While obviously, there is no one magic pill for gut health, if there could be one supplement that I would recommend most everyone have, it would have to be this one!

Digestive Bitters: the root of roots

If you were trying to develop a skill in your child (or yourself), would you constantly offer simple, highly rudimentary tasks that never evolved in challenge? Would you keep the tasks basic, and when the child complained, make them even less complex?

We are intuitive enough to know that challenge begets skill, complexity begets mastery, yet we keep this intuition to the side when we feed our kids (and even ourselves)!

  • How basic is your child’s food?
  • Is she tasting anything but sweet and salt? 
  • What are the complexities of textures he experiences?
  • How many different foods has she tasted in her life that are not variations on the same food ? (eg. idli and dosa, or toast and waffle or nachos and pizza don’t count!)

What are we not eating?

For one: the bitter taste has completely vanished from our palates progressively since the industrial revolution. I remember my grandparents and my mother loving the Indian preparation of Bitter Gourd. It is not a vegetable I see in my generation any more.

A traditional Indian Bitter Gourd Dish

So has true fermented pungency and astringency to an extent.

We are only stimulating 50% of our taste receptors in our body. These receptors are known to stimulate digestive enzyme production, 
hormonal balance, and appetite production and control!

And we are quite definitely over stimulating our sweet receptors.

  1. Bitter taste stimulates the digestive system, increasing stomach acid (this is a good thing for digestion), digestive enzyme and bile secretion.
  2. It warns the body that intruders may be near (since toxic compounds are often bitter) stimulating it to tonify the immune system.

Enter the digestive bitters: 5 uses

Extracted from roots and leaves of many bitter plants like dandelion, ginger, yellow dock and burdock, these are a fantastic and easy way to give a quick digestion boost before meals. Most everyone can benefit (if you are pregnant, you should consult an herbalist and your doctor before starting). And they don’t really even taste all that bitter or unpalatable.

What do they do for you?

  1. Increase short term appetite
  2. Treat nausea and bloating
  3. Help treat and reverse dependence on the sweet taste (sweet addiciton)
  4. Support liver and gall bladder function (and therefore fat digestion and absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K)
  5. Help enzyme secretion and suppors digestion.

Almost every one of my clients is on at least a short term protocol of digestive bitters, and I would HIGHLY recommend this as the first step for YOU or YOUR child as a place to start.

Note: I use the brand Urban Moonshine: they seem to be the most gentle among those I have seen and the most suited for long term use. I don’t use brands like Swedish Bitters than contain laxatives, though I am sure they have their place in a different protocol.

If you are thinking more about the gut, I have a personalized recommendation for you. 

I highly recommend that you think check out my blog: Inflammation in children: 4 power tactics to calm and heal!

This is where we start thinking about root causes.

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