Balancing with Bitters

Did you know that bitterness, agitation, and anger in Chinese Medicine go hand in hand with weak digestion and overall liver/gallbladder function? Some terms come to mind that I’ve heard before: “Being emotionally constipated” or “Diahrrea of the Mouth” …. (Can I hear an amen?) Dealing with this normal human emotion healthfully includes supporting and addressing our body, not just our mind, soul, and spirit.  An often-neglected balancing measure for nutritionally addressing anger/bitterness is coincidentally with BITTER herbs … how serendipitous! Bitter flavors in general help promote balance in the taste buds as well: Without the five basic elements of this taste present in our diet, we become susceptible to unbalanced food cravings and digestive ailments. The primary bitter flavor that is an integral part of the traditional Western diet seems to be COFFEE, which reaps little health benefits to the liver.

Taste Buds Diagram

The Benefits of Bitters

Bitter herbs have quite a BITE to the tastebuds and reap numerous benefits to the body:

  • Help stimulate the production of digestive juices prior to meals, which promotes easier breakdown of foods
  • Help break down fats and proteins, which takes some burden off a tired, over-worked liver.
  • Help stimulate the production and release of bile, which plays an essential role in healthy bowel movements.
  • Help combat bad mood, lethargy and low energy levels.
  • Reduces occasional heartburn, gas and bloating.
  • Have a cooling balance to the body… removing “heat” in Chinese Medical terms, which could be equated to inflammation.
  • Help reduce cravings for “junk food” … either salty or sweet.
  • Promote a healthy “glow” to skin!

 

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The Bitter Balancing Act

Bitter herbs tend to yield a cooling effect on the body, and can contribute balance for those who are easily overheated. However, for individuals who are cold-natured, feel rushed or always in a hurry, adding more warming spices (carminatives) like cinnamon, anise or clove can help create more balance when drinking cooling bitter herbs.

Life is not always butterflies, rainbows, unicorns, and sunshine.  BUT when we bring proper nourishment during dark times, we can more easily see the light, love, and hope that continually surrounds us in good times and the bad.

Interested in a custom bitter herbal formula that supports your personality, lifestyle pace and current digestive needs? Consider booking a phone consult for a custom blend creation just for you!