Ancient cultures have used herbal medicines since the dawn of time. Even today, many of those ancient traditions have stood the test of time. There are many herbs that are effective for treating digestive discomfort. And some are even better than their drugstore counterparts. Here are the top herbs that aid digestion.
Have you ever wondered why your Mom reached for the ginger ale to soothe your upset tummy when you were a child? For many centuries, ginger has been known to soothe gastrointestinal disturbances. But ginger isn’t the only herb that can heal stomach upset.
Herbs have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Before medical technology advanced, plants were the main source of medicine in ancient cultures. People in the ancient world didn’t know the science behind herbal applications. They simply figured out what herb treated what condition based on results. So the next time you find yourself reaching for an over-the-counter remedy for gastrointestinal upset, remember that there may be an effective herbal remedy that could work just as well, if not better. Below are the best herbs for digestion.
Herbs for digestion problems
Considered one of the safest herbs, chamomile is one of the most frequently used herbs to soothe stomach problems.
In Germany, chamomile has long held super herb status and is referred to as “alles zutrau.” The translation: “capable of anything.”
Indeed chamomile is an herb with many beneficial properties. It is anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. It is also carminative which means that it prevents the formation of gas or facilitates the expulsion of gas. Because of the healing properties of chamomile, it can act on the gastrointestinal tract in many ways.
- Chamomile relieves flatulence.
- Chamomile is mildly sedating which helps relax the smooth muscles lining of the digestive tract.
- Chamomile relieves heartburn.
- Chamomile reduces inflammation of the mucous membranes.
- Chamomile may also be used in the prevention or treatment of ulcers.
Perhaps best known for its cool, breath-freshening flavor, the peppermint herb is also used for relieving gas and bloating, alleviating nausea, and soothing irritable bowel syndrome.
Fresh peppermint leaves can be added to juice or lemonade.
Alternatively, peppermint leaves can be steeped in hot water to make a stronger tea. Remember, the stronger the peppermint tea is, the more beneficial it is for your digestive system.
Fennel is a celery-like herb that has been used for centuries for irritable bowels, digestive discomfort, and colic. It is time-tested and approved for relieving gas by encouraging expulsion and relieving cramps and spasms by relaxing the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract.
Every part of the fennel plant is edible, but most often only the bulb is eaten. It can be cut up and added to salads or a tea can be made from fennel seeds.
The little sprigs used as a pretty garnish can do more for you than just dress up your plate. When consumed after a meal, parsley can help your digestive system assimilate food.
Ancient Greeks and Romans ate sprigs of parsley after meals to prevent indigestion, reduce gas, and relieve bloating.
Parsley is most effective when eaten fresh. The curly kind has more of a bitter flavor, so stick with the flat-leaf variety.
People have always looked to nature to solve their health problems and it seems that nature does provide effective relief for many conditions. These herbs are some that have stood the test of time and are still proving their worth when it comes to relieving digestive discomfort.