Bitters for Digestion

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I am learning how important the bitter taste is for the human digestive system. Foods with bitter tastes tend to act very strongly on the digestive system thus stimulating the digestive juices required for optimal healthy absorption of our food.

Lately my digestion has been feeling a bit off. Mostly it has been just a low grade nausea. I hope to soon start an elimination diet to test for food allergies but since it is a big commitment of time (3-6 weeks) I want to have it planned out well. In the mean time I had been researching using bitter herbs to create a bitter formula for digestion.

I had come across a couple references to Swedish bitters but I was looking for a DIY recipe to try versus already mixed dried herbs or powders. I did not find anything that seemed to really fit me so I decided to create my own formula by using herbs I am drawn to and that grow in my garden. I used this basic recipe and this article about how to customize.

I actually came up with two recipes

I picked herbs that I could use from my garden. But couldn’t decide on just one recipe so I made 2.

Mugwort Digestive Bitters
2 oz chopped fresh mugwort (mine was in flower)
1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
2 oz dried dandelion root (from Mountain Rose Herbs)
2 TBSP dried hawthorn berries (from Mountain Rose Herbs)
quart jar
apple cider vinegar

Amy’s Personalized Digestive Bitters
2 TBSP chopped fresh ginger
1 TBSP cardamom seed
1 oz chopped fresh motherwort (mine was in flower, ouch!)
1/2 oz chopped blue vervain
1/2 oz dried rose petals
chopped orange peel from 1/2 organic orange
quart jar
Organic Prairie vodka

To make both you put the fresh and dried ingredients in the bottom of a sterile quart jar and and fill with your desired menstrum. In this case either vinegar or vodka. I wanted to try one of each. I then let it sit for 4-6 weeks, strain and put in dropper bottles.

Depending on whether you have low stomach acid (nausea) or high stomach acid (heartburn) depends on whether you take a dropper before or after eating. Low stomach acid take a dropper about 15 minutes before eating, high stomach acid after. Here’s to good health!

Mugwort Digestive Bitters

The bitter flavor of these herbs helps make sure your digestive system is running in tip top shape.

Equipment

  • sterilized quart jars

Materials

bitter herbs

  • 2 oz chopped fresh mugwort
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 oz dried dandelion root
  • 2 TBSP dried hawthorn berries

Instructions

  • To make put the fresh and dried ingredients in the bottom of a sterile quart jar and and fill to the top with either apple cider vinegar or vodka. Let it sit for 4-6 weeks, strain and put in dropper bottles for dosage. Refill as necessary.

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