Springtime Bitters For Renewal


Published:

It’s spring, and new leaves are bursting forth all around us – nature wears a fresh skin of bright green while pushing aside the old, dried remains of last year. And here we are, wearing our winter skin, feeling the remains of a time of stasis and brittleness while the earth around us becomes bright and dynamic.

Spring is a time of bitters. Their upward energy mimics that of the flow of the plants around us, moving vital fluids from the roots to the buds, leaves, and flowers. Bitters are refreshing, supporting our innate detoxification systems to move that winter energy aside.

You can easily make your own bitters from things you’ll find sprouting up in forests and fields around you, or even from items at the grocery store. Bitters range from being mildly bitter (like fennel or citrus peels) to extremely bitter, like the leaves of artichokes. There are also bitters which are consider warm and aromatic – these bitters tend to have a spice-like or aromatic element to them. Cold bitters, on the other hand, are more aggressive and medicinal in flavor and have more specific uses.

Beyond these basic considerations, there are no rules to bitters, taste them and add them together, try enhancing or balancing the flavors with other flavors, balancing a colder bitter with one which is more aromatic and bitter.

Here are some basic bitters you can play with to discover your own favorite blend:

Citrus Peels

All citrus peels are bitter, and it’s best to use those which have the remaining contrast of some sweet fruit such as grapefruit, orange, tangerine or blood orange. It’s mostly the peel you are looking for, so if you can, try to use organic fruit since fruit peels aren’t intended to be consumed. You’ll want to tincture them – just place the freshly peeled peels in a jar and cover with a neutral alcohol until they are just covered. Put a cap on it and let it sit for a week or so. What to do with them? You can use these tangy, aromatic bitters alone or combine with something more cold or aggressive in bitterness.

Dandelion

The entire plant in flower (not the seeds) can be used as a bitter, or you can focus only on the leaves, flowers, or the roots as you wish. This is a gentle, safe bitter and is one of my favorites for pregnancy and the digestive stasis which can accompany all stages of pregnancy. It’s excellent for a gentle spring cleanse and probably the most all-purpose bitter with a slew of health-benefits. It’s easy to find and gather, and once you tincture it you can use it alone or along with some of the others listed on this page. You can also use the roots as a food if you taste them and they have their spring sweetness still, or use the young leaves as an accent in salad (again, try them first and add an appropriate amount as you see fit).

Mugwort

It’s not as easy to identify as a dandelion this time of the year, but if you already know where there is a patch of mugwort nearby, you are in luck. The silvery leaves of mugwort are an excellent spring bitter as they are fresher and more vibrant than later in the season. It’s a warm, but strong bitter, with a potent action on the digestive system. It’s stimulating overall, so it’s not appropriate in pregnancy. It’s delicious as a tincture added in with citrus and fennel, so feel free to play with it!

Rhubarb Root

You might be familiar with the petioles (or stems) of this plant eaten in spring, but did you know the root is a popular herbal medicine? Rhubarb root is a strong digestive tonic and has an overt yet gentle laxative action, so you might want to go easy on it and combine the tincture with others (like fennel, below). Still, if this is the type of spring movement you are looking for, rhubarb can be a nice new friend to meet.

Fennel

This sweet herb also has a warming bitter element, and it can serve as an excellent contrast to many of the bitters above. It’s also easy to find at most grocery stores. You can use the bulb or the seeds, with the seeds being much stronger, but the bulb can be food (make a salad of dandelion greens and fennel bulb, YUM!) and the seeds are great tinctured or added into other food items. This is a great digestive which is well tolerated even by children.

Whatever your bitter potion, don’t be afraid to play in the garden and pull together something bitter and beautiful for your signature spring tonic.

Bevin Clare, M.S., R.H., CNS, is a clinical herbalist and nutritionist and an Associate Professor and Program Manager of the Post-Master's Certificate in Clinical Herbalism at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Bevin has studied herbal medicine around the world and blends her knowledge of traditional uses of plants with modern science and contemporary healthcare strategies as a consultant and educator. You can find Bevin’s full bio and her musing on a variety of Clinical Herbalism topics, including infectious disease, at www.bevinclare.com.

This article was republished from www.bevinclare.com.

See also:
Time To Detox
Spring Food Renewal

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

May 30, 2017

A quiet inner certainty enhances hopes during the early morning hours. Well wishes for friends and partners are capital in karmic bank accounts. Send out all the positive thoughts and good vibes you can muster. As midday approaches the Leo Moon tests…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

May 2017

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Sunday Reiki treatments with Reiki master and practitioner Linda Simons in Brookline, MA. Start your week off on a more balanced note with a Reiki treatment on a Sunday afternoon. Please join me...

