Digestive Bitters • Urban Moonshine (and a giveaway!)

 
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Years ago, at the recommendation of my TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) practitioner, I began using digestive bitters as a means to ease the digestive discomfort experienced during periods of prolonged travel. Bitters were especially paramount to my well-being during a summer-long trip to Southest Asia, and another spent backpacking through Costa Rica. Still to this day, I won't even leave the house without them. And recently, after a nudge from my very knowledgable herbalist friends at Urban Moonshine, I've now begun implementing bitters into my day-to-day regime. With wild success. My skin is clearer, my energy elevated, and I very, very rarely experience any stomach discomfort.

WHAT ARE BITTERS?

Bitters are the plant extracts of aromatic herbs, barks, roots, and fruit that, upon ingestion, stimulate the digestive system and the release of critical digestive enzymes and stomach acids. They are, as the name implies, bitter to the taste. 

WHY TAKE BITTERS?

For much of human history, our diets were heavy in bitter foods - bitter greens, herbs, roots, and barks. Yet today, we've almost entirely stripped our diets of bitter-tasting foods in exchange for more pleasantly-flavored fare: the sweet, salty, and processed. This makes supplementing with digestive bitters all the more important, as this shift away from bitter foods has created a massive rise in digestive issues. 

Bitters excite, engage, and awaken the digestive system, preparing it for the hard work of breaking down a meal. The vast majority of us suffer from sluggish, imbalanced digestion and experience bloating, gas, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, constipation, fatigue, etc. after a meal more often that we probably even realize. It's become such a commonplace symptom in our culture. Digestive bitters, taken before and after a meal, stimulate the digestive system so as to minimize (and in my experience, completely eliminate) any discomfort. Food is more easily broken down, and nutrients are better assimilated.

I have long been in the habit of taking bitters while traveling, when out to eat, or if experiencing any digestive upset. (I swear by them for anything stomach related - hangovers, food poisoning, the flu, whatever.) But as of late, I've been adding a splash of bitters to my usual warmed water with lemon each morning, and then taking a dose before each meal. In this way, I'm continuing to strengthen my digestive system, increase my natural digestive enzyme production, and elevate my overall health.

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BENEFITS

Aside from the obvious digestive benefits, bitters are incredibly nourishing for the body as a whole.

  • Support liver function and detoxification
  • Enhance the clarity, glow, and health of skin
  • Balance blood sugar levels
  • Ease morning sickness
  • Curb cravings and balance appetite
  • Support balanced cholesterol levels
  • Elevate immunity 

HOW TO USE

Bitters are best taken before meals, and can be used up to six times per day. About ¼ teaspoon is all you need. I usually add this to a bit of water to dilute because, you know, they taste kind of bitter, but feel free to simple drop them on your tongue.

MY FAVORITES

Though the most bitter tasting, Urban Moonshine's Original Bitters are my favorite for every day use, as they are the most potent. I turn to the Chamomile Bitters when I feel nauseous, as these are specifically designed for those moments, along with morning sickness. The Liver Bitters are best when I feel I need a little extra detoxification support, especially in way of my skin. The travel spray doesn't leave my purse. And for those just easing into bitters, I love the Citrus Bitters and Maple Bitters for their sweeter, more mild taste (also more child appropriate!).


GIVEAWAY (!)

Needless to say, I am so thrilled to be able to gift one of you a medley of my favorite Urban Moonshine bitters! To enter the giveaway, simply head to my Instagram and, after you make sure you're following me, 'like' my post, and tag a wellness-loving friend or three . The winner will be announced this Friday, 9/22. 

Also! Would love to hear from you - do any of you use digestive bitters as well? Let me know by leaving a comment below. xx

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Connect with Urban Moonshine on their Instagram, and shop their collection of herbals goods here.

 

Detoxification Tool - Verday Chlorophyll Water

If you have yet to hear, chlorophyll water is now very much a thing. As with most emerging health trends, I've received a lot of recent questions from clients, readers, and friends about whether chlorophyll is something worth incorporating. My answer: absolutely. 

Chlorophyll itself is a molecule found in plants that gives the leaves their bright green pigment and allows for the process of photosynthesis to occur. As humans, it's one of the most potently healing substances we can consume. You get a dose of chlorophyll every time you eat green vegetables, but I'm a fan of supplementing on top of that as well. 

I actually began supplementing with liquid chlorophyll years ago, prior to it's (or my) emergence in the wellness world. It was something my mother always did for better health, so I adopted the daily ritual myself. Aside from daily supplementation, it’s my go-to for periods when I feel I need more concentrated detoxification (i.e. during the cold I battled all last week). So when NYC-based chlorophyll water company Verday asked me to team up to share the amazing benefits of chlorophyll, I was beyond in. 

DEEP DETOXIFICATION | Chlorophyll is nature's most powerful detoxifier, supporting the process of detoxification in a number of ways. When consumed, it increases the production of beneficial enzymes within the liver, serving to boost the function and health of this vital detox organ. Chlorophyll also improves our digestion, speeds up waste removal, eliminates constipation, and elevates the metabolism. It even binds to toxic heavy metals and carcinogens for quick and safe removal. 

CANCER PREVENTION | As I noted above, chlorophyll is able to bind to carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) and interfere with how they are absorbed within our digestive system. This inhibits the metabolization and circulation of these potentially cancer-causing substances within the body, helping to protect against the onset of many cancers. Studies have shown that individuals with diets high in carcinogens (namely, lots of red meat and very few greens) that supplemented with chlorophyll experienced a dramatic increase in their elimination and removal of these cancer- and disease-causing substances, and thus a decrease in their risk of actually developing cancer. 

SKIN + TISSUE HEALTH | Chlorophyll makes my skin glow. Anything that supports the liver and detoxification process will increase the clarity and glowy-ness of our skin. It’s also a potent anti-inflammatory with seriously healing properties to speed the repair of damaged tissue and reduce inflammation and redness. 

Though I've been a longtime advocate of liquid chlorophyll, I’ve recently become head over heels obsessed with Verday's line of chlorophyll water products. Aside from encapsulating all the incredible benefits of liquid chlorophyll, Verday has managed to do it in a way that 1) tastes really damn good and 2) makes supplementation beyond easy for even the busiest on-the-go wellness babes. I’ve been keeping my refrigerator stocked for grab-and-go hydration and detoxification, and suggest you do the same. Cucumber, Ginger Lemongrass, and Coconut are tied for my current favs.

Verday was kind enough to offer all Solful Health readers + clients a 25% discount off their line (just use code SOLFUL at checkout) - get to sipping (and glowing) here.