Note that this sale has expired; we’re leaving the post up so that the information about these Spagyrics is available. To see what’s currently on sale, click here.

This sale started as a simple bitters-for-Spring idea, but it quickly blossomed into much more. Doing inventory before breakfast is like shopping on an empty stomach- everything looks delicious!

Click here to go right to our sale page, or here for the first part of this sale- sweet, sour and salty herbs. Or, read on for bitter and pungent herbs.

Bitter is the taste I started out with when coming up with this sale, and this time of year, Nature gives us many fresh bitter greens to meet our seasonal need for renewal. Bitters stimulate digestion, liver function, and gentle detoxification, and connect to uplifting and energizing energies in body and mind. We encourage the eating of bitters all year long, and if you need an extra kick, try some Spagyrics of bitter herbs!

If you’re familiar with Chamomile as a mild bedtime tea, you may not think of it as a bitter, especially if you add honey to that tea, as I do. But, extracted fully as in our Spagyric Essence, Chamomile is a good bitter herb and tonic with excellent tonic properties for digestion and the nervous system.

Unlike many bitters, Chamomile is relaxing and anti-spasmodic, so it relates to digestive function through its bitter signature, but in a way that is useful when the dysfunction is crampy or tight. Colicky babies are the classic “target audience” for Chamomile’s effects, but it’s also helpful for IBS, diarrhea, stressed-out digestion, and any digestive imbalance that is related to mental tension.

On the other end of the spectrum from mild Chamomile, we find Kutki, an Ayurvedic herb which is by far the most bitter plant we work with (and that’s saying something!). Its bitterness fires up digestive movement and power, but Kutki also has a deeper reparative effect on liver tissues, and is very balancing to the metabolism.

Because liver function is linked to so many other systems, we have heard good reports of our Kutki Spiritualized Essence being helpful for allergies and other inflammatory states.

Also quite strong in taste and effect, Wormwood is the herbal base of the notorious drink Absinthe. One of many kinds of classic bitter liqueurs, Absinthe is infamous as the mind-altering drink of artists such as Van Gogh and Monet. In large doses, and in the low-quality drinks that were made in its heyday, Absinthe can be a wild ride. As an Alchymical Initiatic, Wormwood is a very useful bitter that acts on the mind and emotions as much as the body.

Oscar Wilde, a lover of the drink, put it this way:

“After the first glass you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”

This observation is amusing, but it also hints at Wormwood’s traditional magical properties- it helps us face realities that are unpleasant but which must be accepted, the “bitter truth” of life. For some of us, that may mean a clearing of illusions and delusions, but for the creative soul, our Wormwood Initiatic can be a great support for seeing the real with renewed artistic insight.

Our final taste is found in the more adventurous culinary traditions of the world, admirers of pungent spice as found in Thai, Indian, Mexican, and other cuisines. We work with many food spices as Spagyrics, but the pungent herbs we’re reaching for in this changing weather are not usually used in cooking.

Osha is a famous root from the Southwest US, where it was discovered by First Nations people who observed bears using it to heal themselves in cold weather. When we wildcrafted Osha in New Mexico, we were followed by fat little partridges, who gobbled up every scrap of it we dropped for them. They must have been quite warm, since the small bits we ate had us sweating in October at 10,000 feet!

Our Osha Essence has that same warming property, and a good dose of it when you’re coming down with something almost seems to burn through your system, seeking out and destroying the invaders. It also thins mucus and opens the airways, moving out congestion and infection.

Osha is one of the few truly anti-viral herbs, and it is also very active against fungus and bacteria, and so we reach for it at the first sign of trouble, without needing to know exactly what we’re dealing with, just that Osha will get us back into vibrant health again.

From the desert west into the Pacific Northwest, we move from Osha into Wild Ginger territory. A weird and beautiful flower of the rainforest duff, Wild Ginger is not related to culinary Ginger, but it tastes very similar.

Peppery and warming, Wild Ginger stimulates flow- of sweat, saliva, urine, and even tears. If an imbalance has you dry or bogged down and congested, our Wild Ginger Essence will get everything moving again so that your body’s own liquid lymph-based defenses can do their job.

Our final herb is the culmination of all these tastes, and the one healing plant that we know of that carries all five flavours- Schizandra. Known as “wu wei zi”, which means “five flavours fruit”, Schizandra is the quintessence of all the flavours and elemental energies they carry.

An adaptogen and rejuvenative, Schizandra has a special affinity for the adrenal glands, balancing them so that real energy and vitality is built, but not in a depleting way. Its balanced nature makes it a Shen tonic even as it energizes; every action it has is perfectly balanced by another action, and it is said to act with equal power on all meridians, levels, and systems.

Our Schizandra Essence is a great pick-me-up during depleted times, and it is popular with athletes and people with physically demanding jobs.

As a Spiritualized Essence, Schizandra moves into a higher expression of tonic energy, supporting the immune system, as well as sexual energy and function in men and women.

We hope this tour of Spagyrics for the five tastes has been interesting and informative for you- and that you will incorporate some of these flavours in your health care. As concentrated and full-spectrum extracts, Spagyrics carry the tastes of herbs to our systems as the first, introductory energies for building a healing relationship, and we’re happy to share them with you!

There’s more to our tastes sale in part one with sweet, sour, and salty- click here to read more!