Principles - historical concept of the constituents of a substance, specifically those that produce a certain quality or effect in the substance, such as a bitter principlewhich is any one of the numerous compounds having a bitter taste. The idea of chemical principles developed out of the classical elements. Paracelsus identified the tria prima as principles in his approach to medicine.
Georg Ernst Stahl published Philosophical Principles of Universal Chemistry in as an early effort to distinguish between mixtures and compounds. He writes, "the simple are Principlesor the first material causes of Mixts ; Stahl recounts theories of chemical principles according to Helmont and J.
He says Helmont took Water to be the "first and only material Principle of all things. Guillaume-Francois Rouelle "attributed two functions to principles: that of forming mixts and that of being an agent or instrument of chemical principles. In his book The Sceptical Chymist ofRobert Boyle criticized the traditional understanding of the composition of materials and initiated the modern understanding of chemical elements.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Bitter principle. Camphor, like sulfur, arsenic, mercury, and ammonia, belonged to the "spirits" because it was volatile. Glass belonged among the metals because, like them, it could be melted. And since the seven known metals — gold, silver, iron, copper, tin, lead, and mercury — were characterized by their capacity to be melted, what made a metal a metal was defined by reference to the only metal that was liquid at room temperature, mercury or quicksilver.
But "common" mercury differed from the mercuric principle, which was cold and wet. Like all other metals, it involved another "principle", which was hot and dry, sulfur.
As instruments they were, unlike specific chemical reagents, "natural and general," always at work in every chemical operation. As constituent elements, they did not contradict the chemistry of displacement but transcended it: the chemist could never isolate or characterize an element as he characterized a body; an element was not isolable, for it could not be separated from a mixt without re-creating a new mixt in the process.
It is, however, pertinent to observe that bitter principles are invariably of vegetative origin and essentially comprise of C, H, and O, but are found to be free from N. Interestingly, at one point in time the bitter principles were frequently and extensively utilized in liquid medicaments to augment and stimulate appetite.
It has been established that the bitter constituent particularly stimulate the salivary glands gustatory-nerves present in the mouth and cause an enhancement in the psychic secretion of the gastric juice in the stomach. Since the past several decades the extract of the following drugs have been employed both extensively and intensively in various herbal systems of medicine, namely: calumba, cinchona or quinine gentian, quassia, nux-vomicaetc.
Over the years, considerable research has accelerated the investigation of a number of these bitter compounds possibly for other meaningful applications, for instance: the bitters i. Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook. Follow us Facebook Twitter rss email.In modern herbal medicine, bitter principles occupy a central place in herbal therapeutics beating the acrid constituents.
Most people consuming herbal medicines complain about the bitterness of the medicines prescribed. This is the only defining attribute of herbal medicine and the only feature to set it apart from other therapies. The bitter principles work by stimulating the bitter receptors of the tongue and increasing saliva secretion.
Thus, it is always advisable to taste and chew the herbs for making the most effective. The bitter principles also bring about an increase in the secretion of digestive juices, thereby increasing appetite.
They protect the tissues found in the digestive tract, boost up the bile flow and strengthens the pancreas. Their chemical composition includes a complex pattern of molecular structures.
Since they act upon the bitter receptors of the mouth, thereby producing the bitter taste in the mouth, their stimulation does not produce any electrical changes on the surface of the cell. Instead, the bitter molecules bring about intracellular biochemical changes by acting on the cell membrane receptors.
This facilitates an increase in calcium concentrates within the cell and signals the gustatory nerve. The bitter substances are mostly of terpenoid structure, especially the sesquiterpene lactones, monoterpene iridoids, and the secoiridoids.
Iridoids are responsible for the chief bitter constituents of the plant family Gentianaceae, Cichorium intybus chicorydandelion, Valeriana officinalis valerianwild lettuce Lactuca virosaand quassia bark.
Sesquiterpenes account for the bitter taste of the Artemisia plants, or wormwood genus, Cnicus benedictus blessed thistleand ginkgo biloba ginkgo. Other components that add to the bitterness are diterpene bitters, found in columbo root jateorrhiza palmitate or white horehound Mar.
Triterpenoids are the cause of bitterness for the Cucurbitaceae family of plants, which includes pumpkin, cucumber, colocynth, marrows, and the bryonies. Many alkaloids also contribute to the bitter taste as in the protoberberine isoquinoline alkaloids of goldenseal Hydrastis Canadensisand Berberis, the morphine alkaloids, the quinoline alkaloids of quinine and Angostura and the purine alkaloids in coffee. In addition to this, many miscellaneous compounds like ketones and amino-acids are responsible for the bitterness, as found in hops.
Bitters are indispensable when it comes to counter a heavy meal. Sometimes, chicory and dandelion roots are mixed with coffee beans to produce a bitter drink usually taken after meals. The drink vermouth is a good example of an appetizer that gets its name from bitter herb wormwood.
The traditional beer that is brewed with hops can also be used as a digestive remedy due to its bitter principle. Even nowadays, bartenders are faced with the inquiry of a tot of Angostura Bitters Cusparia angostura which is commonly used to shoo away a hangover.
When we go through the records of traditional plant medicine we find a reflection of this notion. With the passage of time, we have come to discover and understand some more features of bitter medicines.
It is accepted that bitters stimulate only a certain type of taste receptors. Thus, they will have no effect if they are taken in capsules or by an intragastric tube. The bitter taste buds are thus the mediators in the way of making the responses happen. This is one of the best examples of a reflex response that takes place when a small stimulus initiates a complex reaction. As soon as the bitter taste bud is stimulated, it releases the gastrointestinal hormone gastrin.
If we study the common physiological actions of the gastrin, we find a close similarity with the traditional remedies of the bitters.
We can, therefore, tally the actions of bitters with that of gastrins. Basically speaking, gastrins are beneficial in numerous ways. Researches over the years have established that it increases gastric acid and pepsin secretions, hepatic bile surge, hepatic bicarbonate production, intestinal juice production, pancreatic digestive secretions, and intrinsic factor secretion. This information will now help us to explain the role of bitters in herbal medicine.
Let us examine them one by one. Gastrin is known to be very effective in increasing appetite. It acts directly on appetite centers in the hypothalamus and indirectly through increased stomach motility.A babies will put almost anything in their mouths, even a sour lemon, without flinching. But bitter foods are quickly ejected with a grimace.
We are born with zero tolerance for bitterness, presumably because most toxins are bitter. Yet, many non-toxic, beneficial foods, as well as many types of medicine, are bitter as well. Distinguishing among good and bad sources of bitterness is an important part of growing up. Through careful experimentation, we learn which bitter foods are OK. Most Americans eventually figure out that coffee, beer and chocolate, for example, are good.
As we learn to tolerate bitterness, we learn to distinguish among its many forms. Tannin bitterness in wine is not the same as burnt toast bitterness, which is unlike the bitterness of broccoli, or a dandelion leaf. Understanding this nuance, and associating the positive effects of certain foods with their bitter tastes, often leads to aversion toward bitterness being replaced with appreciation.
My wife eats radicchio leaves like some people eat potato chips. She can annihilate three heads in a single sitting, using the maroon and white foliage to scoop up whatever is for dinner, or dipping the leaves into a bowl of dressing.
The dressing she uses is half olive oil, with the other half being equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. This understanding can be enough for some people to give bitter flavors a pass. And perhaps some people are so tuned into their bodies that they can, at some level, feel the positive impacts. But not everyone can learn to tolerate bitter, even as adults. The human genome codes for at least 30 different types of bitter taste receptors, each of which can be expressed in different densities and locations — not limited to just the tongue — in different people.
This creates a huge level of genetic variation in the human ability to perceive bitterness. We each have a unique bitter side to explore. Consumption of hoppy beers, bitter greens and dark chocolate are all on the rise, she writes, as is interest in cocktails containing bitters. And these niche products are just the beginning. McLagan believes there is a place for bitterness in almost every bite you take.
Her recipes run the gamut from simple, like roast celery, to involved, like pork chops in coffee black currant sauce. And each recipe contains a trick or concept to preparing bitter foods that can be used elsewhere.Section Bitter Principles
This diversity of bitter-laced meals is enough to lull you into the idea that bitterness is the center of the culinary universe, which for McLagan, it is. If bitterness is making a comeback, the forces of anti-bitter have never been stronger either. Depending on the nature of the offending agent, this can be a challenge.
