Earth & People Friendly

Bitters

Our Urban Moonshine Bitters...

  • Soothes gas and bloating
  • Relieves occasional heartburn
  • Tones, strengthens and builds digestive health
  • Inspires the production of our own digestive juices and enzymes
  • Supports healthy production and release of bile from the liver
  • Supports healthy hydrochloric acid production
  • Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Balances appetite, engages mindful eating
  • Builds digestive fire to create a clean burning digestive system
  • Whole-plant alternative to digestive enzyme supplements
  • Supports liver function and healthy skin
  • Take bitters before or after meals to improve overall digestive function

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What in the world is a bitter?

The definition of a bitter is something that tastes bitter in flavor: dandelion, gentian, coffee, dark chocolate and greens are clas­sic bitters. Many traditional cultures around the world believe that it is important to have all 5 flavors within the diet and that each flavor has a specific effect on the body. The flavor of bitter is very much associated with the digestive system. As human beings we evolved eating tons and tons of bitters- bitters greens, bitter roots, bitter barks. The majority of food growing in the wild has an element of bitterness to it. Even the ripest wild blackberry is not purely sweet; it also has a little sour, a little bitter to its flavor profile. Early humans rarely consumed sweets-honey was like food of the gods!

Fast forward to 2012, as a culture we consume an immense amount of sweet, salty and processed food and we have a severe lack of bitterness. But our bod­ies are built for bitter flavors! Bitter engages and excites the digestive system. Bitter challenges the body, alerting it through taste that a complex food is being ingested, more complex than heavily processed food. It is very important for the body to have enough challenge—challenge keeps us strong, on our toes, ready for action! Bitters are like the gym for the digestive system, they help to keep it toned. Our brilliant tongue is like the doorbell to the digestive system and when we taste something bitter it rings that doorbell, “Ding-dong! Time to eat, time to wake up, time to digest!”

All the digestive organs get “turned on”—excited. They start to secrete digestive juices in preparation for the incoming food!

In this way bitter flavor is essential to good health. We encourage you to explore the flavor of bitter on a daily basis- whether it’s a bitter green salad before dinner, a fresh spring dandelion green from your front yard, or Urban Moonshine bitters right on your tongue. Cheers to your health and wellbeing!—Jovial King

Learn more about how bitters work on our Herbal Education page!

 

From medicine to mixer. A brief history.

Cultures around the world have long believed that bitter flavors are essential to good health because they stimulate the digestive system. Thus began the tradition of steeping bitter-tasting roots, leaves, berries and fruits in alcohol and serving the mixture before or after a meal. Often the formula was accompanied by more pleasant tasting carminative herbs such as ginger, fennel, cardamon, or orange peel.

Whether brewed according to secret recipes by medieval monks or concocted according to oral tradition by wise women, the first bitters had medicinal purposes. Over time, the theory, if not the recipes, passed into the hands of apothecaries and on to the makers of 19th Century patent medicines. After bartenders discovered that bitters softened the often harsh liquors of the day, the cocktail was born. Until the late 1880s, any drink called a cocktail contained bitters—this includes such classics as the martini, the Manhattan and the Old-Fashioned. Only in the 1950s did the taste for bitters fade.

Now, whether you enjoy them as an apertif, digestif, or as a remedy to settle an upset stomach, calm a hangover or gently cleanse the liver, bitters are back!

 

Use and Directions

All flavors of our Certified Organic Bitters have the same serving size and usage guidelines.

To stimulate healthy digestion, enjoy approximately ¼ teaspoon (1.2 mL) of our bitters before or after meals-- or to curb a sugar craving-- up to 8 times daily if needed! Start small in your dose: everyone's body is different, and many people find that a very small dose can be quite sufficient. If the bitter taste is especially rare in your diet, your digestion will fire up with just a very small amount of the bitters.

If using the refillable, travel-sized spray bottle, we recommend spritzing directly onto the tongue 6 times before or after meals, or as needed to relieve bloating and indigestion.* 6 sprays is equal to ¼ teaspoon. There are about 12.5 servings in a ½ oz. (15mL) spray bottle.

If using the 2oz. dropper bottle, we recommend starting with ½ dropper full directly on the tongue. ½ of a dropper is equal to ¼ teaspoon. There are approximately 49 servings in a 2oz. (59.1mL) dropper bottle.

If using the 8.4oz apothecary bottle, we recommend using it to refill one of the smaller sizes, or measuring ¼ teaspoon (approx. 2 dashes) for use directly on the tongue. There are about 200 servings in an 8.4oz (250mL) bottle.

To create a Bitters aperitif, add ¼ tsp. bitters to ½ tsp. sparkling water. This is great for folks who find the taste too strong and want to dilute a little. Tasting the bitter flavor is key to the digestive benefits, so don’t dilute too much!

Contraindications:  Urban Moonshine Organic Bitters are not for:

  • pregnant women, we use angelica which is specifically contraindicated in pregnancy. *
  • stomach ulcers could be irritated*



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