3 Bitter Herbs Aiding Digestion and Improving Liver Function
Americans spend millions of dollars per year on cleansing and detoxifying their bodies. While there are certain food products that help maintain a pure body, there are also bitter herbs that have many cleansing properties. Herbs, especially bitter herbs, enhance digestion and support the removal of toxins and debris out of the body. Most herbs used on a daily basis are considered safe and gentle, but it always crucial to check with a health-care practitioner before consuming herbs.
Bitter herbs have supported digestion healing for thousands of years. Bitter herbs can be infused with other herbal digestives to improve digestive flow and cleanse the liver. The bitter taste activates saliva to get digestive juices stimulated and also enhances nutrient assimilation. The bitterness triggers bile to start moving quickly improving digestion. Astringent yet potently relaxing, the herbs calm down the stomach and reduce any inflammation that might be going on.
Dandelions may seem invasive and annoying to most when they start popping up everywhere in the springtime, but the root is actually a healthy root due to its power to stimulate the digestion process. Chinese medicine has used the herb for over 5000 years to clean the liver and treat stomach woes. Rich in minerals such as potassium, iron and zinc, it releases excess fluid out of the body detoxifying the kidney and liver. Dandelion is available fresh, dried or in capsule form. It also makes a healthy, herbal tea. Dandelion root may interact with different medications so it is necessary to discuss dosage with health-care professional.
Most of us think of cardamom as a rich, decadent spice found in chais and lattes, but is also a powerful herb holding a multitude of health benefits. It is a remedy for many ailments, but it also does an amazing job detoxifying the body. Like the dandelion root, the bitter taste coming from its volatile oils. Oils like camphor, terpinine and eucalyptol help trigger juices to flow and help stimulate the digestive process. The spice keeps the bladder and the kidneys cleansed and detoxed. Cardamom is available as a grounded spice and is occasionally used flavoring cakes, cookies and puddings.
Gentian is a safe herb that has been around for centuries, especially in Chinese Medicine where it is interpreted as “lung tan,” meaning “dragon’s gall.” The bitter is an appetite stimulant, liver detoxifier and aids indigestion, bloating and burning sensations. It is safe and gentle to use and well tolerated by most. The bitter speeds waste removal and helps secrete excess stomach acid. Gentian can be found in herbal tonics for indigestion but also makes a nice herbal tea.
“Herbs for Health”; Laurel Vukovic; 2008
“Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine”; Michael Murray; 1997