He suggests playing with the levels of acid, salt, sweetness and fat, as well as elements of mouth feel, like texture and crunchiness, to tone down the bitterness. One can also add complexity within the bitter spectrum, taking advantage of the range and diversity of compounds that contain bitterness, he said.
You more or less average out that bitterness. Another of her bitter peeves: neutralizing it with sweetness. They elevate the flavor of the dish without diminishing its bitter tastes. Support real journalism. Support local journalism.
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Atlanta Restaurants Food.In plant-based medical systems, bitter tasting plants play a key role in managing dyspepsia. Yet when it comes to defining their mechanism of activity, herbalists and pharmacologists are split between two theories: one involves cephalic elicited vagal responses while the other comprises purely local responses. Recent studies indicate that bitters elicit a range of cephalic responses which alter postprandial gastric phase haemodynamics.
Caffeine and regular coffee Coffea arabica semenL. Following meals increased cardiac activity acts to support postprandial hyperaemia and maintain systemic blood pressure. The increased vascular tonus acts in parallel with the increased cardiac activity and in normal adults this additional pressor effect results in a reduced cardiac workload. The vascular response is a sympathetic reflex, evident after 5 minutes and dose dependent. Thus gentian and wormwood elicit cephalic responses which facilitate rather than stimulate digestive activity when postprandial hyperaemia is inadequate.
Encapsulated caffeine elicits cardiovascular responses indicating that gastrointestinal bitter receptors are functionally active in humans. However, neither encapsulated gentian nor wormwood elicited cardiovascular responses during the gastric phase. These findings provide the platform for a new evidence-based paradigm. Bitter tasting herbs, commonly referred to as bitters, are used in many cultures [ 1 — 4 ] to support upper digestive activity; yet there is no consensus regarding a mechanism by which the chemosensory stimulation of taste receptors could enhance digestion.
Results from our research group indicate that a novel mechanism is involved. Namely, some bitter tastants elicit a cephalic response increasing peripheral vascular resistance PVR [ 5 ]. During digestion, postprandial hyperaemia PPH places demands of the cardiovascular system CVS which are met by increased cardiac activity so as to prevent postprandial hypotension [ 6 — 10 ].
In the literature there are four models, two common and two minor, proposed to explain the effect of bitters on digestion. The later work of Pavlov, on the autonomic nerve system, was considered to support this model [ 12 ]. The taste is interpreted there as bitter, and causes stimuli to be forwarded through the vagus nerve to both the salivary gland and the stomach….
However, not all German pharmacologists agree [ 17 ]. In fact, generally pharmacologists are split on this issue with many agreeing [ 218 — 25 ] and many disagreeing [ 1726 — 29 ].
The latter maintain that this model is unproven [ 29 ]. This difference of opinion results from the simple fact that the bitters have not been scientifically investigated [ 26 ]. A significant reason for this absence of research is the lack of investigative tools [ 30 ] to assess the levels of digestive secretions and more particularly the content of the secretions. Additionally, even if cephalic stimulation by bitters increased the production of digestive enzymes, it is the actual presence of food that stimulates enzyme secretion [ 31 ].
Thus studies would need to include both bitters and foods, a significant procedural complication. However these claims, based on an earlier study [ 33 ], have been shown to be fallacious, as the effect on heart rate and stroke volume for bitters added to water is no different than the effect of plain water on these parameters [ 34 ].
In contrast to the notion that digestion would benefit from enhanced parasympathetic activity [ 32 ], digestion is widely considered to be a sympathetic activity [ 35 ]. It has also been argued that bitters only affect those with impaired digestion [ 2532 ] yet no mechanism is suggested by which this selection process could occur.
Also the question remains: if bitters increase digestive secretions, why do consumers of bitter aperitifs do not suffer side effects resulting from excess secretion of stomach acid, pancreatic juices, and gall? This simple model asserts that the stimulation of bitter receptors acts locally to increase digestive secretions. This is certainly true for the oropharyngeal cavity as it is well known that bitter and sour tastants increase saliva production.
Regarding the gastrointestinal tract, the discovery of bitter receptors in the gastrointestinal tract tissue [ 36 ] suggests that bitters may elicit chemosensory responses throughout the entire digestive system. The presence of functionally active gastrointestinal bitter receptors in humans has been established when it was demonstrated that encapsulated caffeine increased both arterial compliance and diastolic pressure [ 37 ]. Yet it remains to be demonstrated that sufficient receptor stimulation occurs in physiological situations, such as eating, when contact between the agonist and the receptor may be hindered by the presence of food.
