A healthy digestive system supports our mental and emotional well being, while also processing nutrients and delivering them through the entire body. Your digestive health is so important. Your elimination system carries away the wastes of all of your cells, allowing each organ to function in a proper environment. But elimination troubles can put your daily routine out of whack. Simple digestive herbs can put you back in balance.
Carminative herbs warm up the digestive tract, speed up and increase the thoroughness of digestion and reduce gas.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) reduces cramping, gas and bloating and it stimulates a dull appetite. It also relieves tension in the smooth muscle that governs digestion. Throw some fennel seeds into a hot tea after a meal to relieve digestive discomfort. Fennel gives us energy by enhancing appetite, digestion and absorption. It helps the human body break down and digest fatty foods.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) relieves bloating, cramping, nausea, indigestion and gas. Cardamom stimulates the appetite helping food to pass easily through your system. It contains chemicals that increase the movement of food through the intestine and stimulates the secretion of bile acid in the stomach, further aiding in digestion and proper fat metabolism.
Dill (Anethum graveolens) stimulates digestion and the essential oils in it are stimulating and activate the secretion of bile and digestive juices to break down your food into nutrients. These oils also stimulate the peristaltic motion of the intestine, easing the passage of bowel movements and relieving constipation. Dill helps prevent excessive gas and helps to calm and relieve intestinal gas. Dill also has antibiotic properties so it will aid in killing off any foreign organisms within your body and help with diarrhea problems.
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) helps digestion and is great for heartburn. Cumin aids digestion by increasing the activity of digestive proteins. It also reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It helps relieve diarrhea, bowel spasms, gas and stomach aches.
Caraway (Carum carvi) helps rebuild intestinal flora and yeast. Caraway also has antimicrobial properties that support the development of beneficial intestinal bacteria. It improves digestion by stimulating the secretion of gastric juices and improving circulation of blood and intestinal mucus through the stomach.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) relieves stagnant digestion, eases abdominal cramping and promoted the overall digestive process. For digestive relief, lemon balm is best consumed as a tea taken immediately after meals.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) helps with gas. It has antispasmodic and stomachic properties. It calms intestinal spasms that lead to diarrhea. Coriander also helps settle indigestion. This herb calms muscle spasms in your gastrointestinal tract. It is used for nervous dyspepsia, colic, flatulence, irritable bowel disease and gastritis.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is antioxidant and has muscle soothing activities. It has the ability to comfort the stomach and relieves gas. It also supports a healthy balance of microflora in the gastrointestinal tract.
Senna leaf (Senna alexandrina), is effective in relieving constipation, it acts on the intestinal walls to cause contractions that lead to bowel movements. It softens stool by enabling the colon to absorb water. It can effectively cure even the most severe cases of constipation.
Aloe leaf (Aloe vera) drinking aloe vera juice before a meal can make the digestive system work better to break down the food. It also prevents problems such as gas, bloating and constipation. This plant helps heal the lining of a damaged intestinal tract, healing and/or preventing leaky gut syndrome. It is considered a laxative-acting food and the gel-filled plant increases intestinal water content, stimulates mucus secretion and contains enzymes that help the body break down food.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) is a powerful bitter that catalyzes the production of intestinal enzymes while stimulating the production of bile. Dandelion helps our body break down and assimilate essential vitamins and nutrients and also filters waste from the bloodstream and supports the liver in releasing toxins.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is calming to the intestines and stomach and acts as a soothing anti-spasmodic. Use to soothe a nervous stomach, treat IBS, colic, gas, diarrhea, cramps and indigestion. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea after a meal helps relieve distress.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-inflammatory properties and ginger aids in digestion and eases stomach pains. Fresh ginger is the most potent form and I recommend making a simple tea with it. Just grate fresh ginger in a mug and add boiling water to it. Sip for its tummy soothing abilities and it’s anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a warming digestive stimulant which helps to improve both digestion and appetite. It helps to relieve indigestion, gas, nausea, IBS and food allergies.
Herbs for Digestion
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) works by settling the stomach and helps with digestion and stimulateing the appetite. Peppermint is an antispasmodic, relieving pain and spasms in stomachaches, colic, indigestion, constipation and IBS. It eases gassiness and bloating and enhances appetite and digestion.
Turmeric root (Curcuma longa) supports digestion by relaxing the smooth muscles in the stomach and gently pushing food through the intestines. It also helps to prevent gas and bloating as food is being digested. It inhibits the enzymes that compromise stomach health and boosts the secretion of stomach mucous. This mucous is the primary defense against damage from gastric acid.
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a cooling tonic and is a soothing demulcent to protect mucous membranes of the GI tract. The root releases secretions that protect the gut lining against stomach acid and other digestive juices that can cause discomfort. Licorice has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. The dynamic nature of this herb allows for it to have both a gentle laxative affect while also being antidiarrheal.
Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) heals sensitive or inflamed mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. Including gastritis, acidity, ulcers, gastroenteritis, colitis, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colic and hemorrhoids. Slippery elm is soothing to the entire digestive tract because it forms a soothing film over any mucous membrane it comes into contact with. It softens and adds bulk to stools, so it is useful for diarrhea and constipation issues.
Focus on whole, fresh foods and eat fermented and cultured foods. Fermented foods are high in good bacteria and eating them will help you to regenerate your gut flora naturally. Doing this along with the herbs listed above will help your digestive system heal.
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