Bitter Taste Foods & Herbs List: An Ayurveda Perspective
The Six Tastes: Bitter
Balance My Excess Bitter $15.95 Bitter Recipes Bitter Ingredients Bitter Herbs & Supplements Bitter Stats
Balance My Excess Bitter
Get the 45 minute presentation 'Balance My Excess Bitter' given by Joyful Belly founder and director John Immel. This presentation will show you Ayurvedic essentials on fixing this imbalance, including diet, lifestyle, and herbal tips from Ayurveda. Price: $15.95
AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE ON BITTER
Bitters & DigestionAyurveda suggests that a healthy gut will eliminate food six hours after eating it. The holy grail of six hour elimination exists today in indigenous societies with higher consumption of bitters, but not for our society of refined flours and sugars.
The body may perceive some bitters as a poison, stimulating various organs for protection. In the case of edible bitters, this has a beneficial, stimulating effect on your body. Bitters stimulate peristalsis, the release of bile in the liver and gallbladder, clearing the blood of heat and Pitta.
Bitters & the BreathBitter taste stimulates breath and metabolism (prana). Recently, scientists have discovered the presence of bitter taste buds in the lungs. Calcium has a bitter, slightly sour taste. There is recent speculation that humans may have evolved specific taste buds for calcium.
Bitters, Cravings, & Fat MetabolismBitters are the missing taste in the modern diet, but they are the most common taste in nature. Our ancestors subsisted on diets high in bitters for millennia. Naturally, in a bitter environment, sweet taste was rare and highly desirable. Our taste buds have not yet evolved for modern, convenient availability of sweet taste.
Bitters are drying to the body, cause an increase in metabolism, and scrape fat. Because they stimulate bile production, and bile being a fatty substance, they help draw fats out of the liver and general circulation. Bitter purifies the body and dries up all secretions. Bitter resets the taste buds and destroys food cravings. By reducing fat and forcing the ego to confront displeasure, bitter taste increases ether element.
Qualities of BitterBitters are light, cooling, clearing and drying. They alleviate Pitta and Kapha and cleanse the body of toxicity. Bitters create a descending action that alleviates dizziness and fainting from heat conditions like fevers. Bitters are used to treat fever because they also clear the blood plasma of impurities (ama) and sweet taste (kledaka Kapha). Bitter taste clears wounds and purifies the skin and muscle tissue.
Excess bitter aggravates Vata, causing tissue wasting and hardening, loss of strength and libido, and dryness of mouth.
Examples of BittersDigestive bitters is a popular Joyful Belly formula containing bitter taste. Most leafy greens, coffee, and orange peel are examples of bitter foods. Chocolate undergoes significant processing to remove bitter taste. Gymnema sylvestre (gurmar) is used for diabetes, food cravings, and weight loss.
In herbalism, simple bitters are differentiated from alkaloidal bitters and unpleasant tasting foods. Dandelion greens and neem are simple bitters whose actions are primarily due to their taste. Coffee and chocolate are alkaloidal bitters. Each alkaloid has a unique effect on the body beyond the action of a simple bitter.
OTHER HERB ACTIONS AFFECTING LIVER-GALLBLADDER
HELPFUL FOR*'Bitter' may be helpful for these symptoms and causes below.
