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Herbs: Bitters overview



GENERAL
--often offered in Europe as a small drink before dinner
--stimulates bitter receptors at back of tongue
--increases vagus tone, parasympathetic
--stimulate appetite, release of digestive juices incl bile, pancreatic hormones
--aids in detox
--bitters may also be classified as tonics
--eat a small bitter salad before a meal to get your gut going
--"Sweet to the taste buds, bitter to the stomach. Bitter to the tongue, then sweet to the stomach"
--bitters are avoided by most people until they learn the uses/advantages
--usu mixed with aromatic and carminatives, these decrease bowel cramping and warm the flavor
--mixers: mints, fennel, anise, calamus, ginger, or aromatic bitters (which are usu carminatives)

DOSING:
--present to the taste buds as tea, tincture, food or drink
--capsules must be broken to obtain full effect via taste in mouth
--small dose, prior to meals

CLASSIC GI BITTERS
--Centaurium umbellatum (century, feverwort)
--Artemisia absinthum (absinthe, wormwood)
--Gentiana lutea (gentian)
--Hydrastic canadensis
--Mahonia aquafolium (oregon grape)
--Aloe spp. (Bitter aloe, not the gel but the yellow resin)
--Eupatorium perfoliatum
--Menyanthes trifoliata
--Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
--Humulus lupulus (hops)

INDICATIONS
--loss of appetite
--low HCl
--N/D
--constipation, abdominal distension
--malnutrition, malabsorptions
--weakness, pale skin with edema
--yellow or white tongue coating
--atonic digestion and elimination
--depression and mood disorders
--digestive issues with aging

CI's
--preg
--kidney stones
--gallbladder dz
--GERD
--gastritis
--PUD
--diarrhea

FORMULAS!!

"SWEETISH BITTERS" (SWEDISH???)
--Curcuma longa
--Gentiana lutea
--Acorus calamus
--Silybum marianum
--Dioscorea vilosa
--Alettria cadamomum
--Foeniculum vulgare
--Zingiber officinale
--Embilica officinalis
--bitter orange EO
--anise seed EO
--blend of sea vegetation
--18-25% ETOH
--spring water
--avg herb strength 1:1

BITTER TONIC FORMULA
--Gentiana lutea (40-60%)
--Pimpinella anisum (15-35%)
--Zingiber officinalis (15-25%)
--Anise EO (to taste)

BITTER BUT SWEET ELIXIR
--Taraxicum officinalis (20-30%)
--Foeniculum vulgare (10-20%)
--Inula helenium (10-20%)
--Gentiana lutea (20-30%)
--Curcuma longa (10-20%)
--Zingiber officinalis (10-15%)
--Ulmus rubra (5-10%)

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