Digestion Herbs – Benefits and Uses Overview
Digestion herbs can help make meals more enjoyable by making digestion easier and more efficient. These herbs have been used to treat digestive problems, as many have other uses and benefits as well.
Digestion Herbs for Constipation
- Alder buckthorn: Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus) can be used in alternative medicine to help fight constipation. The fresh bark may cause vomiting and should not be used, but dried bark may help draw water into the colon. Alder Buckthorn can cause cramping; combining it with peppermint can help offset this problem.
- Brooklime: Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga), also known as cow cress and water pimpernel, has been used to treat both constipation and diarrhea. Brooklime leaves are packed with nutrients including tannins, sulfur, and essential oils that have been used to treat gout, inflammation, blood poisoning, infections, and liver problems.
- Cascara sagrada: Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshianus) contains nutrients that are helpful for overall digestive tract health and can be laxative. Cascara sagrada is also useful for cleaning on the colon, and may help rid the colon of worms or parasites.
- Fringe tree: Fringe tree (genus Chionanthus) bark is sometimes recommended as a gentle laxative, although its primary alternative medicine use is to support the flow of bile in the digestive system and reduce the risk of indigestion. Fringe tree is sometimes also used for liver problems, high cholesterol, poor blood circulation, and jaundice.
- Psyllium: Psyllium (genus Plantago) is full of soluble fiber that the body needs to feed the healthy flora in the intestines as part of the immune system. Psyllium is used for all sorts of digestive problems, including diarrhea and constipation, as well as lowering cholesterol and encouraging weight loss.
- Yellow dock: Yellow dock (Rumex crispus)roots can be used as an alternative medicine to treat constipation as well as allergies, fever, skin diseases, scabies, sore throat, live congestions, tonsillitis, and fluid retention.
Digestion Herbs for Diarrhea
- Allspice: Allspice (Pimenta dioica) is a popular culinary spice that also has medical uses. Allspice has been used to treat diarrhea, intestinal gas, colic, nervous exhaustion, seizures, rheumatism, neuralgia, sore muscles, and hysteria. Allspice is also a rich source of beta-carotene and is considered both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
- Black haw: Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium) is a versatile herb that may treat diarrhea as well as menstrual cramps and other feminine health issues. Black haw may relax uterine spasms enough to prevent a miscarriage in some cases.
- Lady’s thumb: Lady’s thumb (Persicaria maculosa) is a common wildflower that has been prescribed to treat diarrhea as well as infections, bleeding, and joint pain. Lady’s thumb leaves are sometimes cooked and served as greens.
- Quince: Quince (Cydonia oblonga)has been suggested as an herbal remedy for diarrhea, dysentery, canker sores, gum problems, thrush, sore throat, and gonorrhea.
Digestion Herbs for Incomplete Digestion
Symptoms of incomplete digestion include stomach gas, constipation, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, cramping, flatulence, and bad breath. Supplemental digestive enzymes, which may include herbs and hydrochloric acid, can help break down food and make digestion more comfortable.
- Arum: Arum (genus Arum) is often used in homeopathic remedies and has been prescribed for indigestion as well as conditions of the respiratory system that include asthma, hoarseness, cough, and lung disease. Warning: Fresh arum is a violent irritant to the mucous membranes; if taken internally, is may be fatal.
- Blackthorn: Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), sometimes called “sloe,” has been used to regulate digestion, treat indigestion and constipation, reduce water retention, and cleanse the blood. Blackthorn berries may also treat eczema, colds, kidney stones, bladder problems, allergies, herpes, catarrh, neurosis, prostate problems, weak heart, and neurosis.
- Bromelain: Bromelain is the digestive enzyme found in pineapple stems that is considered an alternative medicine because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain may be recommended for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and Peyronie’s disease. Bromelain may also increase the benefits from antibiotics in the event of a bacterial infection.
- Burdock: Burdock (genus Arctium) is thought to promote healthy digestion and has been used as an alternative medicine to treat contaminated blood, skin conditions, urinary tract problems, respiratory problems, and weak skeletal structures.
