There’s nothing like a warm drink to relax that tied-up-in-knots feeling and soothe away dis¬comforts. If you suffer from any digestive problem, make it a cup of herbal tea.
Remember the candy canes and melt-in-your-mouth soft peppermints from childhood? That same cooling scent may be the herald of sweet relief.
By far the most effective herbal therapy for adults, this mint can relax the smooth muscles lin¬ing your intestines – a big help when it comes to an irritable bowel. Peppermint may also help stomach pain, stomach growling, gas, and bloating. To make a weak tea, pour one cup of boiling water over a heaping tablespoon of peppermint tea leaves, and steep for five minutes.
Drink a cup between meals, but no more than four cups a day. To make a stronger tea, pour two-thirds of a cup of boiling water over two tablespoons of freshly dried peppermint leaves. Let it steep for about five to six minutes and strain.
If you suspect peppermint may be the guilty party behind heartburn, you can take enteric coated capsules half an hour before eating. Don’t try peppermint remedies on small children since the strong scent can make them gag.
Like peppermint, chamomile tea soothes muscle spasms. Drink freshly brewed tea three to four times a day for fast relief. Use dried flower heads or buy extracts from reputable companies for best results. If you have allergies to ragweed or daisies, try peppermint instead.
Chamomile not only makes great tea, its natural healing properties have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. The ancient Egyptians used it to treat everything from anxiety and insomnia to dizziness, laryngitis, and skin conditions.
Today, this safe, wonder herb is best known for relieving nausea, stomach cramps, and gas. The high flavonoid content of chamomile makes it an important cancer fighter. Some research suggests this remarkable little flower even helps slow the growth of cancer cells. With more and more health experts getting wise to the benefits of herbal medicine, chamomile may soon prove to be the cure-all of the century.
Ginger has been known as a star digestive remedy for hundreds of years. The ancient Greeks welcomed the arrival of ginger and quickly put it to good use as a digestive aid. Ginger relieves the uncomfortable feeling caused by overeating by increasing the speed that the stomach empties. To lighten the load a big meal placed on the digestive system, the Greeks would end an evening of fabulous feasting by eating some ginger wrapped in bread. Eventually, this practice evolved into the world’s first cookie – gingerbread.
To help treat cramping and indigestion, add fresh ginger to your diet. You can eat it raw, candied, or make a tea – just steep two teaspoons of grated root in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Strain and sip slowly.
Ginger is also famous for quieting queasiness. In fact, this herbal superstar has such a good reputation that a pound of this warming spice was once worth the price of a sheep.