A drop or two could keep those sugar cravings in check.

Reach for something bitter to curb your sweet tooth cravings.

Research has found that consuming bitter foods shuts down the receptors in our brains that drive us to desire and consume sugar. Bitter foods and plants can help slow the absorption of sugar and regulate blood sugar levels.

Bitter foods also help suppress the appetite and have a positive effect on healthy eating habits and calorie intake. This is because consuming bitter food stimulates the release of hormones like PYY and GLP-1. These hormones are responsible for controlling the appetite and keeping cravings at bay.

Therefore, bitters in general are a great weapon to control sugar cravings. Almost all bitters will work for this, as long as they contain bittering agents and not just aromatics. Common bittering agents include:

  • artichoke leaf
  • burdock root
  • dandelion root
  • citrus peel
  • licorice root
  • gentian root
  • wormwood


  • 1 oz. dried burdock root
  • 1/2 oz. dried dandelion root
  • 1 tsp. dried orange peel
  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp. juniper berries
  • 2 tsp. cardamom seeds
  • 8 oz. alcohol (recommended: 100 proof vodka)


  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a mason jar. Pour alcohol on top.
  2. Seal tightly. Store in a cool, dark place.
  3. Let the bitters infuse until the desired strength is reached, about 2–4 weeks. Shake the jars regularly (about once per day).
  4. When ready, strain the bitters through a muslin cheesecloth or coffee filter. Store the strained bitters in an airtight container at room temperature.

To use: Mix a few drops into club soda for a refreshing drink that snuffs sugar cravings as soon as they start.

Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she’s not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.