Thursday, May 24, 2012

Daily Herb-o-Scope - Feel Better with Bitters

      In my opinion the number one thing that you can do herbally to increase your health and vitality is to take a blend of bitter herbs before every meal. The bitter taste is the most lacking flavor in the typical American diet and as a result our digestion is suffering. The bitter taste elicits a very important response in the digestive tract: it stimulates the release of gastrin causing an increase in digestive juices. With this, all areas of digestion are improved including the breakdown, absorption and excretion of food. It also helps to eliminate heartburn and indigestion, bloating, gas and borborygmus (I love using this word! Its a fancy way of saying gurgling in the intestines). But the benefits go beyond the digestive tract into other areas of health. Because of the bitters effect on the liver, they help to detoxify the body and regulate hormones which extends into all body systems including mood enhancement and reproductive issues. Also with better absorption of nutrients, the increased nutrition helps to strengthen the entire body. 

      Less is more when it comes to the use of bitters. Only 1 ml of tincture should be taken 15 minutes before each meal. You can purchase a  bitters tincture at most health food stores or you can make your own tincture blend by including herbs such as artichoke leaf, milk thistle, dandelion root, turmeric, angelica, ginger and gentian to name a few. I will warn you that the taste is not very enjoyable but the health benefits far outweigh the nasty taste you have to experience. So get some bitters so you can feel better.

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