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The bitter flavor is one that has been largely removed from the modern U.S. diet, but it has a lot of beneficial effects!
Simply tasting the bitter flavor 10-15 minutes before a meal (such as with 5-10 drops of a bitters tincture) can stimulate the body to begin the digestive process. This means especially that digestive juices including saliva and stomach acid begin to flow.
With the stimulating of digestive secretions this may help the body to more completely break down the food, preventing digestive problems further down the line, as well as increase feelings of satiety earlier in the meal, and increase motility in the lower GI.
Example herbs include:
Orange peel (also carminative)
Ginger (also bitter)