take up to 3 hours to digest (that includes tablets), and if our digestive system is not working at its optimum level, then we are less likely to absorb what we need from our supplements or food.

This is why liquids are a better option for absorption as we are able to absorb active constituents more quickly, for example through our mucous membranes in our mouth. Additionally, as it is a liquid, it is less taxing on our digestive system than breaking down pills - meaning we are placing less stress on our bodies. This is very important if we are under the weather.

As we move into the winter, aka ills and chills season, we have some helpful tips that may help you and your family:

1. Drink your herbs

Make a tonic with immune supportive herbs such as Thyme, which is a well-known antiseptic and immune supporting herb. Elderberry is also well loved for its support for the body’s defences, as it can help to support the body with excess mucus, like a runny nose. A daily tonic is a great way to start or end the day.

2. Add immune supportive herbs such as Kawakawa, Thyme, Sage or Elder to your smoothies. 

Winter may not seem the best time for smoothies, but it can be a great way to get a large amount of nutrients and phytochemicals from plant ingredients in the easiest way. Plus kids love them. You can use warmer water than we use in summer so it is not so harsh on the stomach. An easy way to do this is to use a pre-made tonic that has a variety of immune supportive herbs and add 5ml in to your normal smoothie recipe.

Our Favourite Smoothie Recipe:

  • 200 ml water or plant mylk
  • 5 ml immunity tonic
  • 1 banana
  • Handful of greens
  • Handful of berries
  • 1 Teaspoon of oil (hemp seed or coconut)
  • 1 Tablespoon pre-soaked chia seeds

3. Add plant tonics to gummies. 

Gummies made with good quality gelatine can help with gut repair as well as supporting immunity through the ills and chills season. Kids love gummies, you can make a double batch and keep some in the freezer for when you need them!

Our Easy Gummy Recipe:


  1. Put liquid, tonic and gelatin in a saucepan and heat slowly on a low heat, stirring until combined
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes, making sure it doesn’t boil
  3. Pour into molds or container of your choice, and set in freezer for 15-30 minutes.

4. Swill your tonic for a few seconds before swallowing.

Swilling your tonic before swallowing can help with absorption of the volatile oils, especially the thymol found in Thyme. 

When we feel like we are getting unwell, the best thing to do is increase our fluids, add in plant ingredients where we can to help support our immunity and body and reduce the extra stressors we place on it (e.g. overeating, foods that are hard to digest, and over exercising etc). Winter is the time for slow cooked foods, broths and warming tonics for this reason, to help support a healthy and less stressful winter.

Wild Dispensary craft premium herbal tonics and remedies using wild harvested herbs, berries and New Zealand native plants. Aiming to support wellness through traditional remedies made with wild harvested and carefully selected herbs, all Wild Dispensary products are handmade in small batches, using 100% natural ingredients, suitable for all ages. Shop Wild Dispensary's full range of tonics and elixir's online.

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. Wild Dispensary, Dunedin.

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