The bitter taste in food is not always a popular one, yet it is an important taste that for centuries has promoted healthy digestion. Our ancestors probably had more bitter foods in their diet but this has slowly died out and instead of a bitter salad, the bland iceberg lettuce is our go-to salad green.

It is no wonder herbalist James Greene coined the ‘bitter deficiency syndrome’ – the lack of bitter foods in our diet that may be the cause of many digestive complaints.

A bitter taste is hard to swallow at times, but once you hack it, your body will thank you for it and there’s no turning back! Meals without an element of bitter taste will seem bland and simplistic.

Why herbal bitters?

The bitter taste in foods promotes the production of salivary enzymes, which are the first enzymes responsible to break down carbohydrates from the foods you intake. It also stimulated bile production, which further breaks down dietary fats. Bitters also promote more digestive enzymes to be released from the pancreas. The result – an overall improved digestion!

Herbal bitters are sometimes used in the treatment of poor circulation, nausea, constipation, loss of appetite, fever, hangover and arthritis.

Many of the potent natural ingredients used in bitters are naturally immune boosting too, so it’s a great time to try a recipe out and protect yourself from the cold and flu season.

Here are three herbal bitter digestive recipes for you to try before the winter carb and fat loading begins!

Vinegar Digestive Bitters With Strawberries and Chamomile by Herbalist Roselee de la Foret. 

Grapefruit Bitter Recipe by Roselee de la Foret

Orange Ginger Recipe by Tiffany La Forge

Note: It is not advisable to take herbal bitters if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should also avoid herbal bitters if you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and chronic gall bladder issues. Some anti-depressants, sedatives and tetracycline antibiotics may have adverse effects with herbal bitters so please consult your doctor if you are on any meditation.