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My Daily Digestive Bitters (DDB) Formula

 
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My Daily Digestive Bitters (DDB) Formula
https://southernappalachianherbs.blogspot.com/2020/09/my-daily-digestive-bitters-ddb-formula.html

Here is my DDB:  Before each meal, I have a small sip (half a shot glass or so) of these pretty, orange colored bitters.  




This regimen has improved my digestion, allergies, asthma and helps me better enjoy meals.  The inspiration for these Bitters is Angostura, but I wanted Bitters that were more potent medicinally and far less sweet.  They are still nice in a cocktail though, and just a few drops really perks up a glass of iced tea.

The formula is:

1/2 ounce ground Gentian Root

1/2 ounce ground Oregon Grape Root

The peel of 3 Mandarin Oranges

1 Cinnamon Stick

1 Star Anise

4-6 Cloves

1 chunk of Ginger

1 bottle vodka

Put your herbs and spices in a large jar, pour the vodka over.  Store in a dark cabinet and shake daily.  

I let the herbs and spices steep in the vodka until the citrus peels sank to the bottom and turned dull in color - 3-4 weeks.

These Bitters are not sweet, but the spices and citrus mellows the sharpness of the bitterness.  I've become very fond of them.  Before I began taking these bitters, I would have an asthma attack after most meals, indigestion and gas pains.  Sometimes, I would take one bite of food and it wouldn't go down... I would end up running to the bathroom and throwing up!  That is NOT FUN.  That has not happened since I began using the Bitters.  A small sip of these Bitters made my life much better.   They also enhance my sense of taste and make meals more enjoyable.  

ENJOY!
 
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Hey - this looks good

Have you compared the effect of steeping oregon grape bark vs. root? Are the active ingredients somewhat less, or very much less concentrated in the bark? I would love to make a tincture but would prefer to keep our bushes alive as we don't have that many.

Thank you.

 
Judson Carroll
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Crt Jakhel wrote:Hey - this looks good

Have you compared the effect of steeping oregon grape bark vs. root? Are the active ingredients somewhat less, or very much less concentrated in the bark? I would love to make a tincture but would prefer to keep our bushes alive as we don't have that many.

Thank you.



No, but I think that is a good idea - let me know how it goes!
 
Crt Jakhel
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Here's an unexpected answer to the dilemma:

"Out of curiosity, I tested the berberine content (an alkaloid that has potent medicinal properties) on both the dwarf Oregon grape root and the tall Oregon grape stem bark with thin layer chromatography. The stem was slightly higher in berberine. Needless to say, I have never gone back to digging the roots!"

http://wildfoodsandmedicines.com/oregon-grape/

There is still the chance that this varies significantly between growing sites and individual plants, but I'll give it a try with stems.

It is probably a good idea to also explore how this would work with the common barberry often used decoratively or as a living fence since we're looking for the alkaloid berberine and barberry is, well, berberis vulgaris. The entire berberis vulgaris is biochemically active - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5478785/

EDIT: the entire berberis *family*, not just berberis vulgaris
 
Judson Carroll
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Crt Jakhel wrote:Here's an unexpected answer to the dilemma:

"Out of curiosity, I tested the berberine content (an alkaloid that has potent medicinal properties) on both the dwarf Oregon grape root and the tall Oregon grape stem bark with thin layer chromatography. The stem was slightly higher in berberine. Needless to say, I have never gone back to digging the roots!"

http://wildfoodsandmedicines.com/oregon-grape/

There is still the chance that this varies significantly between growing sites and individual plants, but I'll give it a try with stems.

It is probably a good idea to also explore how this would work with the common barberry often used decoratively or as a living fence since we're looking for the alkaloid berberine and barberry is, well, berberis vulgaris. The entire berberis vulgaris is biochemically active - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5478785/



That is great info - thanks!
 
Crt Jakhel
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Hey -- it so happened that I had to move some fully grown bushes to make more room for bees.

Since the bushes were grown, so were the roots so the only option was to cut them - followed by an equally brutal pruning up top.  This created a large amount of surplus oregon grape branches so I thought this was the ideal opportunity to see how much difference there is between theory and practice.

So I go ready with some pear brandy (we have a large pear tree) and a plain old potato peeler.

Peeling the branches revealed a good strong yellow color which was spread from the shavings into the alcohol immediately after being dunked in.

I was not sure as to the relative amount of shavings vs. brandy so I stopped when everything was looking golden yellow. Also, I have a sore shoulder and peeling not-really-smooth branches can be somewhat unpleasant in this situation. I've stored the remaining branches in the detached garage where it will be about 2 C overnight - just about perfect in my opinion.

When I've used up all the branches I'll let the jar stand for a couple of weeks now in a cool-ish, dark-ish place.

Judging only by the color I would say that there is no need to kill your plants -- one can definitely use branches instead of roots.









*** This procedure has been approved by the kitchen inspector ***

 
Judson Carroll
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That looks great, and I'm sure the pear brandy will give it a very nice flavor!  That yellow is a sign of plenty of berberine.  I miss the old pear tree at my grandparents' farm, not only for the fruit, jams, preserves and pear wine, but the thousands of butterflies it attracted!
 
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