Apple Cider Vinegar Bitters: New England Practicality, European Wisdom By Guido Masé, November 25, 2016

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Doctor Jarvis, who studied medicine in our hometown of Burlington, Vermont, was perhaps the epitome of the New England country doctor. He worked during the first half of the 1900s, helping countless patients, visiting homes of friends and neighbors, and relying on strategies that supported and nourished – the same tonic approach we favor today. But he is perhaps best known for popularizing the use of apple cider vinegar, recommending its use for a range of complaints. We may owe the recent popularity of switchel, fire cider, shrubs and other infused vinegars to the old country doctor. His popular remedy makes sense: New England is rich in apples, and every fall, pressed and fermented into cider, he had access to endless quantities of raw, natural vinegar. Ever practical, Dr. Jarvis realized that this abundant natural product (already popular with old-time Vermonters) could provide a range of health benefits.

Some of the classic uses for apple cider vinegar include improving digestion, especially the occasional bout of heartburn, and helping to keep healthy blood sugar levels stable. This seemed to us to provide a perfect match for the traditional European digestive bitters, another classic digestive and metabolic remedy. Furthermore, since apple cider vinegar’s fermentation process converts alcohol into acetic acid, steeping the right herbs and roots in vinegar provides a way to enjoy all the benefits of bitters in a preparation made without alcohol.

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We wanted to rely on the time-honored bitter roots that serve as the foundation of our original formula, so we started with burdock and dandelion […]

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Traditions and the Importance of Bitterness at our Table By Aisling Badger, November 20, 2016

Digestive Bitters and Bitter Foods

Abundant food, merriment, drinking and celebration are upon us: the holidays.  Enter the phase of the year where it is hard to say no to the daily treat left in the office break room, or the warm comforting smell of pie in the oven, the endless family feasts and time spent with loved ones. It is a time that we look forward to all year and however you celebrate, it is safe to say that feasting, eating, drinking and desserting are at an all-time high.

The holidays are known as the season of indulgence, and we should allow ourselves to partake in the merriment of eating together, because who wants to lose out on that?

Think about how much time goes into preparing a holiday meal–the chosen company, the aesthetic, the recipes and the traditions around them, the all too common feeling of overeating, and rightfully so!  This time of year should be enjoyed and we should feel well doing it.

Great health is about balance.  Body shaming and restricting food habits can dampen our mood and make the experiences less enjoyable, but there are ways to improve our health around the holidays, and thankfully they are easy habits that support these joyous traditions.

Among the best known herbal remedies used at this time of feasting are bitters. In our current food culture we have an overwhelming load of sugar, salt […]

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Bitters: A Gentle Daily Dose by rachael keener, april 22nd, 2016

WHY SLOW AND STEADY WINS IN DETOX AND IN LIFE

If you wanted to get your body into good physical fitness, would you choose to exercise vigorously for 1-2 weeks of the year and otherwise remain inactive? If you wanted to live in a clean home, would you obsessively scour every nook and cranny for five straight days and every other 360 days let the mess pile up around you?  Unless you’re a wise-cracker, I’m going to go ahead and guess you answered “no” to those questions. It’s only common sense and, in fact, the model described above can be detrimental. 

Why, then, has our culture become so fond of the high-intensity detox cleanse? While there is certainly a place for narrowing in on specific dietary and lifestyle habits for a short period of time as, say, a gentle Spring cleaning or for particular health-related reasons, our focus on extreme cleanses is in general both misguided and ineffectual. 

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If you’re looking to improve your health and feel better in your body, the real key is in making more subtle long-term shifts. Mohamed Ali is quoted as saying, “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you down, it’s the pebble in your shoe”. So, let’s take a look at that pebble in your shoe; for addressing that is where you will find sustained change in your life and in your health. And you’ll feel a marked difference once you do. 

An extreme cleanse could get you to the top of the mountain, but you may very well be hurting once you arrive and it’s […]

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Bitter Plant Profiles: Dandelion + Burdock By Rachael Keener, April 18th, 2015

DANDELION

dandelionIf Urban Moonshine had to pick a mascot, it would probably be the dandelion. An iconic weed, dandelions are brilliant despite their sometimes unfair wrap. Their bright yellow flowers gush of spring’s arrival; their wide-ranging habitat—from lush meadow to sidewalk cracks—signals resilience and ingenuity. In bloom, dandelion is a pollen source for bees and throughout its life cycle, dandelion’s resourceful taproot brings vital nutrients to the soil’s surface. From leaf-to-flower-to-root, every part of this powerhouse plant is edible.  

Dandelion root is an iconic bitter traditionally used to support liver health and clear skin.  It can be simmered as a tea, tinctured, added to soups or broths, or eaten raw.  The leaf is known for being rich in vitamins and minerals and supporting urinary health, though it is also bitter in and of itself.  Harvest it young to add to soups and salads. The greens make for a wonderful spring tonic. The yellow “petals” can be pluck from the head of the dandelion and sprinkled over salads, battered and turned into fritters, or brewed into an old-time recipe of dandelion wine. When harvesting dandelion, be sure it’s in an unsprayed area, is located at least 20 feet away from the road, and isn’t trail-side in a dog park (ie hasn’t likely been peed on by a dog!). Dandelion root and leaf are in all of our digestive bitters and are available as a single extract as well.

BURDOCK

burdockIf you’ve ever tried pulling burdock from your backyard, you know that nothing rivals the vigor of this deep […]

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