YOU ARE WHAT YOU DIGEST
St. Francis Herb Farm Canadian Bitters® is probably the most iconic and best
known of all our formulas. Herbal bitters are an extremely valuable aid in
maintaining good health, so much so that the appropriate rule of thumb may
not so much be “you are what you eat”—as important this is—but rather, “you
are what you digest”... By enhancing secretions of the liver, pancreas,
stomach, and small intestine, bitters revitalize a whole range of digestive
functions and provide rich enzyme catalysts, which improve nutrient
absorption. If you have trouble with flatulent dyspepsia—gas, burping,
bloating and indigestion—you’ll derive tremendous benefit from Canadian
New Video! Watch Nutritionist Melissa Ramos talk about St. Francis Herb Farm Canadian Bitters
Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus), Dandelion (Taraxacum
officinale), Gentian (Gentiana lutea), Fennel (Foeniculum
vulgare), Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), Turmeric
(Curcuma longa), Burdock root (Arctium lappa radix),
Black Walnut hulls (Juglans nigra), Cardamom (Elettaria
cardamomum), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Calamus (Acorus
americanus), Grain alcohol, Distilled water, Vegetable
Consult a health care practitioner before use if you have been
diagnosed with a medical condition or are taking prescription
| 1-1.5 ml (30-45 drops) 3x daily in a little water on an
St. Francis Herb Farm® Inc.,
strictly believes in the principles and timeless
truths of “herbal wisdom”. That is why they are
dedicated to providing natural remedies made
from the finest quality herbs—herbs carefully
harvested and processed in accordance with the
practices of sustainable agriculture.
Canadian Bitters® - "You Are What You Digest"
Canadian Bitters® is probably the most iconic and best known of all our
formulas. Herbal bitters are an extremely valuable aid in maintaining good
health, so much so that the appropriate rule of thumb may not so much be
“you are what you eat”—as important this is—but rather, “you are what you
digest”. By enhancing secretions of the liver, pancreas, stomach, and small
intestine, bitters revitalize a whole range of digestive functions and
provide rich enzyme catalysts, which improve nutrient absorption. If you
have trouble with flatulent dyspepsia—gas, burping, bloating and
indigestion—you’ll derive tremendous benefit from Canadian Bitters®.
A great and vital formula, Canadian Bitters® also helps with cholesterol
build-up, hyperlipidaemia, constipation, digestive distress, and sluggish
elimination, which is often the result of reduced secretions by the
digestive organs and small intestine. As an added bonus, it protects the
liver from toxins.
Digestive bitters are some of the oldest medicines in a number of different
cultures around the world. There are a large number of bitters available,
and each has additional health benefits that are unique to the herb in
question. In general, digestive bitters can promote healthy appetite and
digestion, as well as reduce a number of symptoms of poor digestion such as:
gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and heartburn.
How do they work?
Digestive bitters are herbs that have constituents that taste exactly how
the name implies. This bitter taste stimulates certain receptors in the
mouth, located on our taste buds. Once the receptors are stimulated, it
causes a signal to be sent to the brain that activates all digestive
functions at once. First, salivation increases, flooding the mouth with
saliva. Then, this signal also causes increased stomach acid production, and
stimulates the stomach to begin its digestive motions. This results in the
movement of any gas inside, and creates the all-to-familiar rumbling in your
stomach and sensation of hunger. After stimulating these early digestive
functions, the brain also signals the release of bile and pancreatic juices,
into the small intestine. These allow for the proper digestion of fat,
carbohydrate and protein.
Because digestive bitters help to promote healthy digestion, they can help
treat a number of problems associated with sluggish digestion including:
incomplete protein digestion, fatty stools, gas, bloating, and constipation.
Sufficient stomach acid is required for proper protein digestion, and proper
absorption of B12 and iron. Anemia (pale skin, dizziness, and fatigue), and
ridges in the nails are common signs of insufficient stomach acid (hypochlorhydria).
