I introduced digestive bitters last week in part I of this series, and wanted to share several excellent resources, some of my favorite research links and articles, and some recommended (and NOT recommended) brands of digestive bitters this week.
Let’s start with a short, informative video from Urban Moonshine with herbalist Guido Masé
Digestive Bitters: Research & Resources
Want to dig in deeper?
Guido Masé’s podcast on high caliber bitters: a great blend of herbal and scientific info…very well done.
Update: this content has been removed. 🙁
- Jim McDonald’s .pdf Blessed Bitters…packed with great info from a well versed and well respected herbalist.
- And finally, Danielle Charles-Davies weighs in on bitters in her article Bitters: the Revival of a Forgotten Flavor, from the Weston A. Price Foundation website:
“Of all the flavors to grace our palate, there is perhaps none as fascinating as that of bitterness. It is a flavor that is universally despised—used linguistically to characterize pain, harshness and things that are extremely difficult to bear. Yet, it is also a flavor used in cultures the world over to strengthen digestion, cleanse the body and build vitality—in short, considered an ingredient essential to good health…”
Where to buy Digestive Bitters
All of the testimonials from friends in last week’s article on bitters used the Urban Moonshine products, from www.urbanmoonshine.com.
They’re available in three flavors: maple, orange, and original, and come in a large or small dropper bottle or the smaller spritz bottles. Use the larger bottle for dosing by the spoon, or to refill the smaller spritz bottles. The spritzers are a unique and convenient way of dosing a tincture…spraying a few squirts into the mouth before meals is a very convenient and portable way of taking your bitters. They suggest that you start with maple, then move to citrus, and then try original. (moving from the more pleasant toward the strongest bitter flavor)
Urban Moonshine bitters are organic…the herbs are mostly grown and harvested in Vermont. Their digestive bitters are a “whole-plant alternative to digestive enzyme supplements”, and are used to
- Soothe gas and bloating
- Relieve occasional heartburn
- Tone, strengthen and build digestive health
- Inspire the production of our own digestive juices and enzymes
- Support healthy production and release of bile from the liver
- Support healthy hydrochloric acid production
- Help maintain healthy blood sugar levels
- Balance appetite, engages mindful eating
- Build digestive fire to create a clean burning digestive system
- Support liver function and healthy skin
Urban Moonshine bitters come in several flavors and dosing options. The following are affiliate links from my Amazon store. I recommend starting with either the Chamomile bitters if you’re nursing or pregnant, or choosing the maple or citrus bitters in the spray bottles. The spray bottles make for easy dosing even on the go (they’re easy to tuck into a purse or briefcase) and you can later order the larger bottles for refills.
Important Note: The inclusion of Angelica herb makes the Urban Moonshine products contraindicated with pregnancy & breastfeeding. I’ll be sharing my recipe next week, that is pregnancy friendly.
Update: Urban Moonshine now has a pregnancy friendly Chamomile Bitters formula that you can find here:
Swedish Bitters: NOT Recommended
I’ve heard really unsavory reviews from the ‘Swedish’ style bitters that incorporate camphor. In addition to the camphor flavor being far more nasty than the normal ‘bitter’ flavors, these also often incorporate the herb senna, which is a bowel stimulant that can be habit forming…I’d recommend avoiding Swedish bitters.
Join me next Monday, and I’ll share my DIY digestive bitters recipes!