Cost: Sliding Scale $20-$40

Where:
233 Harvard Street
Suite 36
Brookline, MA  02446
View map »


Telephone: 617-304-2205
Contact Name: LInda Simons
Website »

More information

You can sit with your favorite medium and get a message from your loved ones in spirit and experience the relaxation of Spiritual Healing with one of our trained healers (pets also welcome!) We...

Where:
Arlington Masonic Temple
19 Academy Street
Arlington, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Greater Boston Church of Spiritualism
Telephone: 617-923-4334
Website »

More information

Prayer for Peace — Lao-Tse If there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities. If...

Cost: Donation / heart offering

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Qigong is an amazing practice for health, healing and inspiration. Qigong is a series of flowing and repeated movements, stretches and breathing exercises that are very easy to learn and may be...

Cost: Drop in $20 or purchase series card

Where:
The Yoga Depot
17 Depot Square
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: BodyWork Revolution
Telephone: 781-372-1000
Contact Name: Steve Cunningham
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Let's connect to the deck... Do you have the desire to understand and get a deeper sense of your readings? Learn how to read for yourself and others. Clear your cards, enhance your intuition...

Cost: $40 (Additional $16 for an angel card deck if you need)

Where:
YOUnity Yoga & Wellness
189 Main Street
4th floor
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Telephone: 508-478-3333
Website »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Brookhaven Hospice is looking for alternative therapy volunteers (Reiki, massage, aromatherapy, and more) to volunteer with patients in various cities around MA and NH. Trainings to become a...

Cost: Free

Where:
, MA

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Get to really know yourself from the inside out. Join us for a 6-session series focused on the energy body/chakras (pronounced, chah-krahz). We will spend each of the sessions exploring one of the...

Cost: $20

Where:
HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
23 Pine Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Sponsor: HeartSong Spiritual Wellness Center
Website »

More information

June 2 - 4, 2017 Being The Light – A Weekend Retreat To Empower Your Spiritual Light With Leontine Hartzell Retreat runs June 2, 2017 4pm to June 4, 2017 2pm. Cost $380 - $395...

Cost: $380 - $395

Where:
White Mountains of NH
, NH


Sponsor: Eye of Eagle
Telephone: 978-377-8948
Contact Name: Leontine Hartzell
Website »

More information

June 2 - 4, 2017 Energy Healing - Life Healing - Psychic/Intuition Development - Live Your Best Life! Are you ready to flow into the next leap in consciousness in the most powerful way?...

Cost: $435

Where:
Our space
42 Fox Hill Rd
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Telephone: 919-605-0580
Contact Name: Angela Coulter
Website »

More information

Weekly yoga classes with Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN of Harmony Way on Wednesdays at 12:15 PM and Fridays at 9:30 AM at the Wilbraham Senior Center. Class welcomes all ages and uses a...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
View map »


Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Rev. Michelle Caron, RMT, CYT, ZIN
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

With Ross J. Miller, psychic healer, medium, regression therapist. In this unique, experiential workshop you’ll learn how to identify your guardian angels and spirit guides by name and...

Where:
Newton, MA


Telephone: 617-527-3583
Website »

More information

January 14 - December 9, 2017 With Tom Frederick Novice — This 12-month program is designed to assist you on your journey to spiritual enlightenment. Here we study a variety of esoteric...

Cost: $1300

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

Workshop with Liane Thomas Wade Registration: 12:15 - 12:30 PM Workshop: 12:30 – 4:30 PM The National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR) is a non-profit international astrological...

Where:
Beech Street Center
266 Beech Street
Belmont, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The National Council for Geocosmic Research
Telephone: 617-354-7075
Contact Name: Joyce Levine
Website »

More information

Reiki Master Teacher Libby Barnett, M.S.W., integrates her healing skills with past experience as a medical social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital. 38 years experience Reiki Energy...

Where:
Concord, MA


Telephone: 603-654-2787
Website »

More information

June 3 - 4, 2017 Have you hit a “ceiling” in your life (or your healing practice)? Then this is what you've been waiting for! This two-day Level 1 Marconics...

Cost: $450

Where:
Suffield Massage Therapy & Wellness Center
230 Mountain Rd
Suffield, CT  06078
View map »


Sponsor: Marconics / Your Healing Light
Telephone: 774-987-9449
Contact Name: Josh Brotherton
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags