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Herbs For The Stomach

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Herbs For Stomach
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Stomach problems are some of the most common ailments. They are often due to usual everyday triggers - however stomach problems may be indications of other underlying conditions or something more serious so it's always best to consult with your physician if you have something persistent or serious going on. But where the stomach problem is just a common issue, then these medicinal herbs can make great alternatives to make your tummy not just healthy but also happy. Here are 10 of the herbs that herbalists consider beneficial to the stomach: [1]



10 Herbs For The Stomach

Peppermint

Doctors of naturopathy know that peppermint isn't just a breath freshener. Evidence also suggests peppermint's essential oil, which contains menthol, has antispasmodic effects on digestive muscles. Its smell likewise soothes nerves, including a nervous stomach. This makes peppermint popular among those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome which affects some 5 million Americans. A study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology showed that patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome who took peppermint oil capsules experienced relief from abdominal pain by 40% and reduction in bloating and flatulence by 50%. Another German study in 1996 validates peppermint's ability to reduce abdominal pain due to gas. Some doctors of osteopathy recommend regular intake of peppermint tea for smooth functioning of the gastrointestinal system although this should not be used by those suffering from heartburn. [2]

Lavender

Linalool and linalyl acetate are the principal constituents of lavender that contribute to the herb's gastroprotective effects, as one study has shown. When orally administered or inhaled, essential oils of lavender were shown to protect against gastric ulcers among rodents. Use of this oil in aromatherapy has also been revealed to have analgesic effects. [3] Lavender is likewise known to aid diarrhea and relieve menstrual cramps. [2]



Chamomile

Considered one of the gentlest and therefore safest herbs, chamomile (aka camomile) possesses antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and carminative qualities to act upon common gastrointestinal issues. Research shows its natural sedative properties can soothe the mucous membrane of the digestive tract to relieve flatulence, heartburn and digestive discomfort caused by stress or anxiety. [1] Scientific research has shown orally administered aqueous extracts of chamomile exhibited gastroprotective effects against gastric ulcers among treated rats compared to non-treated rats. [4]

Ginger

What makes gingerunique among herbal remedies for the stomach is its ability to treat nausea and vomiting. Because of this, herbalists agree fresh grated ginger is best to prevent against motion and morning sickness, without causing drowsiness unlike drugs. Aside from nausea and vomiting, ginger tea may also be used for gas-related bloating and pain. [1]

Fennel

Whether as tea or in essential oil form, fennel is helpful for upper abdominal pain. [2] When scientists examined the anti-ulcerogenic and antioxidant effects of fennel extracts in 2007, they found that fennel can significantly reduce gastric damage like gastric mucosal lesions. These protective characteristics were attributed to the herb's ability to reduce lipid peroxidation and increase anti-oxidant activities. [5]

Dandelion

A powerhouse of valuable health nutrients, dandelion is a wonderful herb that contains riboflavin, ascorbic acid, zinc, iron, manganese, protein, phosphorus, carotene, calcium, B-vitamins, sterols and flavonoids. Known for its diuretic, blood purifying and liver cleansing effects, dandelion is also thought to be effective in cleansing the lymphatic system of the body as well as in promoting better digestion.

Dandelion leaves can be used to increase the level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and prevent the occurrence of tummy aches. In addition to its ability to promote better and stronger digestion, dandelion can also be used to strengthen the functioning of the liver, gall bladder and stomach. [6] Dandelion also aids in dealing with intestinal gas and upset stomach. Dandelion also makes a wonderful digestive tonic and a natural laxative that promotes regular bowel movement. [7]

Thyme

Also beneficial to the stomach, thyme is a delicate herb that helps in relieving intestinal gas or flatulence, upset stomach, parasitic worm infections and stomach pain or gastritis. This herb also makes an excellent aid for better digestion. When taken regularly, thyme may be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and colic which is triggered by the spasms of the intestines.

Thyme also works by relaxing the muscles of the stomach which helps relive gastrointestinal conditions like indigestion, loss of appetite and chronic gastritis. A good source of antioxidants, thyme also contains nutrients like Vitamin K, fiber, chromium, manganese, calcium, iron and bioflavonoids which are beneficial to the body. [8]

Cardamom

Cardamom is a popular spice in the orient and is often found in Indian food such as red lentil Dal. With its antispasmodic and analgesic properties, cardamom makes an effective remedy to many conditions affecting the digestive system of the body. It contains volatile oil components that are considered beneficial in soothing the intestines and the stomach. Considered as one of the most effective ways to encourage better appetite, cardamom is also regarded as beneficial in relieving upset stomach, dysentery, indigestion, flatulence, constipation and other digestive problems. [9]

Rosemary

This fragrant shrub is thought very good for the stomach and in digestion, in general. It promotes better and stronger digestion by detoxifying the liver and stimulates it to increase its bile production. Aside from its ability to enhance appetite, rosemary also helps in relieving dyspepsia, bloating, constipation and stomach cramps. It also relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract thereby relieving stomach discomforts. [10]

Coriander

Coriander (aka cilantro in the USA) is a wonderful herb coming from the family of parsley, which promises profound effects to the digestive system of the body and treat various sorts of digestive disorders. When made into tea, coriander is believed to be effective in relieving nausea, bloating, gas, heartburn, stomach upset as well as in promoting better bowel movement. In Germany, coriander is widely accepted as a treatment for flatulence, dyspeptic complaints and mild gastrointestinal upsets. [11]

Herbs For Stomach - References:

[1] http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/Stomach-soothers/

[2] http://herbs.lovetoknow.com/Herbal_Remedies_for_Stomach_Problems

[3] Antinociceptive and gastroprotective effects of inhaled and orally administered Lavandulahybrida Reverchon "Grosso" essential oil. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15519366

[4] Gastroprotective effects of aqueous extract of Chamomilla recutita against ethanol-induced gastric ulcers. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21063650

[5] Beneficial effects of Foeniculum vulgare on ethanol-induced acute gastric mucosal injury in rats. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17278229

[6] http://www.gentle-stress-relief.com/benefits-of-dandelion.html

[7] http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-706-DANDELION.aspx?activeIngredientId=706&activeIngredientName= DANDELION

[8] http://www.antioxidants-for-health-and-longevity.com/health-benefits-of-thyme.html

[9] http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-cardamom.html

[10] http://www.digherbs.com/rosemary.html

[11] http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/herbs/coriander.php

Article researched and created by Cathy Ongking and Elfe Cabanas, © herbs-info.com 2013

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