Digestive Health : Herbal Help with Bloating & Gas



Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
Hippocrates 431 B.C.


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:

Ajwain Seed, Anise Seed, Asafetida root, Black Pepper, Caraway Seed, Cardamom, Coriander, Cumin, Dill, Fennel Seed, Parsley

Indigestion: Kitchen Kures

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.

Bitters

A 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:

Angelica root, Blessed Thistle, Boldo, Centaury, Dandelion Root, Gentian, Ginger Root

Digestive Enzymes

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.

Digestion Remedies



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    Fennel seed tea acts as an excellent digestive aid to relieve abdominal cramps, gas and bloating.