Digestive Health : Herbal Help with Bloating & Gas
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
Hippocrates 431 B.C.
Bitters & Syrups
Poor digestion, gas and bloating affect us all, and there are plenty of good herbal home remedies that help occasional heartburn. However, a poor functioning digestive system as a chronic condition is more serious and needs a holistic approach that concentrates on causes, not symptoms.
Mainstream medicines concentrates on reducing stomach acid - which relieves the symptoms of heartburn and gas, but also interferes with the digestive process, not allowing the food we eat to be converted into energy the body can use. Proton pump inhibitors are one of the mostly widely used class of drugs in the country and are cash cows for the drug companies. New studies show they have far more side effects that previously thought.
The first herbs of choice for any digestive woes are chamomile and mint teas. Chamomile reduces inflammation, relieves spasm, and gives quick relief to gas and bloating. Herbs in the mint family including peppermint, spearmint, basil , and bee balm are the best choice to relieve nausea or vomiting and support the gall bladder. Lemon balm like chamomile is soothing to nervous stomach disorders.
Aromatic Seeds and Spices
Herbs that help to dispel gas and prevent bloating are called carminatives. Most of these are closely related members of Apiaceae family. These aromatic seeds and spices help speed digestion and add flavor and enjoyment to our food:
Use these digestive stimulants in the cooking to boost your metabolism and turn food into energy instead of storing it as fat. Add garlic onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, and chives to improve the digestibility of meats and other heavy foods. Lemongrass, savory, and sage are well known culinary herbs that add flavor as well as preventing indigestion. Cayenne, along with other peppers strengthen digestion and lessen the gas and bloating that comes from eating heavy, greasy foods. Fatty foods like pork are digested more thoroughly when mustard is added.
BittersA ounce of prevention is worth a pound of antacids
Bitter herbs are unrivaled stomach tonics and are mostly missing from todays diet. They improve the appetite, promoting digestive juices and the flow of bile. By stimulating bile flow, bitters improve fat digestion and prevent waste accumulation in the liver:
Pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which digests food by breaking down protein. Only modest quantities of bromelain are in the edible parts of the fruit, all commercially all commercially available bromelain is derived from the stem. Papaya (Pawpaw) fruit is valued for its proteolytic enzymes including papain, which is used like bromelain, a similar enzyme found in pineapple.
Bitters & Syrups
- Bee Balm Summer Tea
- Bitters Recipe
- Bittersweet Stomach Blend
- Caraway seed tea
- Cardamom Tea
- Abdominal Oil Massage for Indigestion
- Angelica Aromatic Bitter
- Angelica root tea
- Balancing Blend for Digestive Distress
- Carob Tea
- Cayenne Pepper Tea
- Centaury Tea
- CFA - Stomach Ease Tea
- Chamomile and Vervain for Sleep
- Chamomile tea
- Chocolate Mint Tea
- Cinnamon and Honey tea
- Codonopsis root tea
- Dill seed tea
- Fennel seed Tea
- Four Winds Stomach Tea
- Frangula and Senna Laxative Teas
- Gentian Bitters for Stomach Upset
- Ginger tea
- Hops tea
- Horehound tea
- LemonGrass tea
- Linden with Lemongrass
- Milk thistle liver tonic tea
- Mugwort tea
- Nervous Stomach Oil Blend
- Nighttime Indigestion Tea
- Parsley Diuretic tea
- Peppermint capsules
- Spearmint Tea
- Spices and lemongrass dinner tea
- Trikatu for dieters
- Tulsi juice and honey for nausea
- Wormwood tea
Looking for something you can read offline? Join our mailing list and get a free copy of Methods for Using Herbs. This free handbook includes instructions on how to make basic herbal preparations at home. It covers making herbal teas, herb infused oils and balms, tinctures, and more.
- Robert B Tisserand. "The Art of Aromatherapy" Healing Arts, (1977)
- James Duke. "The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook" Rodale Books, (2000)
- Linda B. White, M.D.. "The Herbal Drugstore" , (2003)
- Maud Grieve. "Modern Herbal Vol 1" Harcourt, (1931)
- Phyllis A. Balch. "Prescription for Herbal Healing" Avery, (2002)
- Marlene Ericksen. "Healing with Aromatherapy" McGraw-Hill, (2000) Passionflower is the herbal remedy of choice for treating nausea and vomiting resulting from withdrawal from Vicodin, cocaine, heroin, or opiate painkillers and may also help withdrawal from alcohol.