About two years ago I started having indigestion issues.. Eventually this year it progressed to bloating and nausea. I found L'Angostura Bitters was sometimes recommended and started using that -- it works about 75% of the time. When I looked it up I saw that Gentian is the main component for indigestion and that some report miraculous cures. The efficacy has to do with increasing bile secretion.
Yes Bitters does contain alcohol - about the same as vanilla extract but a few drops does not add up to enough to be concerned about unless of course you are an alcoholic and it might trigger a craving.
It's also really good for indigestion. A true friend to expectant mothers, what with the morning sickness and heartburn that can occur!
Bartenders Cure for Nausea: Bitters stops nausea quickly. Bitters is used on most bars to make Manhattans. About 10 drops of bitters in a small glass of 7 up or ginger ale will settle even the worst naseau. Just sip it. You can buy Bitters in a liquor store or grocery store that sells alcohol. The best part about knowing this little trick is that its available when you are out for the evening so no need to suffer or go home. Just ask the bartender for a little bitters and 7-up.
Bitters also stops hiccups on contact. A little straight Bitters in your mouth will stop it dead. If you're out its usually sprinkled on a lime or orange to make it tolerable and you simply suck it off the lime. Hiccups are gone.
I'm not a drinker but my friends are and if I go out for the night they harrass me for not drinking. I simply order Bitters and 7up in a rock glass and it looks like I'm drinking a mixed drink and no one feels a need to talk me into having a drink. It tastes good - kind of like a sweet spiced ice tea.