Ask the Kitchen Witch: Diving into Anemia 🧙🌿

Ask the Kitchen Witch: Diving into Anemia 🧙🌿

Question: How does anemia effect us?

Hi friends! Welcome to the first 'Ask the Kitchen Witch' advice column. This one is a long one so it's continued on my blog so I don't overwhelm your inbox. 

Also, the question I received about anemia was slightly more specific, but since anemia is incredibly complex, I tried to cover some of the most common scenarios as well as give you practical  ways to support your body's need for iron and other pertinent nutrients related to anemia.

Let's do this!
Ask me your questions by emailing me at
What is anemia?
According to the Cleveland Clinic anemia affects ‘an estimated one-third of the global population and an estimated 3 million people in the United States’ (Cleveland Clinic).

Various types of anemia exist, each leading to a decrease in the levels of red blood cells in the body.
Anemia occurs when your blood doesn't have enough red blood cells or when those cells don't have enough hemoglobin, which acts like an oxygen delivery truck carrying oxygen all throughout your body. 

When you are low on hemoglobin (aka the oxygen delivery trucks) your body doesn't get enough oxygen, which can make you feel weak, tired all the time, have trouble thinking clearly, and even affect your mood.

Because there are 13 different kinds of anemia, I’m going to briefly talk about the most common types. If you would like to continue to learn more about the other types of anemia, check out this article from the Cleveland Clinic to help get you started. 

It is important to know that some anemias are inherited, some stem from nutritional causes, and some are caused by abnormal red blood cells. Of course, please speak to your trusted healthcare practitioner about any and all of this if you are concerned that you may need to be tested or treated for any of these.
So how can we support healthy iron levels in our bodies through nutrition?
The good news is that for the nutritionally linked forms of anemia, they can be treated and managed through diet and supplementation most of the time. Depending on whether or not you have iron deficiency anemia or B12 deficiency related anemias, you can focus on iron rich and B12 rich foods and supplementation to help put your beautiful body in the right direction.

If you want to understand it a bit more about MTHFR, please go here to learn more.
Many times incorporating healthy foods is only part of how we support our bodies. Food quality and our body’s ability to absorb nutrients determine what we’re actually getting from our diets. So in the cases where you need to supplement, here are some good choices for iron supplementation. These are affiliate links, and they go a long way to support my work if you choose to use them. Thank you in advance!
***Going back to the MTHFR genetic mutation again, it is imperative that you choose a B Complex that has B12 listed as ‘methylcobalamin’ and not ‘cyanocobalamin’ and ‘Folate’ or ‘methyltetrahydrofolate’ and not ‘Folic Acid’. About half of the population has this gene mutation which means their bodies cannot methylate, or use, ‘Cyanocobalamin’ or ‘Folic Acid’. We’ll talk more about this but it’s really important when you are choosing supplements, multi vitamins, etc.
Herbal Interventions
Here are some plants that are also high in iron and when taken regularly can also help to boost iron levels in the body. For extracting the iron specifically, it is best when taken as a syrup or in capsules.
Herbal Iron Syrup Recipe
This is meant to be taken on its own and not in addition to iron supplementation, as too much iron is not the way to go either for optimal health. This is a great way to start working with the plants however and of course always talk to your trusted health care practitioner first before starting any new regimens.
  • 1 Tablespoon Yellow Dock Root
  • 1 Tablespoon Burdock Root
  • 1 Tablespoon Dandelion Root
  • 3 Tablespoons Nettle Leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons Rosehips or Hawthorne Berries
  • 8 cups Water
  • 1 cup Molasses
  • 1/2 cup Raw Honey to Sweeten
  1. Get Ready: First, gather all your materials and measure out the ingredients in the correct amounts.
  2. Make the Herbal Decoction: Put your herbs and water in a pot on the stove and simmer them uncovered on low heat. Be careful not to let it boil too much, as this can make your herbs less effective. Let it simmer until about half of the liquid has evaporated, which usually takes around an hour.
  3. Let It Cool: Turn off the stove and let your herbal tea cool for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Strain the Liquid: Use a sieve and a clean dish towel (or nut milk bag) to separate the liquid from the herbs. Make sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  5. Add Honey and Molasses: In a mixing bowl with the herbal tea, slowly stir in the honey and molasses until everything is mixed well.
  6. Optional Alcohol: If you want to preserve the syrup for longer, add brandy, bourbon, or scotch and mix well.
  7. Store It: Pour your herbal iron syrup into glass containers, like mason jars or amber bottles, to keep it fresh. If you didn't add alcohol, store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you added alcohol, it can last in the fridge for about 6 months.
  8. That's it! You've made your own herbal iron syrup. Enjoy its health benefits!
I’m going to wrap this up here although this topic goes on and on. As someone who loves the healing power of nutrition, my job is to help shed light on areas that may need attention for the state of your health, help you have an understanding of what to ask your health care practitioners, and to pass along the information that will help you to your health back, such as choosing the right foods and supplementation, in this case.
I hope this has been helpful and informative. If you have a question you would like answered, please email me at with the subject line ‘Ask the Kitchen Witch’ and I will get to it over the coming weeks.
From my heart to yours,
(The Kitchen Witch)


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