Heartburn, indigestion, constipation, and bloating are common symptoms of sluggish digestion. Fortunately, there are simple, natural remedies that can help!
Digestion is a cascade of physiological events that start before you even put food in your mouth. That anticipatory “mouthwatering” effect is your digestive system kicking into action.
Digestive prompting can also come from something today’s diets often lack: bitter flavours. These stimulate the vagus nerve in the roof of the mouth, triggering the release of the hormone gastrin. This signals the body to produce saliva, gastric juices, enzymes, and bile — crucial elements of healthy digestion.
Bitters also help the nervous system to shift into “rest and digest” mode (rather than “fight or flight”), which allows for optimal digestion.
Turning to a traditional, proven herbal remedy
Bitters — traditional herbs that contain bitter compounds — can relieve uncomfortable digestive symptoms like stomach upset, gas, bloating, and heartburn. They also help to optimize the nutrient absorption that’s essential to maintaining many bodily systems, including a strong immune system.
“Not only do bitters stimulate the vagus nerve, they also bind to bitter receptors throughout the entire digestive tract,” explains Dr. Briana Lutz, a naturopathic doctor in Edmonton, AB. “Activating these bitter receptors has been shown to regulate blood sugar, which can reduce energy crashes or sugar cravings.”
St. Francis Herb Farm’s Canadian Bitters contain a spectrum of traditional bitter herbs including globe artichoke, dandelion, and gentian root that can be taken daily to help support and strengthen organs of digestion. Its traditional formula also contains cardamom and chamomile, which are carminative herbs — meaning they help to calm the digestive tract, alleviating gas, and bloating.
Bitters are, well… bitter, but that’s why – and how – they work! For a version with a hint of sweet, try Canadian Bitters Maple, which includes a touch of maple syrup.
Unlike formulas that can create a dependence or irritate tissues, St. Francis Herb Farm’s Canadian Bitters and Canadian Bitters Maple are made with natural, non-habit-forming formulas. Their actions also help retrain the body’s digestive system, encouraging it to function more efficiently instead of merely providing a temporary solution.