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Herbal Teas for Digestive Health

Updated on August 3, 2017
Glasses of herbal tea
Glasses of herbal tea | Source

An Introduction to Herbal Teas

The benefits of herbal teas have been recognised for hundreds of years, with usage dating back to Ancient China. They are believed to offer a variety of health benefits, including providing relief from minor ailments and offering a boost of vitamins and antioxidants.

Drinking herbal teas can be beneficial even for those who are not looking for specific health benefits from the herbs. They are low in calories and naturally caffeine free, making them a healthy alternative to caffeinated or sugary drinks.

Due to their popularity, they are easily obtained from your local health food shop or supermarket.

In this article, I am going to be looking at herbal teas that are beneficial for digestive health.

A cup of peppermint tea
A cup of peppermint tea | Source

Peppermint

Peppermint tea is very beneficial for digestive health, often being recommended for relief from irritable bowel syndrome. It helps to relax the intestines, therefore improving digestion and promoting healthy bowel movements. Peppermint tea is also a carminative, meaning that it can prevent the formation of gas in the intestines. This can help to provide relief from the discomfort of bloating.

Dried chamomile flowers
Dried chamomile flowers | Source

Chamomile

Chamomile tea is well known as a calming tea, and is a popular choice for aiding sleep. What might be less well known is that it can also help with a variety of digestive problems. Chamomile tea has antispasmodic properties that can relax the intestines, therefore reducing bloating and easing stomach cramps.

The two main types of chamomile used to make tea are Roman chamomile and German chamomile, with German being the most widely used.

Root ginger
Root ginger | Source

Ginger

Ginger tea can help with a range of digestive issues and improve overall digestive health. Consumption of ginger encourages saliva and gastric juice production, thereby aiding digestion. It can be particularly beneficial to drink ginger tea before a large meal as it increases the efficiency of the digestive system.

Improving the performance of the digestive system reduces the likelihood of experiencing problems such as gas and bloating.

Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds | Source

Fennel

Fennel has traditionally been used to aid digestion. The seeds contain compounds that have antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial for digestive health.

The tea, which is made from ground fennel seeds, has been reported to reduce bloating and flatulence. Fennel tea can be useful for relieving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, as it helps to increase the production of gastric juices and regulates the contractions of the intestines.

Marshmallow flower
Marshmallow flower | Source

Marshmallow Root

The marshmallow plant has been used medicinally for 2,000 years. It has an attractive pale flower when in bloom, but it is the root that is used for medicinal purposes.

Tea is made from the root, which contains a substance that can soothe the digestive tract. It has a mild laxative effect, so can be used to loosen stools and relieve constipation. It is thought to be beneficial in treating a range of digestive issues, including heartburn and indigestion.

Using Herbal Teas

Herbal teas are readily available from the supermarket, but for some of the less commonly used herbs you may need to visit a health food shop or buy online. Most herbal teas are available as teabags, but you may prefer to buy the dried herbs and brew your own.

If you are new to drinking herbal teas, you may need a few attempts to get the desired strength. You may also find that some are just not to your taste! As there are so many varieties available, you shouldn't have too much difficulty finding ones that you can enjoy while reaping the benefits.

Although drinking herbal tea can offer health benefits, not all herbal remedies are safe for everyone. Particular care needs to be taken during pregnancy or if you have any medical problems. Please speak to your doctor to ensure that any herbs you intend to use are suitable for you.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider before using any herbal remedies. Herbal remedies should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding unless under the direction of your doctor.

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    • Natalie Cookson profile image
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      Natalie Cookson 5 months ago from United Kingdom

      I have a cup of peppermint tea most days, one of my favourites! It was recommended to me several years ago for irritable bowel.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 5 months ago from California Gold Country

      We drink a mix of peppermint and chamomile most of the time. I make a small pot in the morning, and we drink the rest of it cold.

      My German mother-in-law told me that fennel tea was good for a baby's tummy ache. As a young mother I was a little hesitant to try it... but it did seem to work.