Have you ever been told to drink ginger ale for your stomach ache? How about chewing mint gum? These #goodgut recommendations are made with great intentions to glean anti-bloating, pro-motility, anti-inflammatory benefits of carminative herbs. Want to feel better without the added sugar? First, let’s talk about carminative herbs!
Carminatives are herbal remedies that aid in reducing and preventing gas formation in our gut and that can also alleviate bloating. Most carminative herbs are also antispasmodic, meaning they can prevent or reduce muscle spasms that can occur in the smooth muscle of our gut.
Some familiar carminative herbs are cardamom, chamomile, ginger, fennel, cinnamon, peppermint, rosemary, and lemon balm. Others include anise, spearmint, cumin, and coriander. These herbs make for great teas, but you are also able to add them fresh or dried in smoothies, or even using them in your everyday cooking!
You might already know that cardamom is a rich and aromatic spice that is found in your chai tea. This carminative spice has been shown to ease digestion, gently promote stomach function, aids in heartburn, nausea, and can even help with bad breath.
Many of us will probably have chamomile tea in our cupboards and is probably considered one of the staples. But can there be more to this herb than just your standard tea? The answer is yes! This herb assists in easing gas and bloating, gently stimulates digestion, and is antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory. It can also relieve stress and nervous tension and even help promote restorative sleep. Next time you’re looking through your cupboard, consider making yourself a warm cup of chamomile tea.
Another carminative that we know and love is ginger! Not only does ginger provide great taste in our meals, but it can also be steeped in hot water to make for a great tea that can help with digestive issues. Whether cooked or steeped, ginger can aid in easing gas and bloating, and it is also anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Ginger also has analgesic properties and can possibly help reduce body aches, headaches, menstrual cramps, and more.
Fennel is another carminative that can be steeped in hot water and has increased in popularity. Fennel promotes digestion and can decrease gas. Fennel can also help in soothing babies with colic or indigestion through their nursing mother’s breast milk.
Cinnamon is the spice that we add to our favorite warm drinks, oatmeal, baked goods and so much more. It provides us with the warm and comforting feeling that we love, but cinnamon also does so much for us behind the scenes. This special carminative spice is able to relax our smooth muscles in our gut and aids in diarrhea and constipation. Cinnamon can also help with hypertension, bronchial spasms, and even menstrual cramps.
Another tea you might already have in your cupboard is peppermint tea. This tea helps in relieving indigestion, flatulence, nausea and vomiting. It is actually considered to be a specific remedy for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)!
A couple of other carminatives like rosemary have been shown to relax the nervous system, are an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and a circulatory stimulant. Lemon balm is an herb that is antispasmodic, antihistamine, antiviral and antimicrobial. Tulsi (AKA holy basil) can help with reducing histamine levels as well.
One of our go to carminative teas can be easily made at home using caraway seeds, fennel, and chamomile.
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chamomile
Crush 1 teaspoon of each herb
Steep for 20 minutes in a tea strainer
Add tea to 1 cup of boiled water
Be sure to drink after each meal!
Don’t feel like a DIY tea? Check out Pique Tea and Traditional Medicinals to find some of our favorite carminative teas!
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