The definition of a bitter is something that tastes bitter in flavour: dandelion root, gentian, coffee, dark chocolate and greens are classic bitters. Aceso Fire Tonics include sour and bitter flavours – fermented live enzymatic cultures rounded off with chillies and ginger for warmth. When we taste something bitter it signals the start of digestion, rings that doorbell, “Ding-dong! Time to eat, time to wake up, time to digest!” All the digestive organs get turned on and they start to secrete digestive juices in preparation for the incoming food.
Back in the day, humans ate tons and tons of bitters – bitter 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 flavour profile. Bitter flavoured foods also have a rich history in the healing arts. From the wine infused herbal concoctions used by Ancient Egyptians to the 16th century prescriptions of famous physician Paracelsus and beyond, elixirs brewed from carefully selected bitter herbs have been treasured as cure-all remedies across the ages.
“Bitters stimulate all digestive secretions: saliva, acids, enzymes, hormones, bile, and so forth. Each of these acts as a solvent to break down food for absorption, and the quantity and quality of these foods ensure proper nutrition. Inadequate production of these secretions is common in modern cultures (i.e. cultures lacking bitters in their diet), and the implications of such deficiencies are myriad.” Jim McDonald, Blessed Bitters
Unfortunately as humans evolved so did our diet, as a culture we consume an immense amount of sweet, salty and processed food hugely lacking in bitterness. Early humans rarely consumed sweets — Honey being one of the traditional sweets. Now I’m not saying that sugar is evil – I’m more of a balance – loving kind of girl BUT I am saying that almost 80% of the people I know do not eat any bitter foods….
Studies have confirmed that getting an adequate amount bitter flavour is important for digestive balance and linked with many related health benefits. Eating bitters regularly has been shown to:
- Curb sugar cravings
- Soothe gas and bloating
- Relieve occasional heartburn
- Encourage digestive enzymes, bile & HCL production
- Calm upset stomach and nausea
- Increase absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K
- Help maintain healthy blood sugar levels
- Balance appetite
- Ease constipation and regulate bowel movements
- Support liver function and healthy skin
Two ways in which you can take a Fire Tonic shot are:
Apéritif – before a meal, stimulating appetite
Digestif – after a meal, aiding in digestion
Personally, I suffer from delayed digestion (SIGH…reflux 2 – 3 hours after eating, due to low stomach acid) so I carry my 25ml Hot Shot bottle with me and go halvies J Half before a meal and then half after a meal….Balance remember?
I am a huge advocate of Herbal Tonics, I might just be working on a limited edition herbal tonic AS.WE.SPEAK…
Much love from the Aceso Team x