Blood and CirculationAtherosclerosis, Autoimmune Disorders, Blood Clots, Blood thick / Congested lymph, Bruise easily, Cancer, Chronic Fungus infection, Chronic Infection, Clear / absent tongue coating, Diabetes (Adult Onset Type II), Drug/penicillin allergy, Easily hot, Fatty Liver, Gallbladder Inflammation, Gallbladder Removed, Gallstones / Attack, General Inflammation, Glaucoma, Heart Attack, High Blood Pressure, High Blood Sugar, High Triglycerides, Insulin Resistance, Jaundice, Jock Itch, Liver Degeneration, Liver Sore, Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), Poor circulation, Portal Hypertension, Staph infection, Teeth marks on tongue edges, Thalassemia Minor, Varicose Veins, Yellow eyes / sclera, Yellow tongue coating, Yellowish skin
Cleanse and DetoxGeneral Malaise
DietAlcohol 2+ times / week, Fatty fried food, Food is romantic / passionate, Meat every day, Peanuts, Pizza, Sweet cravings, Taking Enzyme Supplements
DigestionAnal Itching, Appendicitis, Bad breath, Crohn's Disease, Foul taste on tongue, Frequent cavities, Gastritis, H pylori infection, Hyperacidity, Lactose Intolerant, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Metallic Taste in Mouth, Pain above belly button, Pain right lower abdomen, Pancreatic Insufficiency, Receding gums, Slow, heavy digestion, Smelly Gas, Sores inside mouth, Sour Taste in Mouth, Strong food cravings, Sweet taste on tongue, Tonsillectomy, Ulcerative Colitis, Vomiting Blood, Yellow teeth
Mind Stress SleepAnger, irritable, ambitious, analytical, Bored easily, Conflict makes me angry, irritable, Confusion / Cloudy Mind, Difficulty waking up, Dizzy / Light-headed, Easily insulted / sensitive, Excessive sleep, Judgmental, Migraines, Overwhelmed by responsibilities, Preoccupied with sex / lust, Sleep deep & long, trouble waking up, Sleep during the day, Tired in morning, Vertex Headache (top of the head), Withdrawn Emotionally
PoopConstipation, Frothy Stool / with Bubbles, Fullness below belly button, Light brown stool / Cardboard colored, Shiny / oily / fatty stools, Stool entirely liquid, no solid pieces, Stool formed, but porous & airy, Stool in mushy pieces mixed with liquid, Stool thick mud, Yellow stool
Reproductive HealthClogged Milk Duct / Breast Infection, Heavy Period, Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), Prostate Cancer, Yellow vaginal discharge
Respiratory HealthAnimal/dander allergy, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Cystic-Fibrosis, Detergent allergy, Green mucus, Laryngitis, Yellow mucus
SkinAcne - general, Acne - painful, Cellulite, Fatty deposits/lipoma, Heat aggravates my skin, Hives, Oily face / dry extremities, Oily t-zone only, Rashes, Red/flushed skin, Sensitive to Poison Ivy, Skin problems on neck, Skin sensitivity to chemicals, Skin tags numerous, Warm & rosy skin
Weight LossAngry when someone eats my food, Eat when lonely / depressed, Emotional eating, Fat back of arms, Fat on back, Fat on buttocks, Fat on thighs, Feel overweight, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Hypothyroid, Pear shape, Preoccupied with food, Spending all day in the kitchen, Stomach fat, Trips to food stores daily, Trying to lose weight, Uneasy when food unavailable
CONTRAINDICATIONS / AGGRAVATES / IS AGGRAVATED BY*'Bitter' may aggravate, or be aggravated by, these symptoms and causes below.
Blood and CirculationAnemia, Cold extremities, Cold to touch, Easily cold, Enlarged Spleen, Heart Palpitations, Hepatitis (Past/Current), High Blood Sugar, Hypoglycemic, Iron deficiency, Irregular heartbeat, Jaundice, Liver Degeneration, Liver Sore, Liver spots numerous, Portal Hypertension, Prolonged bleeding when cut (Poor clotting), Thalassemia Minor, Yellow eyes / sclera, Yellow tongue coating, Yellowish skin
Disordered EatingDrinking coffee to replace food, Eating vegetables to suppress hunger, Fasting during daytime hours / bingeing at night, Omitting Food Groups, Pretend Eating / Playing with Food
Mind Stress SleepAt odds with church / religion, At odds with family, At odds with local community, At odds with nationality / culture, Bored easily, Burning sense of shame, Difficulty trusting others, Dizzy / Light-headed, Frequent Stress, Illegal Drugs (marijuana, cocaine, etc), Jealous / envious, Judgmental, Lacking love/affection, Overwhelmed by responsibilities, Past emotional trauma, Relationship issues, Self Mutilation, Tobacco Cigarette Smoker (Current), Tobacco Cigarette Smoker (Past), Vengeful / spiteful
Reproductive HealthSmall breasts
Respiratory HealthAir Pollution Exposure (Current)
Weight LossAshamed of weight, Avoid social events due to appearance, Body dysmorphia / Distorted self-image, Chewing and spitting food, Dissatisfied with appearance / shape, Fasting to lose weight, Feel judged for my weight, Feel underweight, Hyperthyroid, Lose weight easily, Rebel against food limitations, Recent weight loss, Self-loathing, Sunken chest, ribs showing
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.
Get Ayurveda's approach to food cravings & emotional eating for balanced weight and health.