Digestion herbal remedies
The digestive system can be disrupted by a number of causes from poor eating habits, drug use – prescribed or otherwise - stress, excessive caffeine and alcohol intake and emotional turmoil .
Whilst TV adverts encourage us to take an antacid pill to ease symptoms, this only stores up problems for us in the long term, as stomach acids are essential to the proper functioning of our digestive system. Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years all over the world to ease the symptoms of digestive upsets. The mint family in particular have a general soothing effect on the whole digestive tract, whilst garlic and onions can help digest rich fatty foods. A number of aperitifs drunk before meals, to improve the digestion based on bitter herbs such as gentian, artichoke and centaury, have been used particularly in Europe over the centuries
Chamomile – is particularly good for nervous digestive upsets, calming and soothing the digestive system. Chamomile is also useful in easing the spasm often created by IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Taken as tea three or four times a day
Fennel – A sweet aromatic herb that relieves digestive problems, relaxes spasms and reduces inflammation . A tea made from seeds is very effective at easing the griping pains associated with wind, or even chew a few seeds after a meal
Peppermint – one of the most effective of the mints to ease a range of digestive problems, from nausea, colic, flatulence and travel sickness. Taken as a tea.
Lemon Balm – an aromatic , lemon scented herb that improves the digestion and relaxes spasms. Used in liqueurs such as Benedictine and Chartreuse as after dinner digestives. Drunk as a tea Lemon Balm relieves stomach cramps, colic and flatulence.
Slippery Elm – is a sweet mucilaginous herb that lubricates tissues. It covers the digestive tract with a protective and healing layer , allowing healing to take place below. Usually comes as a powder to be mixed with water
Ginger – is one of a number of spices used to ease the symptoms of flatulence, colic, nausea . It is particularly good for easing travel sickness and morning sickness. Grate some fresh root and cover with boiling water , leave to infuse for 5 mins and drink.