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Spicy, Salty, Sour, Sweet – Give Me Something Bitter to Eat!

Prepared Bitters

Western medicine defines taste according what Researchers have identified the taste buds to detect.  Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and Unami.  While Ayurveda identifies a sixth, pungent and replaces Unami with astringent.  See this article for more details The 6 Tastes

It’s no surprise most of us are naturally drawn to sweet.  When humans are born, their first food is their mother’s sugary milk.  In Western Society, sugar and other artificially extracted fructose, sucrose, maltose, etc. is laden in the highly processed non-foods.  And while sea salt contains numerous trace minerals, iodized salt is used to preserve and flavor most packaged convenience food, paying tribute to a large population of Hypertensive humans.  We are very familiar with those tastes, indeed.

Still, you might be surprised how we are also drawn to bitters, though.  If you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of coffee, a bottle of beer, or a bite of chocolate, you are actually enjoying one of your most inherent tastes – Bitter.

Humans have been consuming bitters since the beginning of mankind.  Carefully selected bitter herbs have been treasured as potent remedies across the ages.  Eating an adequate amount of bitter flavor is crucial for digestive and immune balance.  Some benefits include:

  • curbing sugar cravings
  • relieving gas, bloating, heartburn, upset stomach, and nausea
  • increases digestive enzymes, bile, and HCL production
  • aids absorption of fat soluble vitamins A D E K
  • helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and balances appetite
  • creates regular bowel movements, and eases constipation
  • supports liver function, promoting healthy skin, and increases energy

Some bitter herbs include Chicory, Coriander, Dandelion, Endive, Horehound, Mint, Sorrel, Sow-thistle, Wild lettuce, and Wormwood.  Though, there are many more.  You can also find prepared bitters like Swedish Bitters and Urban Moonshine at your local health food store or online.