When was the last time you enjoyed fresh dandelion, arugula or kale? If you can’t stand the bitter taste, you’re not alone. We’ve lost our ability to stomach bitter foods because, quite simply, we don’t eat them anymore. Thousands of years ago, this was not the case. Egyptians used bitter herbs to make herbal remedies. Romans added bitter herbs to alcohol to aid digestion after heavy meals. Early American settlers foraging for food ate diets high in bitter vegetation. Unfortunately, our modern-day aversion to bitter taste and love of sweets has tipped the scales to eating carbohydrate-rich, sweet diets. Somewhere along the way, we lost our taste for bitter food. This could explain the increase in digestive woes, especially on your liver’s ability to detox.
Does Your Liver Need a Good Cleanse?
Your liver is the largest and one of the hardest-working organs in your body. In fact, the liver’s main function is to cleanse the blood. In addition, the liver breaks down hormones, stores essential vitamins and minerals, including iron and also produces bile to digest fat. How can you tell if your liver needs a good cleanse? If your diet has more animal proteins and fats than vegetables and fruits, your liver may be on overload. Moreover, if you’re imbibing in alcohol more this holiday season, are exposed to toxins (who isn’t?) and can’t remember the last time you exercised, you may need to flush out liver impurities.
Bitters: How They Work
A simple bitter tonic may be just what you need to get your liver back on track. The amazing way bitters work on your digestive system, however is not so simple. In fact, a good way to think about bitters is that they challenge your digestive system. Here’s how.
- Stimulate the release of stomach acids that triggers digestion in your stomach and gut.
- Improve the release of hydrochloric acid that breaks down proteins and triggers the gut’s immune system to destroy bacteria and viruses.
- Stimulate peristalsis, the wavelike motion that helps food move through your digestive passages.
- Release digestive enzymes and alert your gall bladder to release bile and enzymes – which help to digest carbohydrates and fats as they move through your intestines.
- Help to stimulate the pancreas to release hormones that reduce blood glucose and enzymes to break down proteins, starch, and fats.
- Aid the liver in detoxification and increase the flow of bile.
- Help repair damage to the gut wall.
Not surprisingly, because of the gut-brain connection, not only do bitters support digestion, they can reduce depression and improve mood.
Take the Bitter with the Sweet
The good news is that you don’t have to eat kale and arugula to get digestive bitters nor go foraging through the forest for bitter herbs. You don’t have to give up sweets altogether, either. Thanks to Garden of Life’s myKind Liver Detox, you can get all the bitters you need in a spray bottle for a gentle, natural liver flush.
myKind Liver Detox blends the following bitter herbs to work synergistically on your liver. All ingredients are certified USDA Organic and nonGMO.
Artichoke leaf: helps the liver increase bile production, which, in turn, helps remove toxins and digest fat.
Dandelion root: increases bile production and bile flow in the liver. Has a restorative effect on the liver and helps to reduce the risk of developing gallstones. Avoid dandelion if you already have gallstones, however.
Burdock root: this relative of the sunflower is a blood purifier and can heal a damaged liver and protect it from further damage.
Angelica root: native to the Middle East, angelica helps to relieve colic, gas, sour stomach and heartburn. It improves circulation, warms the body and relieves spasms in the stomach and bowel.
Fennel seed: relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract to aid in digestion. It also helps expel gas and kill some types of bacteria.
Ginger root: this universal herbal remedy has been used for thousands of years. One of ginger’s best-known uses is in reducing nausea.
Turmeric root: helps reverse liver damage caused by excess iron consumption. It also prevents alcohol and other toxins from being converted into a harmful form in the liver and aids in liver detoxification.
myKind Organic Liver Bitters is vegan and gluten-free certified, has no added sugars and is alcohol free. The product is 3rd party audited and expertly formulated.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.