We did indeed make a change to this formula back in 2014. To get market approval from Health Canada for this product, we needed to modify the formula slightly. Originally, the formula included the following herbs: globe artichoke, dandelion, gentian, sweet fennel, chamomile, turmeric, burdock root, black walnut, cardamom, ginger, and American calamus.
The new and current formula includes the following herbs: globe artichoke, dandelion, gentian, chamomile, turmeric, burdock root, black walnut, cardamom, and ginger.
In summary, in this current formula, we increased the gentian ingredient slightly, which has resulted in a more bitter taste. Also, sweet fennel and calamus were removed because the cautions Health Canada required for these ingredients included, “Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond 2 weeks” and “for occasional use only,” respectively. The increase in gentian and removal of sweet fennel and calamus made for a cascading effect and provoked other slight adjustments in the formula. The amounts of turmeric, cardamom, burdock, and ginger were all increased slightly.
Essentially, this change in formula was made necessary because Canadian Bitters is a product that many people use continually to aid digestion and we needed to eliminate herbs that, although safe, could not, by order of Health Canada, be used long-term. So, yes, the taste is a bit different, but, in our view, the effectiveness of the formula is the same as that of the original.