Ancient Egyptians used them to make herbal concoctions. Our ancestors used to eat them on a regular basis. But today, bitter herbs are almost nonexistent in Western diets, which is unfortunate, considering bitter flavor is important for maintaining digestive balance and has been linked to numerous other health benefits. The good news is that you can now incorporate bitter flavors into your diet, thanks to digestive bitters. That's why more and more people are turning to the oral supplement to balance their appetite, cravings, blood sugar, and more.
Scroll through to find out what digestive bitters do and how to use them!
Digestive bitters start working as soon as they hit your taste buds. The bitterness not only gets your salivary glands going, but it also sends a signal to your whole digestive system that food is on the way. The flavor sparks a reflex action on our stomach and pancreas, stimulating the production of digestive juices.
They do much more than ensure your digestive system runs smoothly. Eating bitters regularly has been shown to soothe gas and bloating; relieve occasional heartburn; calm upset stomach and nausea; balance blood-sugar levels; curb sugar cravings; and support liver function and healthy skin. They have a cooling, anti-inflammatory effect on the body. This gentle detoxification helps to combat the entire range of inflammation-related skin concerns (yes, even acne).
Common bitter herbs include milk thistle, gentian, cascarilla, dandelion, artichoke, cassia, orange peel, beet leaf, and cinchona bark. You can incorporate these herbs directly into your diet by using them in salads, soups, or stir-fries, or buy digestive bitters from your local health food store. Digestive bitters can be taken before or after a meal. Take about 1/4 teaspoon (or 1/2 of a dropper) 10 to 15 minutes before a meal to prevent bloating and promote good digestion. Take them after a meal to soothe indigestion, upset stomach, and heartburn. Or take them any time you want to curb a sugar craving (up to six times daily).
If you’re pregnant or have active ulcers, you may not tolerate all bitters; talk to your doctor before you try.
Have you tried digestive bitters? Will you try them? Tell us below!