I have been experimenting with bitters for several months now and I am delighted at the relief I am able to receive so quickly. My esthetics mentor and her husband were my first introduction to them as in their Caribbean culture, they included it with every meal. I now am a believer at the necessity and the wonders that come from adding this taste to your palate and body. Bitters aid digestion, stimulate bile juices, and calm the nerves, engaging the para-sympathetic nervous system. When you taste bitters, your heart rate slows down, your glandular and intestinal activity increases, and the muscles in your intestinal tract relax, getting ready to digest. Your fight or flight response is relaxed in order to allow your body to nourish itself. Bitters stoke the inner digestive fire. And when the digestion is working optimally, so is the body. But for bitters to be effective they must be tasted. It’s the bitter stimulation of the tongue that triggers the cascading effect of bitters on the digestive system.
There are several ways to increase your intake of digestive bitter in your diet. You can begin by eating raw green salads before a meal. Drinking a glass of red wine with dinner, white wine doesn’t have the same astringency as red. Take a bitter tonic, tincture or aperitif about 30 minutes before eating, just a few drops on the tongue is all you need. You can also try including bitter tasting food in the meal. Foods in the bitter category include artichoke, ginger, galangal, broccoli, radicchio, arugula, brussels sprouts, chicory, white asparagus, citrus fruits, unsweetened chocolate, dandelion, eggplant, bitter melon, endive, kale and brassica vegetables.
Bitters have also been used to supress food cravings. The craving for sugary snacks or starchy salty snack foods can be quenched with a drop of bitter taste on the tongue.
Bitters relieve gas and bloating. Bitters help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Bitters support the liver and gall bladder. Bitters relieve heart burn and indigestion.
Bitters relieve upset stomach and nausea. Bitters are both drying and cooling.
Bitters aid weight loss by curbing sugar cravings and maintaining healthy blood sugar.
Bitters have also been used to suppress food cravings. The craving for sugary snacks or starchy salty snack foods can be quenched with a drop of bitter taste on the tongue with a drop of bitter taste on the tongue.
I have yet to make my own medicinal batch of bitters, but will soon and plan to give them away as great wellness gifts. I love sharing the gifts of nature and all it's healing and nurturing magic. I have come across a few great recipes, but the one listed below seems to be the easiest. I will try this after I run out of my amazing Better Bitters by Herb Pharm.
Easy Aromatic Bitters Recipe
1 medium lemon1 (750-milliliter) bottle grain alcohol, such as Everclear 151
40 drops gentian extract
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick1 (1-1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, cut in half
4 whole allspice berries
4 whole cloves
1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove lemon zest in strips, leaving the white pith behind.
2. Combine lemon zest and all remaining ingredients in a quart jar with a tightfitting lid. Close and store at room temperature. Let steep 14 days, shaking the jar every other day.
3. Strain alcohol from spices and store in a jar with a tightfitting lid in a dark place.
Bitter is a requirement for a well rounded palate and better overall wellness!