Bitters, Choline, and Gall Bladder Function
Eat your bitters first: In France, as my grandmother taught me as a child (she was 100% French,) you are always served your bitter foods first (like endive in salad which I hated as a child.) That is because bitter tastes stimulate the gall bladder to release bile, which is necessary to digest the fat within the main course foods. I’ve noticed that this is beneficial to all blood types, but most especially Blood Type A and people over the age of 40. As we age, we produce less digestive juice of all kinds so foods are just harder to process. Eating bitters first is important.
What happens when the gallbladder is sick? We experience signs such as:
- Anorexia or bulimia
- Chest pain
- Enlarged abdomen
- Gas and indigestion
- Intestinal pain
- Loose bowels
- Nausea even at the thought of eating high fat foods
- Pain on the right side of the lower rib cage
- Pain under the right scapula (shoulder blade)
- Skipping heart beat
In veterinary school, they taught us that the gallbladder is known as the “great masquerader” as when something is wrong with it, there is such a wide variety of symptoms.
Supplements you can take to stimulate the release of bile include Angostura Bitters (you can get this at the liquor store because it is an ingredient of bar drinks) and Choline.
I like choline because it makes the bile more liquefied so that it passes easier through the bile duct (which is really small and can get irritated and blocked, thus causing gall bladder “attacks.”) It also helps with brain function and helps prevent “brain fog.” Choline bitartrate, choline inositol are both good, but I use Standard Process brand of choline.
Gall bladder first, Knee replacement next?
Another fascinating tidbit of information is that the gallbladder energy meridian runs down the back of the knee. The gallbladder is the first organ to show signs of trouble on this meridian. If you don’t it fixed, many people end up having their gall bladder removed, but that doesn’t fix the energy disruption at all. Then, twenty years later, the knees get so bad that often a knee replacement is in order. My theory is that if you can keep your gallbladder healthy, you will never need a knee replacement. Eating bitters will assist in keeping the gallbladder healthy!
Enjoy the bitters… Bon Appétit!