Making Your Own Bitters

“Bitter” is a much-maligned and under-utilized flavor, especially in the U.S.

Incorporating bitter flavors such as kale, dandelion greens, mustard greens, collard greens, etc. into your diet is a great idea. You can use these greens to make a tasty appetizer salad topped with homemade herbal vinegar and oil dressing.

But you can also have a fun time gathering a few friends and creating your own bitter extract!

Benefits of Bitters

  • stimulate digestive enzymes and stomach acids
  • increase peristalsis
  • encourage salivation
  • generally prepare your body for eating
  • grounding, bringing you to the present moment (especially if they are really bitter), snatching your thoughts away from things that could be stressful and therefore helping you get into the relaxed state needed to digest your food well.

Common Bitter Herbs

  • gentian (strong)
  • dandelion root
  • Oregon grape root (strong)
  • chamomile (mild)
  • wormwood (strong)
  • yarrow
  • elecampane
  • mugwort
  • angelica
  • burdock

This recipe includes both bitters and aromatics.

Benefits of Aromatics

  • help with taste (but don’t cover the bitter taste completely!)
  • are stimulating
  • are warming to increase blood flow
  • depending on which ones you use, can help with gas, stomach upset, or nausea

Common Aromatic Herbs

  • orange peel
  • cinnamon chips
  • allspice
  • ginger
  • star anise
  • vanilla
  • peppermint
  • pepper

Want to learn how to make more herbal preparations like this one? Check out our online courses!

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