Herbal bitters are tinctures or infusions made with bitter herbs used to improve digestion, reduce bloating and give your body extra oomph to break down foods and produce digestive enzymes. Some people choose to purchase bitters, but they are super simple to make right at home! If you want to know more about herbal digestive bitters, keep reading and stay to the end for a simple recipe for herbal bitters!
Just a friendly reminder that I am not a medical professional. I just like to share what we use in our home. For more, read my full medical disclaimer.
What are Herbal Bitters?
Herbal digestive bitters are herbal tinctures or infusions that have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine to promote healthy digestion and treat digestive issues such as acid reflux and indigestion. Herbal bitters can also help regulate blood sugar levels and support the immune system.
Digestive bitters can come from bitter foods or herbs (which we will be using in the recipe today). These bitters help support and aid the body to produce your own digestive enzymes naturally. This differs from taking digestive enzymes, which would synthetically add enzymes in to break down foods for digestion.
Digestive bitters can be a great addition to any health and wellness routine. They are inexpensive, easy to make, and have many potential benefits for digestive health. So why not give them a try? Next, we’ll explore the specific benefits of digestive bitters.
Why should you use herbal bitters?
- Stimulate Digestion: Bitter herbs can help to stimulate the production of digestive juices such as bile and stomach acid, which can aid in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from food.
- Relieve Digestive Issues: Bitter herbs can help to relieve digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, and indigestion. They do this by promoting the movement of food through the digestive tract and reducing inflammation in the gut.
- Improve Liver Function: Bitter herbs can help to improve liver function, which can aid in the breakdown and elimination of toxins in the body.
- Support Overall Health: Bitter herbs are rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that can help to support overall health and wellbeing. They can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Natural and Safe: Herbal digestive bitters are a natural and safe way to improve digestion and support overall health when used properly.
How do herbal bitters work?
Bitter herbs work by stimulating the release of digestive juices and enzymes, which helps to break down food for easier digestion. They also activate the vagal nerves to send signals to your digestive organs that you’re ready to eat and helping to kick-start your digestion process before you’ve even taken a bite. In addition, herbal bitters can also help regulate blood sugar levels and support the immune system.
Digestive bitters can be a great way to help support your digestive health and enjoy balanced meals with ease. And you don’t just have to take them as recommended – they can also be used for some creative cocktail recipes too!
Herbal Bitter Recipe
Ready to get creative with herbal bitters? Try out this delicious recipe for homemade herbal bitters!
My favorite place to purchase herbs online is Starwest Botanicals! The links below are affiliate links, where I may make a small commission on your purchase, at no additional cost to you.
- 2 TBSP dried burdock root
- 2 TBSP dried dandelion root
- 2 TBSP fennel seed
- 2 TBSP chopped ginger root
- 2 TBSP dried orange peel
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup 190-proof Everclear (or other vodka or grain alcohol of choice)
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1.Combine the burdock root, dandelion root, fennel seed, ginger, orange peel, and cinnamon sticks in a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
2. Pour the Everclear over the herbs, making sure they are fully submerged.
3. Close the lid and shake the jar well to combine.
4. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks, shaking it daily to ensure the herbs are fully infused into the alcohol.
5. After six weeks, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, pressing down on the herbs to extract as much liquid as possible.
6. Pour the mixture into a clean glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and store in a cool, dark place.
7. To use, take 1-2 dropperfuls of the bitters before or after meals to aid in digestion.
Always store herbal remedies out of reach of children and consult with a healthcare practitioner before using any herbal supplements or remedies, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medication.
How much Herbal Bitters tincture should you take?
Simply add 1-2 droppers full into a glass of water or juice about 15 minutes before meals. This gives the bitters enough time to kick in before you eat. The bitterness of these products is necessary for them to be effective – if it doesn’t taste bitter, it won’t do much for your digestion.
You usually take herbal tinctures on the tongue, but taking bitters in water helps it follow the digestive track, which we are looking to support!
You can use this as a part of our daily routine before meals, or just when you know you are going to eat foods that usually give you digestive issues (hello, spicy sausages! I’m looking at you).
Digestive Benefits of the Herbs Used in this Recipe
- Fennel seed is another herb with bitter properties that can stimulate digestion. It is particularly helpful in relieving digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and constipation. Fennel seed also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to soothe inflammation in the digestive tract.
- Ginger is a warming herb that can aid in digestion by increasing circulation and promoting the production of digestive juices. It is particularly helpful in relieving nausea and vomiting, making it a great choice for those who are experiencing digestive issues due to illness or morning sickness.
- Orange peel is a bitter herb that can help to stimulate digestion and improve the absorption of nutrients in the body. It is also rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect against damage caused by free radicals.
- Dandelion Root is a bitter herb that can aid in digestion by increasing the production of digestive juices. It also has diuretic properties, which can help to flush out excess fluids and toxins from the body.
- Burdock Root is known for its bitter properties, which can help stimulate digestion by increasing the production of digestive juices such as bile and stomach acid. It also helps to improve liver function, which can aid in the breakdown and elimination of toxins in the body.
- Cinnamon bark is a warming herb that can aid in digestion by increasing circulation and promoting the production of digestive juices. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to soothe inflammation in the digestive tract. Additionally, cinnamon has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels, making it a great choice for those with diabetes or insulin resistance.
Herbal Bitters FAQs
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About the Author:
I’m Brittany, totally modern and mainstream turned crunchy mama!
Read more here about how I went from a totally incompetent cook and hyper-consumer to striving to live a more meaningful life from scratch.
I can’t wait to share my modern homesteading journey with you and I hope I inspire you to join along!