We deal in herbs. And yeah, they’re not always the best-tasting things in the world.
That’s an understatement when we’ve made people throw up at times!
Take, for instance, this comment about our popular Cistanche extract.
“The cistanche is unbearable to take. I tried, like the video, to scoop it in and wash it down, was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten. I tried mixing half a teaspoon in my tea… still so difficult to drink, and gagging the whole time. Any advice?”
I’ll start by mentioning some benefits to tasting your herbs, as covered in this article on the five elements and five tastes.
But there is a reason we’ve become a capsule culture, even if that isn’t always the best option!
It is helpful to know that your taste buds are malleable. Some customers, while hating the bitterness of Tongkat, for example, when they started out, even crave it over time. Just know that you may become an herb person in time, even laughing at other people’s experiences in tasting herbs. ;)
Still, if it’s unbearable, you won’t get there anytime soon. So what can you do about it?
Clever Ways to Mask Bitterness: Enjoy the Benefits of Unbearable-Tasting Herbs
There are ways to cut and mask the flavor somewhat. Nothing is perfect, but you may find something that works with experimentation.
Sweet and sour are good tastes that help cut or mask the bitter, pungent, and sometimes acrid flavors.
This can be done with juice. Many of our customers report using one or more of the following, from sweet to more tart.
- Apple juice
- Orange juice
- Grapefruit juice
- Cranberry juice
You’ll need to figure out what volumes work best for you. Are you better off taking a half teaspoon in a shot of juice? Or are you better off taking a half teaspoon in a 16 oz. glass?
In the former, you’ll get it down quickly, like a shot of alcohol. The taste will be diffused but still not great in the latter, and you’ll have a lot to chug down.
This same idea can be used with herbs themselves. For our “worse” tasting herbs such as Cistanche, Hercules Formula, Phoenix, Thor’s Hammer, Shilajit, etc. I like to mix these with some of our sweet and sour herbs, such as:
These not only help with the flavor but provide benefits of their own.
For instance, Beet is one of the best things for nitric oxide production, which will be helpful for working out or sex, so it pairs well with Hercules or Thor’s Hammer, respectively. It tastes better and works better. Double win!
This brings us to the following option: blend up a smoothie. All the same, factors are in play here. You may have many possible ingredients that can help to mask or cut the taste. However, be warned that sometimes an herb or several can make a smoothie undrinkable. Start on the smaller dose side because you can always add more.
As mentioned above, you may use more normal ingredients like fruits, juices, or herbs. Some other options here include honey, nut butter, and the like.
Here you may want to look at what flavors go well with either other instead of just masking or cutting. For instance, Reishi and cacao are a classic combo.
Experiment and find what works for you.
And in the end, if you genuinely find the taste unbearable, the good news is there’s a wide variety of other herbs that may help you get the benefits you want that perhaps you can bear.
If you’d like to dive deeper, here are a few more articles that extend these ideas and include specific recipes: