Bitter herbs definitely helping tummy!!

Wolfcub

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I started taking bitters a few days ago, and can say they are definitely helping. It wasn't like magic, and it's been more of a gradual effect.

I was going to buy Swedish bitters but then noticed there were two laxative ingredients: Dandelion Root and Senna.
I have had a bit of mild-ish IBS-D ups and downs going on for a while, so decided against those two ingredients.

So I made my own bitters, which I make as a strong tea, and keep in the fridge in an old brandy bottle. Each batch lasts about 5 days.

I am using: Gentian, Meadowsweet, Camomile, Fennel seed, Angelica root, Cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon), fresh Ginger root, and also adding pure DGL licorice powder, in proportional amounts re: dosages of that. Gosh -that stuff is not cheap.
Sadly reliable pure Golden Seal seems to be hard to get in UK right now. Even Angelica (archangelica) isn't easy to obtain any more!!

I am thinking of adding Centaury , but the mix I am working with seems to be having some gentle results at the moment, so I may or may not add that later.

I had been pretty miserable for the last month with acid reflux added to the gut disturbances. That's a whole new thing as I never ever in my life got that before.

I can report that ....so far there has been improvement. Though still coffee and tea (China tea) sets it off. So just have herb teas and bitters every morning instead of my morning tea/coffee. Weird, but worth it.
 

lenora

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HI Wolfcub,

Glad your own blend is working for you. I checked out Golden Seal here and it's readily available on Amazon. So is angelica for that matter, plenty of different types. I remember Rod's mother making trifle and decorating the top with angelica...I had never heard of it. Is it the same thing? Where would you buy it...not that I plan on making trifle, but just out of interest.

So, this is the brandy bottle you're taking often taking a nip out of it, is it? No more Earl Grey? All of a girl's pleasures stripped away in favor of......bitters? Well, whatever works for you is what you should do and I'm glad that you're on the uptick. Take good care of yourself. If you want any of those items, let me know. Yours, Lenora.
 

Wolfcub

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I checked out Golden Seal here and it's readily available on Amazon. So is angelica for that matter, plenty of different types.
I was being fussy, I think. I did find a few brands of Angelica (archangelica) and Golden Seal on Amazon here too. My issue was I didn't know whether or not to trust the brands as I'd never heard of them before, and wasn't sure if they were a) pure....or b)quite what they said they were....or c)didn't contain anything else.

Two well-trusted organic herb suppliers I usually buy from couldn't supply either, and haven't been able to for ages.

Oh, and a clue about whether Golden Seal is good grade or not is....weight for weight it used to be about the price of gold dust. So a bottle of 'Golden Seal' tablets containing 90 or something, for 7.95 makes me suspicious.

In the end I settled for some Angelica Root from a supplier I haven't bought from before. Good reviews. I bought it last night.
So, this is the brandy bottle you're taking often taking a nip out of it, is it?
No, it's a really old usually empty bottle which I keep for storing herb things in. It was Remy Martin in its previous incarnation :lol:
No more Earl Grey? All of a girl's pleasures stripped away in favor of......bitters?
I can't have Earl Grey in the mornings now...or coffee. Pity. They make my reflux so bad. Sometimes I can get away with an E.G. tea after dinner though.
 
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lenora

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Wolfcub....Hi! I did wonder about the Golden Seal, and saw the herbal variety of angelica and wondered. You'll have to let me know what you think.

Unfortunately Amazon's getting a well-deserved reputation for having inferior or no product in the line it's producing. I've had it happen to me three times, wrote to them very early on...oh, probably 5 yrs. ago and never even received a reply. Lotions, sunscreens and ladies cosmetics are two very bad products. I buy unscented things, but I could tell from the texture that something was amiss. I under the European Union is going to be suing them, and I don't feel sorry for the co. one bit...they had plenty of warning from users just like me while it was still controllable. So good for you for being wary....of course they blame the shipping containers from China for the problem, but how do you explain a rather expensive sunscreen from Switzerland. Even that co. turned Amazon is b/c it was hurting it's very well known brand. Good for it. Things like that annoy me.

Well, Remy Martin doesn't look like a brandy bottle, but it's still in the same family, right? Naughty girl. Glad you can still have some Earl Grey at some point in the day.

Well, the fact is that we want you to feel better, and feel better soon!! Yours, Lenora.
 

Wolfcub

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This is the ninth day of taking the herbal bitters, and there is definitely improvement.


I tweaked the recipe two days ago; added a couple more ingredients; Angelica and Orange peel.

(I should add that I am also experimenting with Manuka Honey, pure DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice with no other additives), and owing to failing the "baking soda burp test" 3 times (though passed it once!), am also taking the juice of about a quarter lemon in warm water first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking anything else.
I drink it through a straw to spare tooth enamel, and brush teeth about 30 minutes BEFORE drinking, not after. I just rinse with plain water after.)

Now the lemon juice and water has detoxing effects on the liver, so that's something to be a bit careful of. The liver is going to release those toxins. Also it's going to stir up a few things inside, including Gall Bladder. Probably Pancreas.
I think I might be OK with it (we'll see....early days yet) but I have no history of raised liver enzymes, or Gall Bladder/Pancreas problems, or any kind of Diabetes.
It might be wise to take a note of that, though, for anyone wanting to try it.

I chose fresh lemon juice from a squeezed lemon over Apple Cider Vinegar, because of its natural vitamin C content. Also because it has a lower PH than ACV. And I prefer drinking lemon to drinking vinegar! (just me!)

So, this is the herbal bitters recipe. I cook this all up in one pan and do four 4-5oz cups at a time:

HERBAL BITTERS
Angelica Root (dried)......One teaspoonful to one cup of water.
Gentian Root (dried)........Half a teaspoonful to one cup of water.
Marshmallow Root (dried).....One teaspoonful to one cup of water.
(Ceylon) Cinnamon Bark (dried)....about an inch of the stick to the 4-cup batch, chopped.
Three pieces of Ginger Root. I use fresh. Chopped. My pieces are about 1/4" X 1/2" thick.
Meadowsweet (dried aerial parts)....2 teaspoonfuls to one cup of water.


Put all this in a steel pan, but don't add the Meadowsweet yet.
The roots have to be "decocted". That means brought to the boil and simmered for 10-15 minutes.
But the Meadowsweet only needs to be brewed, like a tea.


Put the Meadowsweet in another steel pan. When the decoction is ready. pour the strained liquid over the Meadowsweet and stand covered for a further 15 minutes.

Strain into a ceramic pot or in to the other pan which has been washed out. Cool and bottle. I use a large dark glass bottle, and a funnel comes in handy while doing this!

When cool, keep in the fridge. It will last probably about 2-3 days.

I drink a 2oz glass every morning about 20 minutes before food. The same before dinner, and usually have a small amount (a small "shot") about 20 minutes before bed.

I have noted no side effects at all, just a gradual improvement in my acid reflux and "burpy" stomach. My appetite has improved also.

It hasn't constipated me, and bowel movements have been a lot more normal.
(However, slghtly looser today since starting the lemon water a.m. two days ago, but that doesn't seem related to the herbal bitters, more to the lemon water I think. I may be wrong, but feel that might possibly pass.

My energy has been so much better generally too. I went for a 3 mile walk today!
Early days....I know. But things are looking a little more positive....I think....
 
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lenora

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Wolfcub, Hi. You went to a lot of effort to record all of that for us. Thank-you. Is that the same as we call a tonic, I wonder? Does anyone know?

Also, if anyone has anything especially good for the brain (thinking skills) I would appreciate having it. Yes, I could look it up, have taken many things over the years, but I do prefer someone's personal experience rather than relying on a company trying to sell its wares. Odd how you forget things until you need them again.

It's gratifying to hear that you're feeling better, I'm glad for you. You sound like you're brewing something every couple of days, so you're obviously having to keep some unusual supplies on hand. Take care. Yours, Lenora.
 

Wolfcub

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Is that the same as we call a tonic, I wonder? Does anyone know?
I'm not sure...possibly, because the bitter herbs have an effect of "toning" the digestive system and the lower esophageal sphincter etc. What "toning" means is I presume...restoring them to their proper or natural function (?)

Yes, I found somewhere to buy the herbs I needed. But I am not sure I will be able to continue getting supplies of lemons and Ginger.....
We don't just have Covid going on, messing things up, we also have Brexit!!
 

lenora

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That right, @Wolfcub, I forgot the whole Brexit matter. So, yes, I would expect that a lot of your herbs come in from Germany, do they? I'll let you know when I look it up if a tonic is the same as bitters. Yours, Lenora.
 
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lenora

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Wolfcub, Hi....you're absolutely correct bitters and tonics are exactly the same. So you're saving yourself a lot of money (guaranteeing the product as much as possible) by making your own bitters (tonic). Good. Yours, Lenora.
 

Mary

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owing to failing the "baking soda burp test" 3 times (though passed it once!), am also taking the juice of about a quarter lemon in warm water first thing in the morning,
I have noted no side effects at all, just a gradual improvement in my acid reflux and "burpy" stomach. My appetite has improved also.
I'm very glad to hear all this! So you might have been low in stomach acid after all. When I started taking betaine HCL with pepsin, my appetite improved also, because my digestion improved and I just felt better overall.

That's quite an undertaking making your own bitters, but good for you for doing it!
My energy has been so much better generally too. I went for a 3 mile walk today!
:thumbsup::angel: That's fabulous!

When I first saw my chiropractor who does muscle testing, the first thing he said to me (after doing the testing) was that my digestion was screwed up (this was many years ago, can't remember his exact words!) and before anything he gave me could help, I had to get my digestion sorted out first - otherwise nothing would help me.
 

