For Jovial King, making moonshine is a passion. But it’s not the moonshine you’re thinking of. Her Burlington, Vermont, Urban Moonshine, produces organic products that are used to used to aid digestion, relieve bloating, upset stomach and occasional nausea and heartburn, as well as to support liver function and healthy skin.

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“My inspiration was to make herbal medicine more accessible to people who don’t have their own herb gardens or an understanding of herbal medicine,” explains the King. “We have created a beautiful everyday apothecary of certified organic herbal formulas that are safe, effective and have the spirit of well-being steeped in every bottle.”

Why Bitters?

Many people credit Urban Moonshine’s bitters to helping them control their sweet cravings and gain control of their caloric intake, helping them lose weight. “When we taste something bitter it creates a healthy mind-gut connection and turns on our digestive juices, creating more efficient digestion,” explains King. The bitter flavor has been removed from our diet and has therefore hindered our ability to control our appetite. “The root of good health is great digestion and the bitter flavor is key in sparking our digestive fire and creating a positive relationship with food. The bitters truly change your relationship to food, regulate your appetite and shift your desire for sweet.”

How and Why It Works

The definition of a bitter is something that tastes bitter in flavor; dandelion, gentian, coffee, dark chocolate and greens are classic bitters. Many traditional cultures around the world believe that it is important to have all five flavors within the diet, and that each flavor has a specific effect on the body. “As human beings, we evolved eating tons and tons of bitters – bitters greens, bitter roots, bitter barks. The majority of food growing in the wild has an element of bitterness to it,” explains King.

But fast forward to modern times, she points out, with a diet comprised mostly of sweet, salty and processed food. “We have a severe lack of bitterness but our bodies are built for bitter flavors. Bitter engages and excites the digestive system, and challenges the body, alerting it through taste that a complex food is being ingested, more complex than heavily processed food.

We love King’s explanation, which sums it up perfectly: “Bitters are like the gym for the digestive system, they help to keep it toned. Our brilliant tongue is like the doorbell to the digestive system, and when we taste something bitter it rings that doorbell, ‘Ding-dong! Time to eat, time to wake up, time to digest!’ All the digestive organs get ‘turned on’— excited. They start to secrete digestive juices in preparation for the incoming food!”

Urban Moonshine is available in original, citrus, maple, and chamomile in a travel spray – $7.99, dropper bottle – $15.99, and apothecary bottle – $41.99. Find out more at UrbanMoonshine.com.


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