Product FAQs

At Urban Moonshine, we aim to return the use of herbal medicine to daily life.


Are your products safe?

We strive to make products that are safe & effective. We steer clear of herbs that are widely contraindicated so that most folks can safely use our products. Be sure to stay within the recommended serving size. If you have any specific medical concerns, please consult with a holistic practitioner or your doctor before starting a new supplement regime! Also, please note our guidelines for pregnancy/lactation below and also note that most of our products contain alcohol. We are not licensed practitioners, and cannot recommend or prescribe any of our products for medical uses.

When does my product expire?

Our products are best kept in a cool, dark place.

Please refer to the expiration date printed either on the bottom of the bottle or the side panel of the label in the format: EXP MM.YY

Our products are good for 3 years after bottling, depending on storage conditions (ideal storage is in a cool, dark place).

If you have any further questions please reach out to us directly and we can help determine the expiration date for you!

Can I use the digestive bitters while pregnant and/or breastfeeding?

Our chamomile bitters are suitable for occasional nausea and heartburn during pregnancy. Our original, citrus, cider vinegar and healthy liver bitters are not recommended for pregnancy: the gentian and angelica in them are herbs that are traditionally contraindicated.

All flavors of our digestive bitters can be used with caution while nursing; please stay within the recommended dosage and consult your healthcare practitioner.

Can I use the herbal tonics while pregnant and/or breastfeeding?

Immune Tonic, Energy Tonic, Joy Tonic, Simmer Down Tonic and Chocolate Love Tonic are all not recommended for use during pregnancy. Pregnant women need to consult their healthcare provider about using Immune Zoom during pregnancy.

All of our herbal tonics can be used with caution during lactation; please stay within the recommended dosage and consult your healthcare practitioner.

Are Urban Moonshine products safe for children?

Yes! Many of our products are safe for children over 2 years old, as long as the dose is sized-down according to their weight. The recommended serving sizes on the bottles are for 150lb. adults, so just divide by your child’s weight to find the correct ratio and then apply that same ratio to the serving size. For example, a 50lb. child would take ⅓ of the dose (about 10 drops of bitters, or ⅓ tsp. of Immune Zoom).

Hit the Hay is not for use in children under the age of 18 years old.

Should I take Urban Moonshine products if I am using other supplements or medication?

Please seek the advice of your holistic practitioner or healthcare provider for indications with other medications. We are not licensed practitioners and cannot recommend or prescribe for any medical conditions. If you need help finding an herbalist or naturopath in your area, check out this awesome resource: find an AHG registered practitioner.


Do bitters really work as a digestive aid?

Yes! Bitters stimulate our body’s innate digestive response and optimize digestive function. They trigger the digestive system to produce the body’s endogenous digestive enzymes, secrete bile, and balance HCl levels in the stomach. To prime digestion use our bitters 10-15 minutes before you eat. For best results, take straight or spray in your mouth with our mouth spray–you need to taste the bitter flavor to get full effect. Bitters can also be used for acute needs like upset stomach, indigestion, or occasional heartburn–take them after a meal or whenever you need them

What is the difference between bitters and digestive enzymes?

Bitters stimulate your body’s own endogenous production of digestive enzymes. The bitter flavor signals your body to produce and release the enzymes you need to help digest and assimilate food. Namely, bitters stimulate the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver to release the gastric juices and enzymes that are so necessary for digestive well-being.

Our bitters are great because they don’t supply you with the enzymes from an outside source, rather, they challenge your body to do its job and produce its own enzymes–allowing your body to function the way it should. We are targeting the root of the problem and stimulating your own digestive system to work properly. Bitters have a multitude of other benefits. They not only help your body produce its OWN enzymes, they balanced acid levels in the stomach, cause the liver to secrete bile, and tone your digestive organs (such as the liver), and much more.

Digestive enzymes as a supplement just provide an outside source of enzymes to your body, while bitters cause your body to produce enzymes on its own. Think of it this way: when deciding how to get to your friend’s house a few blocks away, you can call a taxicab or take your bike. Enzyme pills are like the taxicab. Bitters are like riding your bike.

What are Tonics and how do they work?

Tonics are a class of herbs that tone the system over time. This means that, rather than addressing symptoms or diseases, tonic herbs support the best, most efficient function of the body or organ system. Tonics are an age-old category of herbs that are used to strengthen the body so it can withstand challenges with the greatest resilience possible.

Can I take Seasonal Wellness formulas for long periods of time?

Yes, you can. While formulated for support when you need it most, all the products in our Seasonal Wellness category are safe to use for as long as you need them. In many cases, people choose to take just one dose, or a half-dose, when using these products for more than a week or so. Consult with your herbalist or healthcare provider for more specific advice.

Is there evidence backing the herbs you use in your products?

We pride ourselves on our herbal formulations, and use a strategy that blends the best of herbal traditions with the latest clinical research. Overall, the case for herbal medicine in the modern literature is very strong, especially when compared to vitamins, homeopathics, enzymes and other supplements. We choose medicinal plants and mushrooms with the strongest evidence base available when formulating. Read more on our information pages or the blog.

Why tinctures?

We believe in the power of herbal extracts and believe they can bring tangible value to your assortment and consumers! Not only do herbal extracts retain the medicinal properties of fresh plants, they also maintain potency for three years if stored correctly. In addition, tinctures are easy to take, have high absorption, are gentle on the digestive system, can be precisely dosed, and offer long-lasting herbal support. We encourage folks to get comfortable tasting their herbs!

Directions for Use

What is the difference between the different sizes of the products?

They are all the same formula, just in different sizes for your convenience. The 8.4oz large apothecary bottle is the longest-lasting and can be used to refill your smaller bottles. Our mouth spray bottle is recommended as a travel size to keep in your bag when you’re on the go.

What is the difference between the 5 flavors of digestive bitters?

Original and Citrus flavors all have the same basic ingredients with slightly different flavoring; the original is the most bitter, the citrus has some nice citrusy notes. The Calm Tummy Bitters are a little different: they are our only bitters formula that contains chamomile, and they are free of the stronger bitter roots (gentian and angelica), citrus, fennel, & essential oils, so that they can be enjoyed occasionally during pregnancy and by more folks with sensitivities. Cider Vinegar Bitters are made without alcohol and are a great-tasting and effective bitters blend for those who prefer to avoid alcohol. And Healthy Liver Bitters are a rich and herbaceous bitters blend specifically formulated to support liver health* - though some use them as their all-purpose bitters because they prefer the unique flavor profile.

Do I need to refrigerate my bottle?

Our products do not need to be refrigerated; please store them tightly capped in a cool, dark place.

How do I take your liquid products?

Most of our liquids can be mixed with water, sparkling water, tea, or other beverages. Mushroom Immune, with its rich earthy flavor, mixes well in grains and soup too. Though you can mix and dilute our bitters and still see most of the benefits, we do recommend taking bitters in just a little bit of water (an inch or so in the bottom of a glass) or undiluted in order to fully activate the tongue’s bitter taste receptors, for maximum effectiveness. Joy tonic, because of its high aromatic herb content, does best when it isn’t mixed with hot liquids (the heat quickly disperses the medicinal volatile compounds).

When spraying our liquids, depress the pump top fully while aiming the spray at the back of the tongue. Spray 4-10 times depending on the formula, take a second to experience the complexity of flavors, and swallow. When using the dropper, be advised that a “full” dropper, as described in our dosing directions, only appears about ¾ of the way full on smaller-sized bottles (13mL) and just a little over half full on bigger bottles (59mL). Unscrew the dropper top from the bottle, then squeeze the bulb 3-4 times to draw up a “full” amount (close to 30 drops, or 1mL of liquid). Use 1-5 of these droppers per dose, depending on product. For our syrup bottles that come with a measuring cap, use the indicator lines to measure your dose: 2.5mL, 5mL or 7.5mL as indicated by the product label.

