Basically, a bitter herb is any herb that has a bitter taste. Some herbs we might not usually consider to be bitter are also frequently categorized among these herbs. One example is mint, which can taste bitter when heated. Some of the bitter herbs are angelica (Angelica archangelica), chamomile, dandelion, goldenseal, horehound, hyssop, milk thistle, rue, tansy, wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), and yarrow. The bitterness level ranges from mild (yarrow) to the extremely bitter rue and wormwood.
The taste receptors for bitterness are located at the back of the tongue. When these receptors are stimulated, several physiological responses occur in the body. These include the stimulation of appetite, digestive juices, endocrine glands, gallbladder, and peristalsis. Some of these herbs are very powerful and can also change the blood sugar balance. The bodily responses are also true for bitter foods other than herbs. Bitters are known to cause adverse reactions if taken in combination with drugs such as sedatives, antidepressants, and tetracycline antibiotics.
Bitter herbs are frequently used either singly or in combinations to make teas, liqueurs, and spirits.
Fresh Chamomile Herb Tea
2 tablespoons fresh chamomile flowers
apple, thinly sliced
2 cups boiling water
Rinse the flowers with cool water. Put the apple slices into a pot and mash them with a wooden spoon. Add the chamomile flowers to the pot and pour in the boiling water. Cover and steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain the tea into two cups. Add honey to taste.