Use These Herbs to Improve Your Digestive Health
Stomachache Sufferers Can Turn to These Healing Natural Remedies
Jaime A. Heidel
Everybody gets the occasional upset stomach. However, if chronic digestive distress is interrupting your life, it may be time to get some help. Learn how these seven herbs can help improve your digestive health.
Turmeric is a yellow spice often used in curry dishes. Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties make it a good choice for those suffering from leaky gut syndrome and ulcerative colitis. Turmeric increases bile production during digestion and helps the body break down fats, therefore reducing bouts of acid reflux, bloating and gas. Turmeric can be added to your favorite dishes, taken as a tea or used in supplement form. Those on blood-thinners should consult their healthcare provider before using this potent spice.
Gentian root is what is known as a 'bitter'. It helps improve the overall health of the digestive system and stimulates the appetite. It also helps strengthen the lining of the stomach and intestines, making it another good choice for those with leaky gut syndrome. It can be taken in tincture or tea form. It is advisable to consult a healthcare provider if you have gastric or duodenal ulcers.
Peppermint is soothing to the stomach and has been known to ease the cramping associated with dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint can be taken in tea, oil or capsule form. Those with hiatal hernia, severe gastrointestinal reflux disease or gallbladder disorders should avoid using peppermint.
Ginger has been known to increase stomach muscle contractions and help those with slow digestion process their food faster and with fewer incidents of bloating and gas. Ginger is also a well-known remedy for nausea and irritable bowel syndrome. This herb is most commonly brewed as a tea. Those on blood-thinning medication should consult their healthcare provider before using ginger.
Senna is most commonly used to treat constipation. This potent herb encourages peristalsis, muscle contractions that move waste matter through and out of the intestines. As senna is a powerful bowel stimulant, it is advisable to start with a low dose of this herb to start to see how it will affect you. Senna should be used sparingly and with caution as repeated use may cause dependency. Those with a serious health problem or who take prescription medications should consult their healthcare provider before using senna. It is commonly brewed as a tea.
Pau d'Arco is a powerful antifungal herb that acts as a colon, yeast and parasite cleanser. If your digestive problems are related to one of these three conditions, Pau d'Arco may work to help clean out your digestive system. This herb can be taken as a supplement or brewed as a tea. Those with clotting disorders or who are on blood-thinning medication should not take this herb.
Cranberry is useful in flushing out the kidneys and healing the urinary tract. Those who commonly get kidney and urinary tract infections may benefit from adding cranberry to their diet. To get the full benefit of this herb, skip conventional cranberry juice, as it tends to be watered down and laden with sugar. Instead, opt for a cranberry supplement or tea that will pack a more potent punch. Those with severe kidney disease should consult their healthcare provider before using cranberry.
There you have it. Seven herbs you can use to improve your digestive health. It is always important to remember if you are pregnant, nursing or have a serous medical condition to consult a trusted healthcare provider before taking any of these herbs.
Health Disclaimer. Copyright ©2010. Published with permission. Jaime A. Heidel is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health. She has years of writing experience and has contributed to Natural Awakenings magazine.