In all cases, you can count on quick and complete absorption, and a direct sensory experience of the plants in our blends.

When should I take bitters?

Bitters are often taken ten to fifteen minutes before the biggest meal(s) of the day. This way, they can help support optimal digestive function before food enters the GI tract. However, more recent research indicates that this supportive effect occurs even if bitters are taken in the middle of a meal - the point is taking them regularly! For occasional heartburn, you can take a dose after your meal as well, though in this case regular use before meals can help too. Finally, we prefer to take about 1 dropper full (5-6 sprays, ¼ tsp or about 1mL) undiluted if possible to experience the full impact of the bitter and aromatic herbs we use; however, mixing your bitters with just a little water in a small glass works too if the flavor is too strong undiluted.

Can I mix your products? What about with water, juice, soup, tea, etc…?

All our products can be mixed together if desired, and taken at the same time (or on the same day). In some cases, they make excellent combinations together (bitters and Mushroom Immune for example) or as part of a comprehensive protocol (Joy Tonic and Simmer Down Tonic for example, for stress support). You can also mix them with most liquids (from water to smoothies), though we recommend avoiding hot liquids for Joy Tonic (it can dissipate some of the aromatic constituents in this product), and sticking to just a small amount of water if you choose to dilute our bitters formulas.


Why is there alcohol in your products? Do you make any alcohol-free products?

We feel that alcohol is the best way to extract and preserve the chemical constituents of the herbs we love. We use organic, gluten-free cane alcohol. This is a traditional method of making tinctures, and it gives our products the best taste and longest shelf life possible. There is a very low amount of alcohol in each serving, when you consider the dose of the product and the percentage alcohol (1/4 tsp of the bitters at 30-35% alcohol is about 1/12 tsp alcohol – comparable to what’s found in an 8oz glass of orange juice at 0.3mL). Think of it like mouthwash or cough medicine–not an alcoholic beverage! Since December 2016 our Cider Vinegar Bitters have been available for those who would love to make bitters part of their routine and need or want to avoid any alcohol.

Is there gluten in your products?

No! Urban Moonshine Bitters and Tonics are made with 100% Certified Organic Cane Alcohol, which is naturally a gluten-free alternative to commonly used grain alcohol. We use it for its quality, taste, and extraction excellence! We’re delighted to use no Genetically Modified Organisms in our products–no GMOs!

Where do you source your herbs?

We obtain our herbs from a range of suppliers, focusing on growers in Vermont, the Northeast, and the Pacific Northwest. We attempt to source domestically (in the United States) whenever possible, though on occasion we will purchase herbs from overseas. We test all ingredients to ensure that there are no herbicide or pesticide residues present - even for certified organic herbs.

Do you use certified organic herbs?

Yes! We firmly believe that diverse, organic farms are as important to our health (and the health of our environment) as the herbs that grow there. The alcohol, apple cider vinegar, and honey that we use in our products are also certified organic, as are the natural flavorings and gum arabic we use. We use two herbs that are not certified organic: the first is Usnea lichen (found in our Throat Spray), which is responsibly and sustainably wild-harvested (organic lichen cultivation is not yet viable); the second is Kava-Kava root and rhizome, which is responsibly and sustainably wild-harvested in Vanuatu. Regulations around Kava export from Vanuatu ensure that only noble cultivars, with no trace of stem or leaves, are shipped.


Where are Aller-blast, Energy Tonic and Maple Bitters?

We made the difficult decision to streamline our product assortment as we moved manufacturing back to a local facility, and did not include Maple Bitters, Energy Tonic, or Aller-blast in the relaunch. We value your feedback, and may consider relaunching these items in the future.

Where is Immune Tonic?

Fear not, Immune Tonic is back with a new look and a new name! Now called Mushroom Immune, we chose to highlight the mushroom superstars the formula includes: Red Reishi and Maitake Fruiting Body extracts. Same powerful formula!

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