Benefits & Uses of Bitter Herbs
Herbal bitters are a combination of bitter herbs. They contain artichoke, dandelion, gentian, blessed thistle, chamomile, and other bitter herbs that improve digestion and liver function.
Bitters are typically used to aid digestion such as after eating a large or fatty meal or to help ease an upset stomach or nausea.
Bitter herbs also act as an appetizer to help stimulate the appetite before eating, usually when needing to gain weight.
Many people only know that herbal bitters are used to cure the hiccups. It’s an age old remedy that has been used for many years and always did its job. However, there are many other health benefits of bitters, as noted above, namely their use as digestive bitters to help calm the intestinal tract naturally.
Common Bitter Herbs Used in Herbal Bitters
Even though most of the bitter herbs are geared towards the digestive tract, artichoke leaves have additional benefits. They help lower your bad cholesterol, combat kidney disease, help calm and eliminate diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and help to control heartburn, bloating, and abdominal pain. There are many other advantages as well, but these are the most popular.
If by chance you’re suffering from gas issues after a meal, blessed thistle is known to control and reduce it. Then again, this bitter herb is known for helping us in several areas that include healing wounds, skin ulcers, acne, and many others. Whether you are having digestive issues or simply need something to eliminate bacteria, blessed thistle is the primary herb to use.
Digestive bitters are extremely useful to give you a healthier body, but chamomile has additional advantages. This mildly bitter herb dates back as far as Roman times as an aid for digestive issues. However, we now use chamomile for a host of reasons. Most notably they sooth colds, reduce gum inflammation, or even to combat diaper rash or chicken pox.
Probably one of the most overlooked bitter herbs on the market is dandelion. Even though it is known as a bitter herb, some societies still consider it to be just a weed. However, there are many health benefits to dandelion that include fighting off bacterial infections, acne, arthritis, high blood pressure, and even PMS.
There are many benefits to ingesting fennel herb. Most notably is its ability to combat anxiety, depression, and respiratory congestion as well as its benefits for the digestive system. Fennel also works hand in hand with the fight against cancer, as those who are going through chemotherapy can take fennel afterwards to help rebuild their digestive system.
This wonderful bitter herb is probably the most beautiful you will see in its original form. When it’s used for a treatment, you will find gentian to be very effective for digestion with its ability to increase gastric secretions, promote healthy digestion, and calm an upset stomach.
Gentian is typically used with other herbs, where the combined efforts bring better results. It is commonly combined with the other bitter herbs mentioned on this page in herbal bitters as well as bupleurum root in Chinese bitters
One of the most popular ingredients in herbal bitters is orange peel. It has been used for years to work as an anti-inflammatory regimen and curbs issues with digestion. However, orange peel is not just used for digestion. It is also a remedy for lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.
Long ago, yarrow was used during the Roman times to heal wounds. It’s still used effectively today to help stop bleeding. Yarrow, a mildly bitter herb, also helps resolve stomach pains and muscle spasms.
The biggest benefit to wormwood is its ability to control and prevent irritable bowel syndrome. Thanks to the addition of absithin and anabsinthin, wormwood is a strongly bitter herb that helps the digestive tract function properly. A little dose of this bitter herb will also help you alleviate heartburn.
How to Use Herbal Bitters
Most bitter herbs can be used in teas or tinctures. Many are also available in capsule form. There are also some wonderful herbal bitters combinations that can be taken diluted in water.