What is a Bitter?
The “proof” that nasty tasting medicine can be good for you!
Bitters are herbs that have a predominantly bitter taste. These remedies have an increasingly apparent that these remedies have a major role in holistic herbal treatment and especially that of preventative medicine. Because of their wide effect on the body’s physiology they help enormously in treating the body as a whole.
How Bitters Work
In most herbal bitters there is a chemical principle that is present called “The Bitter Principle”. This is often a volatile oil, an alkaloid or sesquiterpene. In each case they appear to work in a similar way by triggering a sensory response in the mouth. The sensation of bitterness is directed by the nerves to the central nervous system. From here a message goes to the gut giving rise to the digestive hormone gastrin. These leads to a whole range of ramifications, all of value to the digestive process and general bodily health.
Bitters also have important Secondary Actions, including:
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