Oct 122007

Most of us know bitters stimulate the digestion, speeding along some gastric juiciness to assist in the breaking down food process. We also know that the Artemisias are among the very bitterest plants commonly available. Bitter, cooling and protective to the liver and gut in general.

So why then do so many of suffer through what’s commonly called Travel Belly? That evil, constipated green in the face kind of malaise that plagues travelers, especially those tense from airplanes, fast cars and other unnatural circumstances. I don’t know how many times guests have asked me for laxatives or something to just help things get moving. But then they don’t really want laxatives because lord only knows when it’s going to take effect. The simple answer for many people lies in the sweet simplicity of a good bitters formula. Gets the process going, without overstimulating peristalsis. And Mugwort specifically, is excellent for decongesting a backed up, nervous liver that just sits and twitches rather than flowing with enzymes and bile. It’ll help get rid of that frontal headache and pukey feeling you’ve had for two days, and if you take it before and after meals it’ll also help move the food right along.

As a side benefit, the Artemisias are also great at taking care of weird stomach bugs, diarrhea and the discomfort caused by unfamiliar water bacteria. I always always carry a bottle of Western Mugwort tincture with me whenever I leave the Canyon, it keeps my oversensitive belly from becoming a dysfunctional basketcase.

Start with a third of a dropperful before meals and bed and work you way up or down from there. Better to take small doses frequently than large doses less often.

And I dunno, I kind of LIKE the taste.