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What are they?
Herbal tonics that have been used for many years to support digestive health. Bitter tasting foods are lacking in many modern -day diets. Some food sources of bitters include coffee, olives, unsweetened cocoa (including dark chocolate) Kale and Dandelion
Well known herbal bitters are gentian, yarrow and dandelion just to name a few. They are often combined with other herbs to complement their effect.
The earliest origins of bitters can be traced back as far as the ancient Egyptians, originally infused in wine for their medicinal effects. The Romans also used these wines to aid digestion and counteract the effects of eating too much. A tonic was created by a swiss physician Phillipus Paracelsus in the 1500s and then rediscovered by another Swedish doctor in the 1800s.This Swedish bitter has been an herbal tonic since this time. Alcohol is most commonly used to extract ingredients and improve preservation of the herbal ingredients.
What do they do they do?
These herbs (such as gentian) help encourage adequate hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes and bile production so that there is more efficient digestion.
Digestive bitters can help metabolise fats which increases peristalsis in the small intestine.
If there is more efficient digestion then we can break down our food more effectively and therefore it is easier for the body to utilise the nutrients they contain.
Having a more efficient breakdown means the entire system works better and can be taken if you have issues with bloating, indigestion, allergies and to assist weight management.
They are thought to have a tonic effect on the digestive system.
How to take them?
They can be taken straight under the tongue before meals or be added to a summer drink to give it an extra healthy benefit
Try with sparkling water, mint and a dash a lime juice
You can add to half a glass of freshly squeezed or organic juice, top with ice, sparkling water and digestive bitters
Add to cooled or warm herbal tea