Food, Health, Ancestral Nutrition, Ketogenic Diet and Herbal Medicine
Phototherapy, Light and Health – All Posts
Increasingly the health benefits of light are being appreciated and verified in the scientific literature. Whilst many people know that ultraviolet produces vitamin D in the skin, few realise that for much of the day and most of the year the sunlight contains too little UVB to make vitamin D. Recent research shows that ultraviolet light also releases nitric oxide and reduces blood pressure. The harmful effects of ultraviolet light are mitigated by certain foods that protect the skin. Finally, visible light, and especially red light is proving to have remarkable healing effects on the skin, hair, muscles, brain and eyes.
Cocktail bitters like Angostura and Peychaud’s have pedigrees going back to the 1830’s. Looking like something out of a victorian apothecary these intriguing botanical preparations may indeed have medicinal properties deeper than anyone thought.
In traditional herbal medicine bitter herbs were considered aids to digestion through stimulation of bile and digestive juices. Taken fifteen minutes before a meal they were used to increase appetite – the concept behind the idea of the aperitif – or after a meal as a digestive, but they are also thought to stimulate and ‘detoxify’ the liver, and generally are considered a ‘tonic’ to revivify the blood and to ‘enhance the vigour’ of the digestive system. Such vague and ill-defined terminology has led to these claims being largely dismissed. However, recent research is not only confirming the health value of bitter tasting substances but discovering that they have important physiological effects throughout the body.
The story of herbal bitters just took a fascinating turn that is proving to be sweeter than anyone might have imagined …