by David Bunting
"Digestion, of all the bodily functions, is the one which exercises the greatest influence on the mental state of an individual." - Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
... In fact, the essence of good physical and mental health is rooted in good digestion. It provides all of the starting materials for building and maintaining our physical being. Every organ, every system and every function of our body relies on these starting materials to function properly. If our digestion falters, it quickly begins to take a toll on our entire well-being. Since our digestion does so much for us, what can we do in turn to keep our digestive system healthy and happy?
The digestive process is a complex and well-synchronized combination of physical and chemical processes. Our choices of food and quantity together with our mental outlook while eating, have a huge impact on digestion. Chewing and swallowing, which are the beginning of the digestive process, are voluntary actions. After we consciously swallow our food, digestion switches from a voluntary to an involuntary process. While the conscious choices we have made leading up to this point will strongly influence digestion, the rest of the process is out of our direct control. Still, there is one more conscious step we can take to positively impact digestion – take digestive bitters.
Herbal digestive bitters begin working as soon as they reach the taste buds in our mouth. The bitter taste has a reflex action on our stomach and pancreas, stimulating the production of digestive juices. Bitters also stimulate the liver and prepare the gall bladder for the release of bile. Using bitters before eating has always been a good idea, but the need for additional bitters has become a necessity as most people have eliminated most of the bitter foods from their diet.
Bitters are a true tonic that should be taken regularly over time in the same way that bitter foods would be consumed. Continued use of Digestive Bitters Compound is not only safe, it is the most effective way to use bitters. The positive effect of bitters on digestion actually increases with time and the full effect is seen only after continued and prolonged use.
Gentian root is considered the quintessential bitter tonic. It is used to strengthen digestion in cases of chronic weakness and during recovery from illness, to enhance poor appetite, to improve digestion of fats and increase assimilation of nutrients. Gentian does not contain any of the essential oils that are associated with aromatic and pungent bitters and therefore possesses a very clean, pure bitter taste. The root is very potent and, amazingly, the bitter taste can be detected in dilutions as weak as one in twenty thousand.
Digestive Bitters Compound also contains aromatic bitters including Angelica root, Hyssop leaf and flower, Juniper berry, Anise seed and Myrrh tears. These herbs are bitter and also contain essential oils that serve to warm the overall energy of the formula and benefit digestion. The warming nature of the compound is further increased by the inclusion of three pungent bitters, Cardamom seed with pod, Ginger rhizome and Cinnamon bark. These additional aromatic and pungent bitters reduce intestinal rumbling and gurgling, act as carminatives to reduce flatulence, relieve indigestion (dyspepsia) and mild nausea, and soothe spasms of the stomach and intestines. Peppermint oil is added as a flavoring and to further reduce gas and calm upset stomach.
The benefits of bitters extend beyond digestion. Bitters increase the tone of the autonomic nervous system that energizes the digestive organs. This effect on the nervous system extends beyond the digestive organs and helps reduce anxiety and overall stress. As a further extension of this action, bitter therapy can boost overall mental outlook. It is thought that bitters positively influence gut-mediated immunity, which is especially beneficial in autoimmune- related gastrointestinal conditions.
Good digestion is considered the foundation of health. It is the gateway for all of the amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and herbs that feed and heal our bodies and is thus linked to every other condition in the body. Secondary benefits of bitters therapy include mild but positive effects on blood sugar and blood lipids, easing of constipation and improvement in chronic skin conditions. Also, Digestive Bitters Compound can be a synergetic adjunct to many other herbal compounds.
Digestive Bitters Compound should be taken ten to fifteen minutes before meals to help activate the digestive process. Use twenty to forty drops in a small amount of water, which should be sipped slowly and allowed to mingle with your taste buds. This compound is wonderfully aromatic with an underlying bitter taste. The bitterness may seem a little foreign at first, but the overall aromatic and warming flavor will quickly become a favorite part of every meal.