Medicinal Bitters

bitters

Medicinal bitters have been around for centuries, they can be traced back as far as ancient Egyptian times. Bitters have complex flavors of sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. They function as an astringent, a tonic, a relaxant, and an internal cleanser. Taking them before meals helps to stimulate our digestive systems by producing gastric juices, saliva, and bile to help break down our food. Easing that break down of food helps us to cleanse the body and build strength.

One of my favorite reasons for taking bitters is that it helps to train our digestive systems to produce gastric juices, stomach acid, and digestive enzymes on its own, without having to rely on digestive enzyme or hydrochloric acid (HCL) supplements. 

What else do bitters help with?

  • They rouse the production of digestive enzymes, bile and stomach acid
  • Soothe gas and bloat
  • Ease constipation and help with regularity
  • Curb sugar cravings
  • Relieve heartburn
  • Increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals
  • Balance appetite
  • Liver support


There are different types of herbs ranging from seriously bitter like gentian root to mildly bitter like dandelion root, even chamomile. Feel free to explore herbs on your own or try out my recipe down below. These herbs called out to me when I  went to my local herb shop, the end result was quite delightful --stimulating, warming, and a little spicy.  

bitters


Love Thy Gut Bitters
½ cup (4 oz.) dried orange peel
¼ cup (2 oz). gentian root
¼ cup (2 oz). raw cacao
¼ cup (2 oz). cinnamon bark
¼ cup (2 oz). ginger root
Brandy
 
You can also do it in parts. For example: 2 parts orange peel, 1 part gentian root, 1 part raw cacao, 1 part cinnamon root, 1 part ginger root
 
Method:
Fill a quart jar with 1/3 of the dried herbs. Fill up the jar to the top with 100 proof vodka or a spirit of your choice. Make sure your herbs are completely covered. It’s important to label your jar with the herbs you used and their parts, the date, and the alcohol strength, (otherwise you might forget what's in there). Allow them to extract for 6-8 weeks or a full moon cycle. Shake the jar everyday.
 
After 6-8 weeks or a full moon cycle, strain the herbs with a cheesecloth and squeeze any remaining liquid back into the extract. It’s convenient to have a small funnel hand so that you can bottle the extract into small amber dropper bottles. Make sure you label these too.

 

References: http://blog.radiantlifecatalog.com/, www.westonaprice.org

Ghee

ghee

what is ghee?

Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is used in Ayurvedic tradition and is widely used in Southeast Asia and the Middle East for cooking and in holistic remedies. Ghee is abundant in nutritional and healing properties. Within Ayurveda, ghee is considered to promote positivity, growth, and expansion of consciousness. In Ayurveda, cows are considered holy because they attract spiritual energies from the environment. Spiritually, “the milk from cows therefore contains the essence of all those energies and ghee is the essence of milk.”

 Essentially, ghee is the butterfat melted down after the water and milk solids are taken out of the butter. There is a slight difference between ghee and clarified butter. Clarified butter begins with unsalted butter that has been melted down in three layers. The top layer is water that evaporates as the butter slowly cooks. The bottom layer is where the milk solids form, which are removed. And the middle layer is the pure butterfat, which is the clarified butter. Ghee, on the other hand is melted down a little longer until the milk solids are slightly browned, adding a pleasant nutty taste. Ghee preparations do involve removing a layer. 

nutritional benefits

·       Ghee is great for cooking. It has a high smoke point of 250°C/482 °F, therefore it won’t become rancid and break down into free radicals when heated.

·       Ghee does not have a limited shelf life and it does not need refrigeration. In fact, the older it gets, the more medicinal properties it will hold.

·       Those with dairy intolerance can eat ghee because the milk solids—lactose and casein, are removed when the butter gets rendered down.

·       Ghee is rich in antioxidants A, E, and carotenoids plus vitamins E and K. These antioxidants strengthen immunity and support cell rejuvenation for healthy skin.

·       Ghee is an excellent source for energy and weight management. Ghee is made up of medium chain fatty acids (like coconut), which the liver quickly absorbs and burns it as energy.

·        Ghee strengthens digestion by not only supporting the intestinal lining but also by producing digestive enzymes, which help break down food properly to help reduce indigestion.

·       Ghee reduces joint and gastrointestinal inflammation. Ghee contains butyric acid, an essential short-chain fatty acid that our bodies need but unfortunately, most people don’t produce.

·       Ghee enhances the medicinal properties of herbs and spices. In fact, frying herbs and spices before adding them to your dishes helps them to become absorbed and transported to their targeted cells and organs.  

how to make ghee

·       Melt 1 pound unsalted butter in a saucepan.

·       Continue to heat over low flame until it boils gently and a foam rises to the surface. Do not remove foam.

·       Continue cooking gently until the foam thickens and then settles to the bottom of the pot. When the remaining liquid turns a golden brown color and starts to boil silently with only a trace of small bubbles on the surface, the ghee is ready.

·       When it starts to cool and before it starts to harden, pour the liquid ghee into a glass jar.

 

References:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Absolute Beauty, Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony Through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda, Pratima Raichur                                                                       http://care2.com/greenliving/15-amazing-benefits-of-ghee.html                                                                                                                               http://whatisghee.com

Bone Broth

Homemade bone broth from organic pasture raised animals contains all nutrients and minerals found in bones and tendons. Slow cooking preserves the nutrients and is extremely beneficial for healing, preventing, and aiding in wellness.

The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals:

  • Leaky gut
  • Fights infections such as colds and flu
  • Reduces joint pain and inflammation
  • Produces gorgeous skin, hair and nails
  • Helps with bone formation, growth, and repair
  • Fights inflammation through its anti-inflammatory amino acids
  • Promotes sleep and calms the mind

Best of all its cheap to make and much healthier than store bought kinds, which have added sodium and other junk. You can use any organic grass fed or pasture raised animal - beef, chicken, turkey, bison, pork, and veal and you can use any of the bones. The bigger the bones the better as they contain more collagen and therefore make more gelatin. So, bones like the knuckles, feet, oxtail or marrow.  

Here's what you do:

  • Place bones (carcass and/or chicken feet ) in a crockpot or soup pot
  • Add organic vegetable scraps as they are available.*        
  • Cover bones and scraps with water. Set water about one-inch above the bones.
  • Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, this helps to leach out the nutrients.          
  • Cover the pot and set on low (crock pot) or simmer (stove pot). Keep the lid slightly ajar to prevent boiling if using a stove pot.                           
  • Strain the broth 24 hours later. 
  • optional- a strip of kombu seaweed (very high in minerals especially iodine and vitamins C and E.    

Note* I like to add garlic (leaving the skin on is ok), chunks of yellow onion, the stems of hearty greens and Himalayan sea salt for a rich and savory taste.                                       

Use the fresh broth for soups, making grains and legumes, in your sauté, or to simply sip and nourish yourself. You can add water to the bones again and make a second batch of broth if you like. You can keep doing this until you are tired of it or your bones have disintegrated. I like to use them once, cooking them slowly for a very long time so that I get broth that turns into gelatin once I've refrigerated it. 

                            Heal Yourself.