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Plant Based, Year-Round Health

How To Support Digestion This Holiday Season

St. Francis Herb Farm Logo
by St. Francis



Hot Drinks! Cocktails! Good food! We hope this month of December, you get to share all these things with those loved ones that matter most. #30YearsHealthy 

Our Canadian Bitters has helped many people balance their gut health and, during the holidays, that can be more challenging than other times of the year. We are looking for your best recipes this holiday season that includes our #canadianbitters - hot, cold, with ice, and without ice - with alcohol (Please remember to enjoy responsibly) and without alcohol.  

The holiday season is just around the corner and has many of us excited for some family time, cozy evenings by the fireplace, Christmas tree ornaments and wreaths hung by the door, eggnog, and of course, the many festive feasts shared with those we love. So much of this special time of year centres around the dinner table. Which is why you shouldn’t let poor digestion interfere with the holiday spirit! After all, there's no better time or place to indulge in that extra piece of fudge. If you're concerned about maintaining your healthy habits throughout the holidays, we have just what you need: digestive bitters. 

Bitters have a long history of use in herbal medicine, as bitter herbs are known to stimulate the appetite, increase gastric juices, and curb digestive disturbances like bloating, gas, indigestion, and constipation.  

Our best-selling Canadian Bitters blend combines the healing actions of globe artichoke, dandelion, gentian, chamomile, turmeric, cardamom, burdock, black walnut, and digestion-enhancing superfood ginger. The bitter taste itself has been shown to activate receptors in the mouth that trigger a cascade of reactions within the digestive tract: increasing saliva, stimulating the digestive organs, increasing digestive secretions. At the same time, improved blood circulation in the digestive system goes hand in hand with a beneficial boost to appetite. 

But Canadian Bitters offers more than just its bitter taste. In fact, each of its herbal constituents acts as a digestion-enhancing therapeutic agent. 

Globe artichoke has proven antioxidant, liver-protective, bile-enhancing and cholesterol-lowering activity 

Dandelion is helpful in treating digestive disturbances (dyspepsia) and increasing bile flow.

Gentian works as a balancing agent and is a quintessentially strong bitter, making for an excellent appetite stimulant.   

Chamomile is a herb long venerated in the Western tradition, as it relaxes and tones the nervous system while soothing the gastrointestinal tract.   

A gar full of Chamomile that spilled out on a wooden table


Turmeric, an ancient herb used for millennia across several cultures to flavour food and as a digestive stimulant, includes an active compound, curcumin, that has been described as the most powerful anti-inflammatory in nature’s plant kingdom.  

Cardamom, a favorite Ayurvedic spice, relieves gas and enhances the activity of trypsin, which relates to the digestion of protein.  

Burdock is used medicinally as a blood purifying herb, helping to stimulate the immune and detoxifying systems of the body, removing its accumulated waste through the kidneys and other organs.  

Black walnut adds a beneficial antiparasitic factor to the formula and helps eliminate unwanted microbes from the large intestines, besides being antifungal and effective against dysentery.

Ginger is a warming digestive stimulant and has superb anti-cramping and anti-inflammatory qualities, which makes it a classic, highly effective remedy against colic and any kind of stomach upset. 

Ginger roots all around a bowl of ginger powder on a wooden table

Digestive bitters can be taken before meals, mixed with some water – but this holiday season, why not add your bitters to a festive apple punch you and your guests can happily sip on? Find our tasty cocktail recipe below. To your health! 

Glass mixed drink with lime in and outside the glass on top of a wooden bar counter

Bitters-spiked Festive Apple Punch 

Serves 5-10 


  • 3 cups freshly-pressed apple cider 
  • 375 ml rye (or other whiskey) 
  • 5 ml Canadian Bitters 
  • 1.5 cups hard cider 


  1. In a large punch bowl, mix together apple cider, rye, and bitters. 
  2. Stir in hard cider just before serving. Serve on ice and enjoy! 

For more information on Canadian Bitters check out our blog on "All diseases begin in the gut" to help with your stomach issues. 

Have questions? Just visit our Great Questions Answered page to learn more or to submit a question.

Canadian Bitters


Globe artichoke


A low-growing, daisy-like annual native to Europe and Asia and known to medicine from classical antiquity, chamomile is commonly found in overgrown fields. Its name is derived from the Greek word that means "earth apple" on account of the scent of its fresh blossoms.


For all the brilliant yellow profusion of its flowers, dandelion is a perennial plant so common and hardy that it is considered a weed throughout the northern hemisphere. Nonetheless, it has impressive healing properties, and there's a good reason why its Latin name means "remedy for disease."


A large tuberous perennial with yellow blossoms and narrow green leaves that stands about a metre high, ginger has its origins in southern Asia, but can now be found in nearly all tropical and subtropical countries.

Globe artichoke

Not to be confused with Jerusalem artichoke, which is a tuber, globe artichoke is a large thistle-like perennial native to the Mediterranean region, and its leaves have been used medicinally from ancient times.

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