Dr. Mary Galloway • 470 Villa Rd • Newberg, Oregon • 503-554-5865

It’s Good to be Bitter!

  • Posted on Mar 29, 2019

A bitter is an herb or plant that stimulates digestion.  When you eat it, the bitter taste stimulates your taste buds which stimulates your pancreas, liver and gall bladder.

Examples include dandelion leaves, burdock leaves and hops.

Who Needs Bitters?

  1. People with indigestion or heartburn: Heartburn is more often caused by not enough stomach acid than too much.  Your food doesn’t digest properly, hangs out in your stomach too long and causes trouble such as reflux, belching and bloating.
  2. People with constipation and/or diarrhea: Bitters help promote optimal function of the entire GI tract.  When food is properly digested and your intestines are working correctly, the incidence of constipation and diarrhea go down.
  3. People with skin or joint issues: Bitters help the body process and detox byproducts of food and metabolic wastes.  This reduces the inflammatory load on your skin and joints, giving you clearer skin and more flexible, less painful joints.

How to Use Bitters

  1. As a Salad: Greens such as dandelion greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, broccoli rabe, and Romaine lettuce make up the foundation of a great bitters salad. Pair them with other springtime veggies and a nice vinaigrette for your pre-meal bitter fix.
  2. As a Tincture: A salad may not always be practical or desired.  Bring on the tinctures!  You can find bitters tinctures in the health food section of your favorite store.  Follow the directions.

The key to benefiting from bitters is consistency.  Take them daily before lunch and dinner to help re-train your GI tract to function better. Remember – it’s good to be bitter!


As always, if I can help in any way, feel free to click or call Joy of Health at 503-554-5865 to schedule an appointment.