Chinese Bitters

Chinese Bitters are known to effectively restore liver and gall bladder health and provide a cure for several female-specific problems. Read our guide for more facts and information about this amazing liver cleanser…

The Chinese have been using herbs to treat health disorders for several millennia. They attribute the cleansing effect of herbs to the ability to eliminate toxins and body heat, i.e. inflammation and swelling. Herbs are used alone or combined to create herbal formulas depending on the diagnosis. Chinese Bitters have been widely recommended for detoxifying the liver and gall bladder.

Herbs used in Chinese Bitters

The two main herbal ingredients in Chinese Bitters are Chinese Gentian Root and Bupleurum Root. Another herb called Coptides or Huang Lian may also be added to enhance the properties of the formulation.

Gentian, the primary ingredient, is also called Long Dan Cao, Bitterwort or Gentianae Radix. Apart from decongesting the liver and gall bladder, Gentian treats digestive disorders, hypertension and menstruation issues. Gentian has antiseptic properties and can be applied on wounds.
Bupleurum, which means “Twigs of the Barbarians,” is also called Chai Hu or Bupleuri Radix. It cleanses the liver, boosts immunity, treats flu and cures menstruation issues.

Chinese bitters for liver health

A weak liver can be the underlying cause for several chronic health issues. Symptoms of a stressed liver are painful joints and muscles, sleep disorders, constant fatigue, palpitations, eyesight issues, allergies, skin problems and thyroid issues, among others. Additionally, the liver is emotion-sensitive, meaning that emotionally sensitive people are more vulnerable to liver weakness, despite a proper diet. A weak liver hinders nutrient absorption.

While hepatitis or liver inflammation results in high liver-enzyme levels in the blood, liver congestion does show in the blood. Hence, it is hard to diagnose liver congestion or stagnation from clinical tests that rely on blood-enzyme levels to assess the liver condition. The Chinese Gentian present in Chinese Bitters has been used over the past several millennia to treat acute hepatitis, jaundice and other liver disorders. It has also been used to treat acute conjunctivitis, acute tonsillitis, rheumatism and general debility.

Dosage of Chinese Bitters for liver treatment

The effective dosage of Chinese bitters is half to one teaspoonful taken once a day about 30 minutes before breakfast. The two herbal ingredients of Chinese Bitters are known to aid in the circulation of “Liver Qi” and eliminate heat and damp from both the liver and gall bladder.
According to Chinese medicine, the presence of gallstones results in sluggish energy flow along the meridians, causing a tight feeling. Gallstones contribute to spleen weakness. Undergoing a liver or gallbladder flush to eliminate gallstones can help make the most of the Chinese Bitters treatment. This is because a loaded gall bladder may cause liver problems to recur. It is also advisable to avoid liver-congesting foods including spicy foods, roasted nuts and deep-fried items. Any other medications should be taken separately with other meals and not with the meal reserved for taking Chinese Bitters.


Chinese bitters can be used in four different forms, namely whole herbs, tincture, powder and capsules. Whole herbs must be boiled for 30 minutes and strained before using. The tincture form is extracted with alcohol, while the powder form is extracted with water. Water extraction is preferred over alcohol extraction because alcohol is said to create heat in the liver. The capsule form is widely sought, as the user can avoid the bitter taste of consuming herbs directly.

Additional healing benefits of Chinese bitters

Apart from the liver cleansing ability, the Chinese Bitters formula is known to address arthritic joint pain and digestive disorders. Traditionally, it has also been used to cure female-specific disorders, such as menstrual cramps, irregular menstrual cycles, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and hot flashes. In fact, it can solve fertility issues by regulating the menstrual cycle.

An important point to remember is that the Chinese Bitters formula can address other health issues only if they are caused by “Liver Qi” stagnation. For instance, infertility caused by other issues, such as blood deficiency may not be cured by the formula.


As Gentian stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, Chinese Bitters is not advisable for people having stomach ulcer. Another caution is that Gentian is anti-hypertensive, meaning that it must not be taken with anti-hypertension prescriptions or medications. Chinese Bitters should not be used by pregnant and lactating women. Women who have benefitted from Chinese bitters to regulate their menstrual cycle and attain pregnancy should discontinue the formula after pregnancy begins.

Headaches are said to be a common side effect and can be addressed by reducing the dosage. For example, the dosage can be reduced to about 1/8 teaspoon and gradually increased to the normal level. It is important to avoid intake of Chinese Bitters for prolonged durations because detoxification strains the liver and can overload bodily systems. It is best to take a one-week break each month.


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