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The Bitter End: An Introduction to Bitter Herbs, Our Missing Flavor

"Herbalists believe that health and vitality begin in the digestive tract.” –Deb Soule

Bitters strengthen our bodies. They improve digestion, absorption, and elimination. Bitters help us metabolize toxins, and they make us more resilient, adaptable creatures. In the past, all peoples ate bitter foods, herbs and drink, but they have gone missing from the American diet. In their absence, we often suffer digestive and metabolic stagnation which lead to a wide range of health complications, many of them very serious. So why have they gone missing from our diets?

In this 2 hour class, Jared will introduce bitter plants and herbs that help restore our life force and our connection to the wild. We will taste bitters in various forms, discuss ways to incorporate them into cuisine, learn how to make teas, and develop a simple extract process for making digestive bitters.

Students will have opportunity to buy a superb digestive bitters formula to begin using bitters in their daily lives.

Jared Marchildon is a clinical western herbalist who trained at the Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkeley, CA. He now sees clients in private practice. Almost ten years ago, Jared suffered from chronic stomach complaints and spent a year working with a medical doctor who was unable to improve his condition. After a few weeks of self-study and dietary change he went to see an acupuncturist who prescribed a big bag of Chinese herbs that brewed into a dark, bitter and mysterious tea. Shortly, Jared’s health improved drastically and he felt great. The thought occurred to him that if roots and barks and mushrooms and leaves from China worked like this, then the plants growing right around him must have properties that he could learn and apply. This experience initiated a long exploration into the healing power of plants and food. Jared continues to study and learn from the plant allies. 

Jared also makes fermented hot sauce with aphrodisiac and adaptogenic herbs, selling them under the name SEXI SPICE. Jared courted his wife, a Little Rock native, with herbal teas and tasty, healthy dinners. They went to herbalism school together and during this time conceived a baby girl named Azulene–the blue medicinal oil found in chamomile flowers. His website is

Class $30

Bitter Formula (2oz.) $20