Revving up your digestive system with botanical bitters is probably the most effective and worthwhile Spring-cleaning act. Bitters are those plant constituents with a bitter taste that causes your mouth to pucker, stimulates the appetite and triggers many other internal physiological and biological effects such as:
Triggering production of saliva and other digestive enzymes.
Stimulating and regulating smooth peristalsis by slowing the food movement and therefore ensuring a satiated sensation faster and a thorough breakdown of foods to prevent bloating and other discomforts.
Toning and improving (including repairing) of the functioning of digestion, absorption and assimilation. For example, bitters ensure proper closure of the valve between our esophagus and stomach preventing acid backing up into the esophagus causing heartburn and possibly long term damage.
Bitters strengthen and tone the liver to optimize its functioning and that of the gallbladder (a partner to the liver) which stores and concentrates bile, used to breakdown fats.
The liver maintains:
Normal blood glucose levels by monitoring and orchestrating release and storage of blood glucose.
The break down of fats into fatty acids, which can be stored for later use.
The synthesis of crucial hormones and steroids, non-essential amino acids and albumin, a major plasma protein.
The storage for minerals such as copper, iron and Vitamins A, D, E and K.
The detoxification of the blood by removal of old blood cells & hormones, drugs, waste products, and toxins.
Common botanical bitter principle agents readily found in the kitchen, such as:
Yellow dock (Rumex Crispus)
Gentian (Gentiana lutea)
Bitter orange & other Citrus fruit peel
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
Chamomille (Matricaria recutita)
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)
Hops (Humulus lupulus)
Since bitters must be taken orally and not encapsulated to be effective, culinary creativity is advised. Bitters can be enjoyed in multiple ways, prior to a meal, from a simple bite size (a little goes a long way) zesty bitter appetizing salad to a shot of bitter fire cider to a bitter cocktail.
Live in Peace bitter syrups are derived from organic bitter aromatic botanicals, spices, brandy, honey and time.
#1 The Purifier - Yellow dock, Burdock, Fenugreek, Lemon Peel, and Gingko Balboa. This bitter is a portal vein decongestant. It is nutritive and releases iron stores in the liver.
#2 The Rejuvenator – Ashwaganda, Wild Rosemary, California Poppy, Lemon Balm and Licorice. This bitter gives relief from nervous tension helping with harmony and emotional stability.
Recipe: Experiment to develop your own signature bitters.
Choose ingredients to fit your needs or preference:
Bitter agents – Wormwood (Anti-parasitic), dandelion (anti-rheumatic), kava kava (nervous system & muscle relaxant), etc.
Aromatic/Flavor agents – strong, pleasant aromatics such as mint, lemon balm, cinnamon, etc.
High-proof liquor – at least 100 proof or higher.
Water and Sweetener – to dilute and flavor (optional).
To a mason jar add chopped herbs. If using dried herbs, loosely half fill mason jar or three quarters if using fresh herb. Fill the rest of the jar with alcohol submerging plant material completely. Topping off may be necessary the next day if the alcohol gets reduced, especially if using dry herbs. Cover the jar tightly and place in a dark corner for maceration. Shake frequently and even taste to make sure the flavor is to your liking. Let is sit 3 weeks or more and when ready strain and sweeten if you choose and store in convenient bottle for use before meals.
Live in Peace