- Dyer’s broom: Dyer’s broom (Genista Tinctoria) seeds and flowers are considered purgative, emetic, and cathartic. Dyer’s broom may be helpful as a diuretic and also may improve digestion, cleanse the blood, and treat bladder stones.
- Ground ivy: Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), sometimes called Creeping Charlie, is often used as an alternative medicine for indigestion as well as fluid retention, headache, cough, bruises, tumors, and abscesses.
- Knotgrass: Knotgrass (genus Polygonum) has been used for intestinal disorders, hemorrhoids, joint problems, kidney problems, and infected wounds. It is an astringent and can help stop bleeding.
- Lady’s love: Lady’s love (genus Abrotanum) is sometimes recommended to stimulate digestion, but its most common use is stimulating the uterus to treat irregular menstrual cycles and menstrual cramps. Lady’s love may help fight intestinal parasites. Internal use of Lady’s Love should be supervised by an experienced healthcare professional.
- Laurel: Laurel (Laurus nobilis) produces an oil that contains methyl, oxides, ethers, phenols, tannins, and resins and can be used to stimulate the digestive process, especially if chewed before meals. Laurel was originally used for respiratory issues, nervous system health, hangover, tooth and throat problems, as well as indigestion.
- Magnolia: Magnolia (genus Magnolia) tree bark has been recommended as an herbal remedy to treat indigestion as well as thyroid problems and rheumatism.
- Yarrow: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)has been suggested as a treatment for indigestion as well as female reproductive disorders, urinary tract problems, excessive bleeding, phlegm reduction, and eczema.
Digestion Herbs for Flatulence
- Burnet saxifrage: Burnet saxifrage (Pimpinella saxifrage) roots and leaves are often suggested to treat intestinal gas and indigestion as well as to encourage perspiration and decrease fluid retention. Burnet saxifrage is sometimes chewed for toothaches.
- True unicorn root: True unicorn root (Aletris farinose) is an herbal remedy for flatulence, intestinal gas, fluid retention, rheumatism, spasms, snake bite, intestinal pains, menstrual problems, and convulsions.
Digestion Herbs for Stomach Pain & Heartburn
- Elecampane: Elecampane (Inula helenium) was used the ancient Romans as a digestive aid, especially after rich banquets. Its bitter taste may help ease indigestion and stomach aches; it is often added to aperitifs. Today, elecampane is thought of as an herbal remedy to relieve upper respiratory tract ailments. Elecampane also appears to have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties and might be effective in eliminating intestinal parasites.
- European centaury: European centaury (Centaurium erythraea)has been recommended as an alternative medicine treatment for stomach aches and is thought by some to encourage digestion, purify the blood, and promote kidney and liver health as well as overall feelings of well-being. European Centaury is sometimes suggested to relieve heartburn and may ease hunger pains when taken as tea.
- Gentian: Gentian (Gentiana lutea) can be made into a tea that is sometimes recommended as an herbal treatment for acid reflux, flatulence, IBS, abdominal pain, and malaria. Gentian may also be useful for those who want to quit using nicotine. Gentian may also increase appetite.
- Peppermint: Peppermint oil, an extract of the peppermint plant (Mentha balsamea), is commonly used for digestion. Drinking a glass of water with a splash of peppermint oil before meals may reduce the risk of indigestion, intestinal cramps, bloating, and flatulence. Peppermint may also increase circulation and is used to stimulate digestive organs, such as the colon, pancreas, and gallbladder.
- Potato: Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) may be useful for treating peptic ulcers and heartburn. Potato applied topically may reduce itching, skin inflammation, or even to remove warts. Potatoes are sometimes also used to treat arthritis, wounds, and joint, back, and abdominal pain.
The information on this site it intended for general inquiry and informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you, or those under your care, are ill or in need of health care, please seek immediate medical attention. Always consult a doctor or other competent licensed clinical for specific advice about medical treatments for yourself or those under your care. Any use of, or reliance in any way upon, the information contained in the AlternativZ site and/or accessed through this site is solely at your own risk.
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