The seeds sowed in this garden carry a rather enchanting and healing bitterness that alchemizes stagnation with their transformative flow of how they simply…grow.

Welcome, welcome to the Garden of Bitters, a destination where bitterness feels at home; where the bitter is invited to grow wild. The seeds sowed in this garden carry a rather enchanting and healing bitterness that alchemizes stagnation with their transformative flow of how they simply…grow. Now, round the garden hedge we go to meet the teller of fortunes at the gates who takes the form of a feathered friend. They spend their days and nights here orchestrating the energy between many worlds. Let us knock and see if we are welcomed by the teller to awaken and channel in the garden’s plant spirits (magical door knock sound)… “yes, greetings guided ones, looks like you have found our guardian of this garden, how wonderful and pleasing that is, and so yes, we welcome you to experience what our botanical bitter allies have to share with you here, please, proceed.”

Passing through the Garden of Bitters’ gates we are greeted by some rather enchanting aromatics, many of these plants like wormwood, hops, epazote, lavender, catnip, chamomile, and horehound are most familiar with aiding in stimulation to guide one’s flow, they invite you to take a bite to experience how they can activate bitter receptors. Oh…how they grow more in delight when they are asked to be of service. There are so many others to meet, who will you be guided to?

After that invited bitter botanical bite is there a sensation that now helps us surrender to a calmness that soothes the bitter into a different experience? After all, many botanical aromatics are also nervines that can shift our emotional states. Inviting the energies of plant allies into our vessels can conjure together parts of self back into fulfillment; back to ourselves. An age-old ritual union that alchemizes bitterness into action, so that it may shift into another shape and space besides the harbor and safety of your inner self. Our bitter plant allies can help us process out accumulated energy that is not needed that can create an unbalance while also welcoming in the absorption of what is needed.

Picture of chamomile with the gardener's hand touching a few blossoms.

Oh…my apologies, please excuse the bindweed vines, they like to tangle themselves into places they might not be welcomed, just unwind them if they happen to weave their wretchedness around you; they are sometimes known for blocking one’s path as they seemingly grow right before them. 

Okay, okay…back on track, and with the help of the winds let us follow the leaves as they point us towards some of our less aromatic plant friends that can help us craft up an even more powerful potion. Those green ones can be found growing past that portal of nightshades where time becomes bent, a slip into the ethers. We are now on a path to seek out roots to invite into a bitters potion; a wise way to go.

Burdock roots with Epazote roots on the side.

Well, look where we found ourselves in the weeds and with the roots. What a fine place to be. These botanical beings tend to thrive in a space guided by hands unseen making them most potent in their offerings of sacrifice, they go by many names but are commonly known as dandelionburdock rootartichoke (leaf)yellow dock root, and milk thistle (seed). Their stories are quite ancient like all of the plant spirits that dwell here in harmony with the earthly, cosmic, and mystical creatures. Ahhhhhh…I don’t know about you my friends but this walk in the Garden of Bitters is really stimulating my spirit to craft up a seasonal bitters formula to enjoy.

Wild Thistle.

Bitter herbs along with some selected liver allies help stimulate digestion that is idle or stagnant by helping generate and release beneficial digestive juices like mucus, bile, acids, and enzymes guiding a good flow while stimulating appetite and contractions within our digestive tract that help guide food and beverage from one phase of digestion to the next.

As we move into the colder season and welcome in more dense foods and beverages while also spending more time indoors, having some bitter herbal allies makes for a more balanced eating experience and might just help speak to the bitterness within that may need a friend to feel so that it may release and not store into stagnation.

Italian Heirloom Arugula that re-seeds.

There are many ways to enjoy bitters, we can use them fresh in our meals (salad greens like arugula, chicory, and radicchio are great bitter friends), infuse them into hot water, or by crafting up some herbal bitters that can be enjoyed by themselves or crafted into other beverages of choice like aperitifs. Aperitifs carry a lower alcohol percentage than cocktails and aid in digestion when taken before a meal. You could even make non-alcoholic aperitifs that are delicious!

Those with drier constitutions should be mindful that bitters can be drying and that you may need proper hydration to support your digestion rather than bitters. However, this is also why I recommend including bitters in their whole form as a part of our meal. I tend to turn to my bitters bottle as a reset when I have consumed too much food and/or drink.

To continue on this path we invite you to check out our Basic Bitters Blending Guide that also has one of my favorite bitters recipes that people always ask if I still make.

Below is a Basic Bitters Blending Guide.

Get a Jar (freshly sterilized)

Fill your jar with about 20 – 50 percent of well chopped bitter botanicals like artichoke leaf, burdock root, citrus peel, dandelion root and leaf, horehound, catnip, chamomile, parsley, and so many others.

Now sprinkle in some freshly ground aromatics like lavender, coffee, cacao beans, cardamom, fennel seeds, anise, and/or cinnamon. This is your opportunity to get creative with flavors and energetic pairings!

Here’s one of my favorite blends that lots of people enjoyed:
Sunshine Bitters Blend by Guided Botanicals

Lots of Meyer lemon peels, this is the main botanical ingredient in this blend
(include some juice & pulp and make sure to leave the pith on your peels, this helps boost the bitterness of this blend)

Artichoke leaf sprinkled in (you can substitute with another bitter green)

Bay leaves (just a few)

Cardamom, enough to your liking in comparison to the amount of bitters you are making

Organic vodka (this alcohol selection allows the flavors to shine, you could also experiment with natural white wines)

You could use glycerin or vinegar for a non-alcoholic blend but those options will change the flavor of the original blend.

Let sit for about a month. Strain. Bottle. Label. Share. Enjoy!

Friendly tip: It is suggested to take your bitters about 20-30 minutes before a meal to allow them enough time to work their magic which will also support the absorption of nutrients from your meal.

Guided Botanicals content is for educational purposes only. This website is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical conditions. We always invite you to do your own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.