Mar 31st

Bitter herbs & foods and how they help digestion

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The modern day diet is frequently devoid of bitter foods, in favour for sweet foods. This imbalance in dietary choices impacts your digestion.

Bitter herbs such as Gentiana lutea (Gentian), Taraxacum officinale (rad) (Dandelion root), Andrographis paniculata (Andrographis) help in stimulating digestive secretions, improving digestive capacity and appetite. Bitters also stimulate the release of bile, responsible for breaking down fats and balancing blood sugar levels. Symptoms of poor digestive secretions include: undigested foods in stools, reflux (hypochlohydria), bloating after meals, etc.

Bitters also curb sugar cravings, Gymnema sylvestre (Gymnema) helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Bitters are best taken in a herbal tincture, as the tasting the herb helps to stimulate digestive secretions. However due to compliance, herbal capsules/tablets can be taken for the same effect.

Food sources of bitters:

Bitter melon: This is a bitter vegetable that is used in most Asian cooking. It can be sliced thin, soaked in water and a little salt to remove its strong bitter taste and stir fried omelette style.

Dandelion root tea: Just 1 tsp of ground root tea steeped in hot water for 10 mins helps in stimulating digestive secretions before meals.

Bitter vegetables such as radicchio and endive can be added in salads.

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