Incorporate Bitters into Your Diet

Bitter foods and herbs help the body digest food more efficiently and ease constipation.  They increase the secretion of digestive enzymes and break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. In the small intestine, bile breaks down then absorbs fat. When bile is not flowing properly, many individuals suffer from constipation and/or gallstones. Bitter herbs can help by incorporating them in your diet and by using a bitter herb tincture.

Bitter herbs tincture


  • 20 grams dried burdock root
  • 10 grams dried dandelion root
  • 5 grams dried licorice root
  • 5 grams dried peppermint leaf
  • 300 milliliters 90 proof-Vodka
  • 1 (16-ounce mason jar)


  1. Make sure all of your herbs are in pieces are no larger than small river pebble pieces, but not powdered.
  2. Place the appropriate amount of each herb into the mason jar
  3. Fill the mason jar with 300 ml of 90-proof vodka, enough to cover the herbs.
  4. Allow the mason jar to sit for at least 14 days. You can allow it to sit for up to two months.
    • A tincture can become moldy if is exposed to direct heat or sunlight. A moldy tincture will have a whitish patch floating at the top. If you notice this, throw it away.
    • A cool, dark cupboard is a great place to store tinctures.
  5. Strain the herbs and bottle for use.
    • Line a large hand-held strainer with a square-shaped piece of cotton muslin cloth, large enough to hang about an inch or two other the edges.
    • Place the muslin-lined strainer into a stainless steel receptacle, and carefully pour your entire extract into the straining apparatus.
    • Allow the liquid to flow through the cloth. After, the liquid has finished flowing through the cloth, squeeze the cloth of plant material to release the remaining liquid thoroughly.

Use: 15 to 30 drops of the tincture can be taken 30 minutes before a meal. The tincture can be taken straight from the bottle or added to water.

Want to get bitters into your regular diet? You can also incorporate the effects of bitter herbs into your regular meals by eating bitter salad greens.

Bitter Salad Recipe



  • 1 cup lettuce leaves
  • ¼ cup turnip green leaves
  • ¼ cup spinach leaves
  • ½ cup-tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp red onion
  • 7 to 10 green olives
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • ¼ cup salad dressing


  1. Wash the turnip greens, spinach, and lettuce leaves in cold water.
  2. Chop the leaf veins off of the bottom of the turnip greens. Remove the remaining leaf vein and keep the greens.
  3. Chop the turnip greens, spinach, lettuce leaves, tomatoes, and red onion into medium sized pieces and place them in the salad bowl.
  4. Add green olives, fresh basil, and salad dressing.

Enjoy as a lunch with bread or as a side with your protein filled dinner entree.

The Dancing Herbalist is a wellness based herbal company providing nutritional support through herbal products, consultations, classes, and our workbook, A Beginner’s Guide to Wellness. Be sure to join us for our weekly discussion group and follow The Dancing Herbalist on WordPress for weekly posts on herbal medicine and wellness.

Ms. Kimberly Johnson is working towards a Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Herbalism with a focus in Product Design at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Her background is in nursing where she has obtained an Associate Degree and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Currently, Kimberly is a Professional Intern with The Dancing Herbalist.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Dominique says:

    Thank you Kimberly! As a person who suffers from IBS, I need medicine to constantly keep me regular. I am so happy you put this up! I can use the recipes to keep me from feeling those pains that come from being stopped up. They look delicious and nutritious!


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