Published September 7, 2018 My new tincture line is full of herbal blends that you can use in your everyday routine to enhance how you feel in real life situations. And what’s more real life than digestion? We all have to do it — usually 3x a day or more with snacks — and yet many of us feel as though we haven’t quite mastered the art.Indigestion is probably the #1 complaint I get from blog readers. It’s not that anything is wrong with you if you have stomach trouble after eating a big meal, it’s that you simply need some help moving things along. And you’re not alone — back in the day, it was customary across many different cultures to consume a natural digestive aid directly before meals in the form of traditional “bitters.” Somewhere along the way, we lost this practice, right along with our taste for the bitter flavor.Most people I know will do anything to avoid bitter tasting foods. Yet when the bitter compounds in plants touch our tongue, a world of magic happens within our bodies. This is the key that we’ve been missing for a long time, and I knew I had to bring it back with my very own bitters formula called DIGESTIVE JUICE! THE STORY BEHIND THE FORMULA Did you know that “bitters” have been used since ancient times for digestive ailments? The term refers to alcohol-based extracts of the bark, leaves, roots, or flowers of bitter-tasting plants that are traditionally used to support digestion and the extraction of nutrients from food. As I mentioned earlier, they’ve been used for ages around the world about 15 minutes before meals to stimulate the secretion of all sorts of digestive juices. I am so passionate about bringing this practice back with my very own “bitters” formula in the first place because so many people have issues involving their digestion, yet it is truly the cornerstone of healing. If you can’t absorb nutrients from your food because you’re not breaking it down properly, how are you going to use those nutrients to rebuild your cells and tissues? Digestion directly influences not only this nourishment, but also our immunity and mood. The well-being of our digestive fire is the focus of every single traditional medicine system, as most ailments connect directly or indirectly to it. Because we no longer consume bitter plant preparations in our diet, many herbalists believe that this a major “missing link” in our nationwide health puzzle. Jim McDonald writes:“I am a firm believer in Bitter Deficiency Syndrome: a notion which posits that much of the health woes faced by modern folk has at its root a lack of bitter flavor in the diet, and that many of the digestive problems for which we see bitters as a “remedy” are actually symptoms of deficiency of this flavor. Perhaps it is not right to think that bitters should be used to treat sluggish digestion, but that a lack of bitter flavor in one’s diet can be a cause of sluggish digestion. Perhaps many of the conditions calling for bitters as a remedy arise from their omission, not unlike rickets arises from a lack of vitamin D.”This is so powerful to me and something that my teachers stressed in almost every class. Each flavor was put on this planet for a reason, and we need all of them for proper functioning of the different organs in our body of which they have an affinity for. Bitters specifically have an affinity with the liver, and directly stimulate the production of bile when consumed. Bile has 3 important functions: As an emulsifier – (similar to soap washing greasy hands), which is critical to the emulsification and absorption of fats as well as fat soluble vitamins.As an excretion route for bilirubin and excess hormones such as estrogen. Also excretes excess fat, cholesterol and fat-soluble toxins, along with other wastes in the body.As a deodorizer for stool with a gentle laxative effect. Most people do not eat enough bitter foods, which means they do not produce enough bile, which means they’re not digesting their fats and fat soluble vitamins properly. This also means they’re not excreting excess toxins and hormones, which I believe is partly to blame for the modern epidemic of estrogen dominance.The bottom line is that we can do so much for our bile production AND digestion with the addition of a bitters formula before meals. I made this formula so that you can have the best digestion of your life and not feel uncomfortable or gassy all the time.DIGESTIVE JUICE comes with a spray top just like peace juice so that you can feel the effects immediately. When the bitter flavor in this formula is detected by the taste buds on the tongue, the brain is signaled to produce digestive juices, enzymes and bile. All you have to do is use five sprays, 10 to 15 minutes before meals. THE HERBS + BENEFITS Each herb in this blend is considered a true “bitter.” Some are sweet, some are spicy, but all of them have those core bitter plant compounds that we’re looking for! 1. Gentian Root Gentian helps awaken and strengthen our inner ‘gut’ instinct, inner power (solar plexus), and helps us go on in times of self doubt. This affinity for the stomach, both physically and emotionally, makes it an excellent bitter that goes right to where it’s needed. 2. Oregon Grape Root Oregon Grape Root is bitter and detoxifying and helps move stagnation within the digestive tract. The bitter taste on the tongue stimulates saliva, which then creates a whole cascade of digestive functions and digestive enzymatic secretions. It has an affinity for the liver and is therefore an excellent promoter of bile secretion. 3. Dandelion Root A gentle, soothing bitter that helps prevent constipation and promotes healthy liver detoxification. 4. Angelica Root Angelica is a bitter, warming and invigorating herb that can be used as a remedy for a wide variety of disorders. It has been traditionally used to stimulate appetite, improve digestion and soothe colic and lessen intestinal gas production. It also wards away harmful bacteria in the digestive tract and increases the production of stomach acid. 5. Peppermint Leaf Peppermint has carminative properties, which means it help expel gas and relieve its associated symptoms. It defends against many types of harmful organisms in the gut such as parasites and fungi, and is an excellent aid for relieving indigestion and discomfort. 6. Orange Peel Bitter orange peel is traditionally indicated for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, nervousness and insomnia, and gout. It has a lovely strong flavor, so I only added a small amount to synergistically enhance the other ingredients. 7. Fennel Seed Ayurveda’s #1 digestive aid and gas reliever! Fennel is traditionally used for various digestive problems including heartburn, intestinal gas, bloating, loss of appetite, and colic in infants. 8. Prickly Ash Bark This herb is an excellent digestive juice stimulant that can also help improve circulation. Again, only a small amount is used to enhance the overall formula. 9. Blue Flag Root Blue Flag has an affinity for the liver, and is therefore specifically used to treat indigestion marked by poor bile absorption and malabsorption of fats. This is a wonderful ingredient for those that get nauseous, heavy, or sluggish after a rich meal. 10. Licorice Root This ingredient works quite well in the blend, as it soothes and protects the digestive tract to balance out the other ingredients which are prompting us to release stomach acid. This is in here so that your digestive tract does not get irritated whatsoever, even if it takes longer than you expected to get your food (i.e. waiting at a restaurant!) 11. Ginger Root I don’t think there’s a person reading this that doesn’t know the wonderful benefits of ginger. Ginger root is warming, stokes the digestive fire, improves circulation, and decreases nausea. HOW TO USE DIGESTIVE JUICE 15 minutes before meals, spray 5-10 times on the tongue and let yourself taste the flavors before swallowing. The bitter flavor will be detected by your taste buds, signaling your stomach to activate and secret digestive juices and enzymes.I hope this is just the digestive aid you were looking for, and I hope you enjoy that it’s in convenient spray form for easy use and travel!If you’re interested in buying Digestive Juice, check it out here!