FORMULATED BY ALI BUDNER OF PLANT MEDICINE IN OAKLAND, CA
INGREDIENTS: Angelica root, Dandelion root, Oregon Grape root, Fennel seed, Orange peel, Cardamom seed, vodka.
Bitters are the best! At the herb shop where I work, bitters are one of my number one recomendations. It is your herbal pepto bismol, and an essential part of any home medicine cabinet.
Traditionally, bitters were taken in cocktails before dinner to stimulate the appetite. So, anybody who wants to stoke their digestive fire and clear out the digestive system is a good candidate for bitters. When I interviewed Ali about her potion, she noted that the bitter flavor in these herbs signals the digestive system that you are about to eat. It starts with the salivary glands in your mouth and dominoes all the way down to the gut! Your stomach acid increases, the pancreas produces enzymes, and the gallbladder releases its bile. As a result, your whole digestive system is primed and prepped for the meal you’re about to enjoy.
Bitters are also recommended for flatulence, constipation or acid reflux. Most acid reflux is caused by stomach acid being too low, so the stimulating effects of bitters will be helpful. To make sure yours is the low stomach acid kind, take a capful of apple cider vinegar next time you have reflux. If it gets worse, your stomach acid is too high (rare). If it gets better, your stomach acid is too low, and bitters will be helpful.
Ali also notes that bitters can help the liver to do its detoxifying work. Stimulating and detoxifying the liver is a traditional cure for skin issues and hormonal imbalances. A liver with all pistons firing will process toxins and hormones more effectively, and expel them from the system before they cause imbalance.