Do you ever feel bloated or tired after a meal? Chances are you could use a little assistance from an herbal bitter to stimulate your digestive system into working properly. Bitter herbs have been used for thousands of years cross-culturally for gut and nervous system health, but today, most modern people are not getting enough of this medicinal taste on our palates.
Lucky for us, Mama Earth knows what we need in order to cleanse the organs of elimination, release the stagnation of Winter, and help our fire center — the solar plexus and digestive system — awaken into Spring! One of these allies is the wild Dandelion she offers us in abundance on all continents of the world! Dandelion is not only bitter in flavor, but also contains inulin, the prebiotic starch that feeds our gut biome, lowers cholesterol, helps break down fats, and keeps blood sugar low. The Spring harvested Dandelion roots contain taraxacin which further assists in the production of bile. Lastly, this edible weed is packed with vitamins, enzymes and minerals, further supporting natural detoxification, health and vitality!
To make this Dandelion Bitter, you can use dried Dandelion root from your local apothecary or you can harvest some of the fresh roots and plants yourself. If harvesting fresh, make sure the area is not sprayed with pesticides, and save the edible flowers for tea, fritters or to sprinkle on salad. Eat the fresh greens by first soaking them in cold water for 10 minutes and then sautéing with garlic for a delicious side.
One of the first plants to flower in Spring, Dandelion serves as a medicinal bitter, awakening the digestion after the slow quiet of Winter.
Awakening to Spring Dandelion Bitters
Before making medicine, create sacred space within you and around you — whatever that means to you. The most important part is to be in a state of gratitude to the herbs and connection to your prayers or intentions for this medicine to offer healing.
- Dried Dandelion Root or Fresh Dandelion Root
- Orange Rind
- Turmeric Root
- Ginger Root
- Cassia Cinnamon Stick, Sprig of Thyme, Dried Thyme, or Rosemary
- 100 proof Vodka, gin, mezcal, or apple cider vinegar
- Label for the jar
- Cheese Cloth, or nut milk bag
- Choose a clean jar for your medicine making. It will serve you for measuring.
- Fill 1/3 of the jar with pieces of dried Dandelion root, or 2/3 with clean, chopped fresh Dandelion root.
- Add about 1/4 of an organic orange’s rind in larger slices.
- Add a thumbs worth of ginger, chopped
- Add a thumbs worth of turmeric, chopped
- Add a stick of Cassia Cinnamon, or a sprig of fresh thyme (or tablespoon dried thyme), or rosemary
- Top off with a nice quality 100 proof Vodka, Gin or Mezcal. (Whatever sipping alcohol sits well with you), or for a non alcoholic version, use raw, organic Apple Cider Vinegar instead.
- Shake, label with an activating prayer and store in a dark cupboard for a month or more. Shake often and smile.
- When you are ready to begin enjoying, strain it, squeeze plants through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag, and bottle.
- Store in the fridge and serve a couple of tablespoons chilled before a meal. Or, if its winter, add to hot water and sip as a mini hot tottie. If using apple cider vinegar, dilute in water at a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio - bitters: water)
- May also be added to aperitif cocktails, or to sparkly water with a wedge of grapefruit or lemon.
Whatever you do, do not sweeten your herbal bitters with honey — the whole point is to experience the taste of bitter your tongue, which activates the digestive process.
A couple of sips of these aromatic bitters before a meal will signal your body to produce bile and enzymes, which will help in the breakdown of food and absorption of nutrients. Herbal bitters also calm the mind and body, bringing the nervous system into the parasympathetic state of “rest and digest”, where healing occurs.
May these flowering Suns of the Earth nourish you deeply, increasing your capacity to digest life with the Dandelion’s resilience, courage, joy and a generous heart!
Our Dandelion Print in Organic Cotton.
There is power in abiding by the rhythms of Nature and nourishing ourselves in harmony with Mother Earth. Fruits eaten at the peak of their natural season are vibrant and sweet and healing herbs become abundant when the time is right for them to be consumed. We believe that this same wisdom can be applied to the ritual of dressing — when you wear this print, you carry the medicine of the Dandelion and all that it has to offer.
Shop The Dandelion Collection
As you move through the world, look for the mighty Dandelion. Mother Earth is offering you the medicine of awakening — the ability to digest the outside world and emerge from hibernation to greet the beauty of Spring!