Additionally there is the problem of partial agonists and antagonists [ 38 ] whether using natural or isolated substances.
The American pharmacologist Tyler suggested that for aperitifs it was the alcohol rather than the tastants which were responsible for any improvements in digestion [ 13 ]. While various alcoholic beverages do delay gastric emptying [ 39 — 41 ], including aperitifs [ 4243 ], the amount of alcohol found in a single dose of bitters made from either fluid extracts or tinctures is minimal 0. Both Hale White and Weiss have proposed that the bitters enhance blood circulation in the gut and thereby improve digestion.
Furthermore, Weiss suggested that bitters increase sympathetic excitability over time and it was this repeated activation that produced a general tonic action. This model is of interest because following studies in the s and s it was realised that the increased splanchnic circulation after eating, referred to as postprandial hyperaemia PPHis the limiting factor of the digestive process [ 67910 ].Diabetes mellitus is among the most common disorder in developed and developing countries, and the disease is increasing rapidly in most parts of the world.
It has been estimated that up to one-third of patients with diabetes mellitus use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. One plant that has received the most attention for its anti-diabetic properties is bitter melon, Momordica charantia M. Its fruit is also used for the treatment of diabetes and related conditions amongst the indigenous populations of Asia, South America, India and East Africa.
Abundant pre-clinical studies have documented in the anti-diabetic and hypoglycaemic effects of M.
However, clinical trial data with human subjects are limited and flawed by poor study design and low statistical power. The present review is an attempt to highlight the antidiabetic activity as well as phytochemical and pharmacological reports on M. Diabetes mellitus is considered as one of the five leading causes of death in the world . Diabetes mellitus is a major global health concerning with a projected rise in prevalence from million in to million in .
It is a syndrome of disordered metabolism, usually due to a combination of hereditary and environmental causes, resulting in abnormally high blood sugar levels hyperglycemia .
Being a major degenerative disease, diabetes is found in all parts of the world and it is becoming the third most lethal disease of mankind and increasing rapidly . It is the most common endocrine disorder, affecting 16 million individuals in the United States and as many as million individuals worldwide. Diabetes has been a clinical model for general medicine . Complementary and alternative medicine involves the use of herbs and other dietary supplements as alternatives to mainstream western medical treatment.
Medicinal plants and its products continue to be an important therapeutic aid for alleviating the ailments of human kind  — .
Herbs for diabetes treatment are not new. Since ancient times, plants and plant extracts were used to combat diabetes. Many traditional medicines in use are derived from medicinal plants, minerals and organic matter. Among them, species are used commercially on a fairly large scale . Momordica charantia M. Its fruit has a distinguishing bitter taste, which is more pronounced as it ripens, hence the name bitter melon or bitter gourd.
Biochemical and animal model experiments have produced abundant data and hypotheses accounting for the anti-diabetic effects of M. In comparison, clinical studies with human subjects are sparse and low quality in design.
Diabetes mellitus is well known clinical entity with various late complications like retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, etc. Natural products are known to play an important role in pharmaceutical biology . Specific plant knowledge may provide insight for strategic consumption and sustainable use. The alternate medicine system is now gaining momentum with the knowledge of active principles identified from plant species .Bitters are varied group of plant constituents linked only by their pronounced bitter taste.
Many compounds can be bitter, not any one individual constituent, and it should be noted that bitter is primarily an action. The bitterness itself stimulates secretions by the salivary glands and digestive organs, and such secretions can dramatically improve appetite and strengthen the overall function of the digestive system. With improved digestion and absorption of nutrients that follow, the body is thereby nourished and strengthened. The sensation of bitterness is directed primarily by the vagus nerve to the central nervous system, leading to various physiological effects.
Regulating the digestive organs with a quality that congeals fluids, tightens tissues, and pulls energy back to the core. The have an earthy, grounding or melanocholic temperament that restrains the mind and can help when feeling scattered and focus is needed. Some herbal examples include:.
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The Bitter Principle Bitters are varied group of plant constituents linked only by their pronounced bitter taste.
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