For more information on healthy digestion, please click here. Digestive
enzymes properly break down all of our food and insufficient amounts leaves
undigested food in our guts that our gut bacteria digest instead, creating
gas and toxins that can cause bloating, and constipation or diarrhea. For
more information on digestive enzymes, please click here.
Increased Bile Release
They also promote increased secretion of bile from the liver, thus helping
the liver to flush out excess waste such as cholesterol and toxins. This can
also help to flush the gallbladder and reduce the risk of developing
gallstones. Many bitter herbs are also able to help fight infections and
kill parasites and can be used in formulas to help prevent and treat
infection. Individual bitter herbs may have additional benefits unique to
their constituents. For more information on each herb, please click the
Herbs that act as digestive bitters
There are a large number of herbs with bitter properties that can act as
digestive bitters. Some of the most well known, and widely used digestive
bitters are listed below:
The fibre known as inulin is found in globe artichoke, which can act as an
excellent food source for probiotics to help protect the gut. Artichoke has
also been found to act as a digestive bitter, and help to protect the liver
and lower blood cholesterol levels.
An herb that can help to restore the body to its proper functioning, Burdock
is a blood purifier, digestive bitter, antimicrobial, and anti-cancer agent.
The roots and leaves of dandelion both have health benefits, but it is the
roots that provide digestive benefits and bitter properties. The leaves can
act to cleanse the urinary tract.
This herb contains a constituent that may be the most bitter-tasting
compound known to date. It is well established as a bitter herb that is
excellent at stimulating digestion and can also help to fight infection.
Berberines are found in high concentration in this herb that is also known
as the "king of the mucous membranes". Goldenseal is a potent bitter that is
also an effective antimicrobial that can treat a number of infections and
Although this herb is best known for its traditional use in the spirit
absinthe, it is also used to help treat parasite infections and to promote
Originally used to stop the bleeding of battle wounds, it can also be used
as a sedative, anti-inflammatory, digestive bitter, antispasmodic and tonic.
It has been shown to help regulate female hormones, slow bleeding, prevent
infection, and potentially anti-cancer.
There are a number of bitter combination formulas that have different
combinations of the above herbs and/or other bitter herbs. Many of these are
based on long traditions in the region of their production. One particularly
common example of this is Swedish Bitters, which is a digestive and general
tonic that has been used for hundreds of years. There are also a number of
cultures that offer bitter digest if liqueurs traditionally taken after a
meal. There are also many liver formulas created using digestive bitters, as
many of these herbs cross over to have liver-cleansing properties as well.
How can I take bitters?
It is the taste of the herbs that triggers the response from the brain
causing increased secretion of digestive juices. Thus, in order to help with
digestion, bitter herbs must be tasted, like when you take them in a
tincture, liqueur, or tea. Encapsulated herbs are swallowed, thus bypassing
the taste buds, and will not stimulate digestion. Bitter herbs can often be
found in digestion and liver formulas, as well as formulas for weight loss
Benefits of Tinctures
Capsules, soft gels and tablets are very
popular. Tinctures, however, have many advantages over these modes of
delivery. The bio-availability of tinctures is very high in comparison,
because unlike pills tinctures don't rely on digestion to break them down.
Tinctures are readily absorbed by the body, beginning their work in the
bloodstream almost as soon as they enter the mouth. Which is a very
significant benefit. Note also that:
• Tinctures can be applied externally as well as internally
• Tinctures can be stored for long periods of time, even years, without loss
• Tinctures can be taken relatively accurately because they are administered
Why are tinctures alcohol-based?
Not only is the alcohol in St. Francis tinctures
indispensable for extracting the active ingredients of an herb, it is also
needed to stabilize and preserve them. As well as limiting microbial
activity, alcohol has the ability to inhibit enzymatic or hydrolytic
reactions in plant extracts.
Alcohol plays the role of a carrier substance conveying active ingredients
within the body. Beyond that, it has been scientifically proven that small
amounts of alcohol actually enhance the immune system and its defenses.
The amount of alcohol taken in an average dose of tincture, you'll be
surprised to learn, is about the same as what you'd find in an overly ripe