Wolfcub

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So, yes, I would expect that a lot of your herbs come in from Germany, do they?
This where I got my latest supply. The quality is very good:
https://healthembassy.co.uk/en/
I am not sure where the herbs are sourced. Possibly in Europe for some of them, but many do grow here in UK.
They ship worldwide. They have an outlet on Amazon, and I ordered from there, as I get free shipping on Prime. I haven't yet found out if they do free shipping over a certain amount spent, via their website, That would probably only apply to UK shipping anyway though.
 

lenora

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Good Afternoon, Ladies......@Mary, would you mind giving me the name of the place where you buy your Betaine HCL from? Amazon is all over the place and, frankly, I have a real problem with it and its fraudulent activities. As a result, I trust very little that comes from there in the vitamin world.

I also have a question concerning tonics. I'm able to get certain ones...Dr. Carlton's for e.g., but not specifically for digestive problems. I have had problems with my GI tract since I was about 18 yrs. of age. I would like to take a tonic, but since one is not made by its company, and I'm not the magician that @Wolfcub is, I wonder if you know of a quality U.S. manufacturer that makes good tonics? Don't worry if you don't. I'm only asking just in case you do. Thanks, ladies. Yours, Lenora.
 

Mary

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....@Mary, would you mind giving me the name of the place where you buy your Betaine HCL from? Amazon is all over the place and, frankly, I have a real problem with it and its fraudulent activities. As a result, I trust very little that comes from there in the vitamin world.
Hi @lenora - I buy a lot of my supplements from iherb.com - they have very fast shipping, and free shipping for orders over $20 - this what I buy for betaine HCL with pepsin (the pepsin is important to help digest protein): Doctor's Best, Betaine HCL Pepsin & Gentian Bitters, 120 Capsules - iHerb I take one with each meal.

Yeah, I'm with you re Amazon - I avoid it as much as possible when ordering supplements!
 

Wolfcub

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I also have a question concerning tonics. I'm able to get certain ones...Dr. Carlton's for e.g., but not specifically for digestive problems. I have had problems with my GI tract since I was about 18 yrs. of age. I would like to take a tonic, but since one is not made by its company, and I'm not the magician that @Wolfcub is, I wonder if you know of a quality U.S. manufacturer that makes good tonics? Don't worry if you don't. I'm only asking just in case you do. Thanks, ladies. Yours, Lenora.
I know A.Vogel does a digestive tonic, and there are also Swedish Bitters quite widely available. But check the ingredients in case one or other ingredient might not suit you.

That's why I made up my own bitters-because some of the ingredients in the aforementioned are herbs that may make some symptoms I have worse. Such as Dandelion Root and Senna.
Those are both "constipation medicines" and I don't need those. Senna can also cause griping in some people with sensitive GI tracts. So my advice is, keep an eye on what's in the tonic.
 

Wolfcub

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Update: I am still taking the bitters I made. I take a small glassful before meals. The heartburn symptoms are lessening. I am also taking DGL licorice, so that might be helping too.

But something that has clearly made a big difference is Manuka Honey.
It's a horrible price, and one small pot lasted me about a week, but I can feel a clear improvement from taking it. I take a good teaspoonful on an empty stomach in the morning and before dinner, and eat it very slowly. I feel more benefit from that plus the vitamin C than I do from the licorice.

Another definite helper is 1000mg chewable vitamin C immediately after eating. Nothing fancy -just the grocery store ones.
The first time I tried that after breakfast (which started giving me awful heartburn 30 minutes to an hour after) -there wasn't even a trace of heartburn after! (that result does make me think I probably am dealing with some level of low stomach acid.)
 

Wolfcub

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:rofl: Well....online shopping for groceries, I bought some Ginger root for the above potion.
Wow, it was actually available and present in my click-and-collect order.
But the funny thing is this....I see a picture of Ginger root, and click on it to add it to my shopping cart.
The actual real-life item wasn't what I imagined from the picture. (Wolfcub....always read the WORDS!!)
So I ended up with a KILO of Ginger Root :wide-eyed::jaw-drop::sluggish: That's over 2lbs!!

Now I have to peel it all, cut it into portion sizes, and wrap every individual piece in tinfoil (or they stick together) Then find some receptacle to store it in the freezer....

That will certainly stop me getting bored on a horrible grey day like tomorrow is destined to be. That, plus a bit of Beethoven.

Anyone fancy some Ginger Cake...? :lol:
 

lenora

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@Wolfcub, Good Morning. I'm glad that you're improving, but you're absolutely right...2 lbs. of ginger is a lot. You probably know this, but I thought I'd mention that real licorice causes high BP in most people, and can be especially dangerous if you already suffer from it. I hope not.

Interesting about the manuka honey....I'm glad it's helping you. Too bad that it's so expensive. I'll stop by for a slice of ginger cake and will bring some Earl Grey with me. Oh, but you're not drinking it now! I'm sure you're looking forward to feeling "normal" again. I agree that people should stay away from senna...at least on an ongoing basis. Can be very destructive to the GI tract.

I had heard of using mandarin orange peel for digestive upsets. Sounds very good, doesn't it? I have a bag of them and always enjoy them, but some are teensy-weensy, aren't they.

@kangaSue, I hadn't heard of Iberogast before. Sorry it didn't help you. Feel better everyone. Yours, Lenora.