The holidays are a notoriously rough time on our bodies. From festive libations to broken workout routines to never-ending trays of cookies, people generally leave the holiday season feeling a little more sluggish than when it started. Although there’s plenty of detoxing herbs out there, we believe that digestive support shouldn’t be just an aftermath solution.
While traditional “detoxes” have circled around strict elimination diets and cleanses, we prefer to use a gentler method. At Sunwink, “detox” means incorporating lifestyle, dietary and herbal choices into daily life that support the body in functioning properly. By simply using bitters, eating lots of fresh veggies and drinking ample water, we can feel good knowing that we’re giving our bodies a little extra support. But what are bitters?
You’ve probably heard of them in craft cocktails, but did you know that bitters have traditionally been used to help support healthy digestion? While the bitter taste is relatively unused in American cuisine, many cultures naturally include the bitter flavor in their diets: burdock root, bitter greens, and even bitter drinks before dinner (heard of an aperitif?).
Try to recall a time when you ate something really bitter, and you will likely remember the result - salivation. For that reason, bitters are an excellent way to prime the pumps of digestion and the organs associated with it.
Besides making us salivate, Bitters are thought to help stimulate the appetite, signal the release of digestive juices, and aid in supporting one of our major detox organs, the liver. Bitter herbs are thought to not only be beneficial to the digestive system but to the body as a whole, making the bitter flavor a powerhouse in the world of digestion. Bitter herbs are thought to not only be beneficial to the digestive system but to the body as a whole, and all of this combines to make the bitter flavor a powerhouse in the world of digestion.
One of our favorite herbs for “detox” is dandelion, the star ingredient in our Detox Ginger tonic. As a hepatic, cholagogue, diuretic, bitter, and tonic herb, dandelion has traditionally been used as a gentle detoxifier and bitter tonic. Dandelion’s bitter flavor is thought by many herbalists to not only stimulate digestive juices but to aid in the gentle detoxification of the liver.
DANDELION IN THE KITCHEN
Though dandelion is often taken as a tea or tincture, both the roots and leaves of this hearty plant can be used in herbal kitchen creations. Dandelion greens can be added to salads, smoothies or cooked like kale, and the dried leaves and roots can be made into tea. Combined with other roasted herbs such as carob, burdock, cacao, and chicory - toasted dandelion root can make a delicious and caffeine-free alternative to coffee in the morning!
Both a bitter and carminative, chamomile is a well-loved plant for both the nervous and digestive systems. This soothing flower makes a calming evening tea on its own or blended with other herbs.
Burdock root can be decocted into a tea, pickled or eaten as food, and taken as a powder in smoothies. This bitter root is a staple in many cultures around the world, and is a useful hepatic and diuretic.
OTHER DIGESTIVE SUPPORTING HERBS
Orange peel is a tasty carminative that makes a great addition to any tea.
As a carminative and a sialagogue (causes salivation), this spicy herb is not only thought to help with flatulence], but also has a pleasant and comforting flavor.
Fresh ginger has been known to act as a warming diaphoretic and carminative. This useful and tasty root has also been historically used to support both nausea and motion sickness. You’ll find this versatile herb in our Detox Ginger, Turmeric Cleanse and Immunity Berry blends. Stock up on these three flavors in our Self-Care Pack!