Thursday, May 2, 2019

Bitters: Aiding Digestion

Although I am not a certified health care worker or nutritionist, I was a medical transcriptionist for 21 years, studied nutrition, and am an avid health-minded individual who does her research. My mother taught me how to make Appalachian curative teas and I have forever held a fascination with how products from nature make me feel. This is also partly why I garden organic veggies, fruits and herbs, for health benefits and taste.

Bitters primary effect is to promote digestive juices such as stomach acid, bile and enzymes to breakdown food and assist in the absorption of nutrients. Eclectics promote digestive bitters for improved detoxification, healthy skin, improved joint pain and healthy mood.

I make my own bitters. Not a hard process. 


Dry hibiscus tea leaves or lemon peel (the bitter element) I use about 25% this element in the mix.
Grain alcohol (to make tincture) or vodka - 100 proof is best.
Ingredient of choice (depending on health benefit need) - cilantro, parsley, lavender, orange peel, ginger, chamomile, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, rosemary, etc... You can use spices, herbs, nuts, fruits, cocoa or coffee beans.

I take a small mason jar that has been sterilized and I add perhaps half full with cilantro and then add the bitter agent and fill with the alcohol and close. If Im doing a cinnamon stick, I might put several sticks in the jar. 

Once closed, set these jars in a dark cool place and shake now and then. Let sit for days or even up to a couple weeks or so. Open it now and then and smell. If it smells strongly of the ingredient (i.e. cilantro, cinnamon, etc), it is ready to strain.
I put them in sterile cleaned dropper jars. You can find the dark dropper jars on places like Amazon. The dark bottle helps to protect them from aging in the light. I store in a cabinet with my teas.  

Add 10-30 drops to tea, cocktail, or even water and use for various ailments and issues and also to promote healthy digestive process and processing nutrients in your foods. If you want an anti-inflammatory effect, you might do 10 drops ginger and 10 drops turmeric, for example. 

For cocktails, you can make some specialty flavors; a bit of rosemary or cilantro can punch up a cocktail's flavor. 

If you're not feeling crafty, try going to the alcohol aisle and finding the mixer "angostura bitters" used for cocktails and also as a vitality booster and digestive aid. Win/Win.

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