Some herbalists recommend “bitters” to help with digestion.
What does the term “bitters” mean? It simply means a food or, more typically, a medicinal herb, which tastes bitter, such as dandelion greens.
It’s believed our body needs all types of foods. This includes bitter-tasting foods. However, sometimes it’s difficult, especially given our modern lifestyles, to eat our recommended daily requirement of bitter foods.
Actually, if you eat a lot of fast food, and little to no fresh vegetables, it’s a safe bet that you aren’t getting enough bitters in your diet.
Bitters are believed to get the digestive juices flowing, first by working on the salivary glands. If we never taste anything bitter, it’s possible our digestive system loses its tone, according to this school of thought.
Herbal Bitters For Digestion
This is why various bitter tonics have come onto the market. Urban Moonshine is one of the leading brands. This tincture includes dandelion roots and leaves, burdock, fennel, yellow dock, angelica, gentian, ginger and more, according to information on the company website. There is no gluten in this USDA-certified organic formula.
Health Benefits of Bitter Herbs
Here are some more interesting things you may want to know about medicinal bitters, which were wildly popular in Medieval Europe and have probably been used as a natural remedy at least since the time of the Ancient Egyptians.
One of Europe’s leading herbalists in the 12th century was a cloistered nun named Saint Hildegard of Bingen. She developed a sophisticated form of medicine that incorporated herbs and other natural remedies. One of her favorite herbs was “fennel,” considered a bitter. She believed fennel could help virtually anyone.
Later, in the 19th century, a Venezuelan physician developed an herbal remedy designed to protect against malaria. It became known as Angostura Bitters and is still available today. It’s currently used for cooking and for mixing alcoholic drinks.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use herbal remedies, unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.