Good friend, colleague and fantastic Naturopathic & Homeopathic Doctor, Dr. Sarah Paton, and I agree on many things, but one of the most important topics we are  both passionate about is the value of Bitters for digestion and health.

Herbal bitters are digestive aids, once sold as patent medicines that later became key ingredients in classic cocktails. Bitters are made by extracting, usually with alcohol, although some are made with vinegar or glycerine, a range of active and bitter compounds from herbs and spices.

Digestion and gut benefit when your digestion needs a little support. Bitters can facilitate stomach acid and act as a digestive aid. This eases indigestion, but can also be great for heartburn, nausea, cramping, bloating, and gas.

The botanical ingredients used in bitters have historically consisted of aromatic herbs, bark, roots, and/or fruit for their flavor and medicinal properties. From the moment they hit the tongue, bitters stimulate not only enzyme release throughout the entire digestive tract, but also other digestive secretions such as stomach acid (HCl) and bile.

Digestion is complex and dynamic with lots of interdependent aspects. This being the case, a comprehensive approach is generally helpful when supporting digestive health. Bitters can offer one component to a the balanced and gentle, yet effective, solution when digestion is an issue.

As we are in one of some of the most food oriented holiday seasons, I’ll be posting a few of my favorite formulas over the next few weeks that are a snap to make and require few ingredients,