Upset stomach from too much holiday? Did you know, Bitter Herbs Aide Digestion in 5 relieving ways?
Bitter Herbs for Digestive Imbalances
Bitter herbs get the digestive process going as they increase saliva, peristalsis (the wave-like motion of muscles in the digestive tract that keeps food moving through the system), stomach acid and bile production, and enzyme production and excretion. Additionally, bitters can curb cravings, especially for sweets.
Bitter herbs are helpful for conditions like constipation, indigestion, and poor nutrient absorption, especially fat.
The Importance of the Digestive Process
The digestive process plays an important role in our overall health as it breaks down the food that we eat into smaller parts that can then be absorbed and used by the body for proper growth, development, and maintenance. When the digestive process goes awry, dysfunction occurs and can lead to disease states in the body. Indigestion, gas, heartburn, ulcers, and altered bowel function are some indicators that the digestive process may be out of balance.
Diet changes may be necessary to correct imbalances, but bitter plants are also useful to help correct imbalances in the digestive process.
Helpful Bitter Herbs
- Chewing on a few fennel seeds (carminative) can help to reduce painful gas trapped in the digestive tract. Fennel has a mild licorice-like flavor, is low in calories, and also provides many important nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber.
- Rich in menthol peppermint is a useful herb for relieving spasms and can reduce pain and nausea. Peppermint leaves can be added to water, smoothies, and salads for a refreshing burst of flavor.
- Turmeric as a digestive bitter indirectly stimulates peristalsis, which helps to keep the bowels moving and healthy. Turmeric contains a compound, curcumin, that decreases inflammation, thins the blood, improves circulation, and improves liver detoxification in addition to its ability to improve digestion.
- Dandelion is another useful digestive bitter that indirectly stimulates the proper movement of the bowels. Dandelion is also an excellent source of vitamins like vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C, and it provides minerals like calcium and iron. Vitamin A is important for eye health, and dandelion leaf contains a full supply of the daily requirement in each cupful.
Fennel, peppermint, turmeric, and dandelion are just a few helpful bitter herbs that can be used to support digestive health. Here’s a simple side dish recipe that includes fennel, but you can add any of these helpful digestive bitter herbs to it as well.
Roasted Basil, Carrots, & Fennel Recipe
2 ½ pounds carrots, cut lengthwise
1 large fennel bulb, cut into wedges
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
1 medium lemon, sliced thin
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tsp. coriander, ground
1 tsp. cumin, ground
Sea salt/Black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl combine the carrots, fennel, onion, basil, and lemon. Mix the oil, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and drizzle the mixture over the vegetables, and toss to combine. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and roast for about 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. (Note: you can slice the vegetables smaller to reduce the baking time) Enjoy!
You can learn more from The American Botanical Council
Try out another sweet yet bitter delight and all her health benefits, The Amazing Grapefruit
There is nothing better than a nice hot tea for an upset tummy. Learn more about the benefits of a Hot cup of Tea
At Wilco Wellness, we believe that health is a state of physical, mental, and social well-being. It infuses positive energy into the body, mind, and spirit. The best journey is living to support a complete state of harmony.
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