Bloating, too heavy meals, difficult digestion … your digestive system sometimes plays tricks on you. But before you go digging into your medicine box, it may be good to take a look in your cupboard. Herbal teas can help your tummy get back into working order.
Having good digestion is essential for maintaining good health. Indeed, it is in the digestive tract that food – providing the calories and elements necessary for the proper functioning of the body – is assimilated. But between stress, changes in habits or unbalanced meals … this beautiful machine can quickly get stuck. It is then possible to turn to the plants to revive it.
Herbal teas: plants can help digestion
Plants are effective weapons in the face of stomach disorders, whether they result from difficult digestion or excess food.
“The plants are reliable and efficient, and do not cause no side effects provided they are used in an informed manner. The use of a phytotherapist is the guarantee of a safe treatment, but self-medication within the limits of the most famous plants is of course possible “, explains Dr Daniel Scimeca in his book Intestine and stomach aches, co-written with Dr Max Tétau.
Herbal tea – one of the oldest methods of taking advantage of the medicinal properties of plants – is particularly suitable for digestive disorders. Sensation of heaviness, bloating, gas… it relieves the difficulties caused by disordered secretions of digestive juices or even neuro-vegetative disorders (cramps, nausea…). Of course, if the disturbances persist, there is need to consult.
Herbal teas: how to prepare it properly?
There are many references of herbal teas in the trade. However, it is better to buy them in pharmacies or herbalists in order to be sure of the origin of the plants. Herbal teas should be stored away from light, heat and humidity. To avoid consuming an expired product while you have stomach upset, remember to note the expiration date on your box.
It is advisable to useweakly mineralized water. Boil it, then pour it over the plants recommended for your stomach aches. Observe the quantity of plants indicated by the specialist or the packaging. Generally, it is more important for medicated herbal teas than so-called comfort teas. The drink is thus more concentrated.
It is also important to follow the infusion time of the herbal tea. On average, it takes about ten minutes.
The medicinal drink should be kept cool if not consumed immediately. It is also possible to put it in a thermos. However, it is not recommended to warm it up, as this procedure can lead to bacteria growth within the liquid.
When to drink herbal tea?
In the case of digestive disorders, health professionals recommend drinking herbal tea very hot. However, it is quite counterproductive to take it during the meal or immediately after the dessert, because the liquid is likely to slow down the action of digestive juices.
It is therefore preferable to drink your herbal tea half an hour before eating or an hour after. We present the plants that are particularly effective against gastric disorders on the following pages.
Herbal teas for difficult digestion
When your digestion becomes difficult, it is possible to turn to several plants.
When having digestive issues, don’t hesitate to turn to peppermint in a cup of boiling water. The virtues of this perennial plant are mainly concentrated in the leaves. They house an essential oil made up of menthol (30 to 40%), menthone and other monoterpenes. There are also acid-phenols and flavonoids. These elements allow it to be a digestive antispasmodic particularly effective on smooth muscle fibers in the wall of the digestive tract. The plant also stimulates bile and digestive secretions, and by domino effect digestion.
It is recommended to take one cup after each meal for the duration of the disorder.
Field flowers, fumeterres grow during sunny days. These plants are known to stimulate and regulate the activity of the gallbladder. Capable of inhibiting the action of acetylcholine (neurotransmitter acting in the brain and the parasympathetic nervous system), they stop excess secretions from the stomach as well as intestinal spasms.
It is necessary to take between two and three cups per day, before meals. However, it is recommended not to consume it for more than 9 days in a row. In addition, the plant is not recommended for people suffering from hypotension.
Rich in flavonoids, sage leaves can also aid digestion. They relieve, among other things, cramps and heartburn. This herbal tea is not recommended for breastfeeding women, however, because it can reduce the flow of milk.
Herbal teas for bloating and gas
Nothing is more uncomfortable than bloating and unwanted gas. Fortunately, herbal teas can also help relieve these conditions.
Green anise, native to Egypt and the Middle East – contains an essential oil made fromanthole as well as flavonoids. It offers the plant a soothing power on the digestive system. Most often, it is not its leaves, but the seeds that are used when preparing herbal tea. To stop aerophagia and bloating, it is advisable to immerse 35 grams of green anise, 20 grams of star anise and 20 grams of fennel in 200 ml of boiling water. Filter and then drink a cup after each heavy meal.
Fennel has been used to treat digestive disorders since ancient Greece. It is rich in vitamins A and B, but also in calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Its essential oil (anethole) stimulates intestinal contractions, bile secretions as well as fat digestion. Fennel fruit tea is particularly effective against gas and bloating. In case of aerophagia, you can also infuse the grains.
The plant is not recommended for women with hormone-dependent cancer (breast, ovary or uterus) because it contains a large amount of phytoestrogens.
Herbal teas to heal the belly brain
The belly is often called the “second brain” because it is also the “cradle” of important emotional life. Stress, fatigue, grief, worries can cause severe stomach aches. “Hypersensitivity of the intestinal mucosa is only the visible aspect of a deeper psychosomatic disorder of a cortico-cerebral nature, the tip of the iceberg in a way”, it is written in the book Intestines and stomach aches. In case of digestive disorders occurring at troubled periods of life, it may be good to bet on plants known for their soothing virtues.
Herbal teas lavender are particularly effective against digestive disorders linked to stress. The purple plant has a narcotic and anti-spasmodic effect. In addition, it is possible to make digestive mixtures such as lavender / sage or lavender / lemon balm to amplify the effectiveness of the herbal tea.
Lemon balm tea is also recommended. The plant combines, in fact, antispasmodic, sedative and digestive properties. It is thus equally effective against gastric problems, heartburn, sleep disorders, anxiety and nervousness.
It is also possible to turn to passionflower. This plant promotes muscle relaxation without creating vigilance disorders. If you have an anxiety-related gastrointestinal upset, you can drink several cups a day to soothe your digestive and nervous difficulties.