Are you struggling with digestion? Do you often get stomach aches or feel bloated after eating? Our #GoodGut recommendation to support digestive issues are carminative herbs with meals! You may have heard that drinking ginger ale or chewing mint gum helps with an upset stomach. Or maybe while grocery shopping, you’ve seen teas with lemongrass, licorice, peppermint, fennel, or chamomile support healthy digestion or help with bloating. All of these familiar herbs are carminatives! Carminative herbs are plants with aromatic oils with anti-inflammatory properties that enhance gut health and help promote proper digestive system functioning.
What are the benefits of carminative herbs?
Carminative herbs have a host of benefits including anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, and microbial properties. Because these compounds can aid gastrointestinal muscle contractions, dispel gas from your gut, and reduce gas formation and inflammation in your gut, carminative herbs are natural remedies you can turn to alleviate bloating, gas, diarrhea, cramping, and nausea. As an added benefit, because of their aromatic properties, many can be used to help freshen breath and promote restorative sleep.
Examples of carminative herbs include: cumin, coriander, chamomile, ginger, licorice, lemon balm, fennel, rosemary, cinnamon, rosemary, cardamom, and anise. Peppermint tea is considered to be a specific remedy for irritable bowel syndrome, which can help with lower gastrointestinal bloat. Brew up a few bags a time to help expel gas that feels trapped. Cinnamon is a great spice that provides extra flavor to our favorite drinks, oatmeal, and more! It can even help with hypertension, bronchial spasms, and consternation. Ginger also has analgesic properties and can help alleviate nausea, reflux, body aches, menstrual cramps, and headaches. Fennel can help reduce edema (swelling in your limbs caused by fluid retention or buildup of fluid in the body), promotes circulation, and can alleviate menopausal symptoms and colic in babies through their nursing mother’s breast milk.
How can I incorporate more carminative herbs in my diet?
These carminative herbs are great for promoting healthy digestion. You can grow them at home or purchase them fresh or dried from your local grocery store. Steep them with hot water to make tea. You can also use them in smoothies and other #GoodGut recipes.
Roasted Fennel and Potato Soup
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
1 ½ lbs yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 small fennel bulbs, sliced into 1 inch slices (reserve some fronds for the garnish)
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
2 tbsp olive oil, mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk
Prep the fennel, onions, and potatoes. Once they are all washed, diced, and seasoned with salt & pepper, place them on a baking sheet with a splash of oil.
Bake at 450°F for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
Once the vegetables are roasted, add them into a blender along with the non-dairy milk and vegetable broth. Blend until it reaches the desired consistency.
Finish by warming up the soup on the stove.
Abdul-Aziz, S., Aeron, A., & Kabul, T. (2016). Health Benefits and Possible Risks of Herbal Medicine. Microbes in Food and Health. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-25277-3_6
Rahnama, M., Mehrabani, D., Japoni, S., Edjtehadi, M., & Saberi Firoozi, M. (2013). The healing effect of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) on Helicobacter pylori infected peptic ulcers. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 18(6), 532-533.
Mahboubi, M. (2019). Caraway as Important Medicinal Plants in Management of Diseases.” Natural Products and Bioprospecting, 9(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13659-018-0190-x