Improve digestion and improve your health with these simple homemade digestive bitters that require just 3 ingredients - cinnamon, orange, and dandelion root. You can add these digestive bitters to your favorite mocktails, and cocktails or simply have them before meals.
Digestive bitters are a staple item in my house. I use them before meals, after meals, if my stomach is uneasy, or if I simply want to add some flavor to any sparkling drink.
Used for centuries, digestive bitters can be traced back to ancient Egyptian traditions and Ayurveda. These infused botanicals typically contain bitter herbs, roots, and spices and are meant to stimulate digestive juices, bile production, and overall gut function. You can learn all about digestive bitters here and also find a list of bitter herbs and spices. And you can also check out my other digestive bitters recipe.
How Do Digestive Bitters Work?
So how do a few drops of this bitter botanical tincture work? Well, the science behind it is simple. The secret lies in bitter receptors, not just on our tongue, but also throughout our digestive system. When stimulated by bitterness, these receptors trigger a cascade of responses:
- Increased saliva production: Saliva contains enzymes that jumpstart the breakdown of food.
- Boosted gastric juices: These powerful fluids aid in protein digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Enhanced bile flow: Bile helps break down fats, promoting smoother digestion and reducing bloating.
- Balanced gut flora: Some bitters may support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, crucial for overall digestive health.
It's easy to see why this is a great thing and why digestive bitters are a drug-free way to improve digestion. So let's get to this easy recipe.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Making dandelion orange bitters with cinnamon requires just placing them in a jar.
- Add dandelion root to the jar.
2. Add orange peels and cinnamon.
3. Make sure everything fits in the jar.
4. Pour vodka until it completely covers the dandelion root, orange, and cinnamon sticks.
5. Leave the cinnamon dandelion orange tincture to infuse at room temperature for 4-6 weeks.
6. Strain and store in a dropper bottle.
Variations + Substitutions
The great thing about digestive bitters is that you can use any variation you'd like.
- Orange peels - you can use clementines, mandarines, or even dried orange peels.
- Cinnamon sticks - cinnamon sticks are ideal but cinnamon shavings would also work.
- Alcohol - vodka or brandy works best to break down the botanicals.
*You can also make a larger batch by doubling the ingredients.
Check out this cacao dandelion orange recipe here for a different variation.
- 6-ounce mason jar with lid.
Once infused, the digestive bitters can be strained and poured into a dropper bottle.
Be sure to use a decent-quality vodka. If cheap vodka is used, it will affect the taste of the herbal bitters.
Vodka seems to be the best and most commonly used method for extracting herbs and botanicals.
You most certainly can. You can use dried orange peels or clementine peels.
Having bitters before meals is especially helpful. But if your stomach is unsettled, you can use them to calm an upset stomach.
Taking a dropper full about 10 minutes before meals is the best way to increase your digestive juices.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- Add all the dry ingredients to a 6-ounce jar.
- Fill the jar with vodka and seal tightly.
- Store the mixture at room temperature for 4 weeks.
- Strain the tincture and add it to a dropper bottle.
1. Take the tincture as needed but ideally take a dropper full 10 minutes before meals.
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