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Herbs in the Pantry

Herb in the Pantry – Herbs that Heal

If you feel like you’ve over indulged already this year, then herbs in the pantry can be just what you need. Gaining Health has some great news for you – it’s never too late to give your body a bit of a clean-up! I’m not talking about going on one of those juice diets; Naturopaths, Nutritionists and in particular GAPS Practitioners work on rebalancing your gut bacteria with delicious ingredients from your kitchen, supplements and even lifestyle and environmental toxicities that may get in the way.

Gut health has long been on the forefront of natural medicine for Naturopaths, Herbalists and GAPS Practitioners as the place to start for a healthy body. In herbal medicine we talk in more technical terms for healing the gut; we like to employ the healing actions of:

  • Bitters: Stimulate digestion
  • Demulcents: Heals and Sooth
  • Carminatives: Relax intestinal muscles and relieve flatulence
  • Anti-inflammatories: Reduces inflammation
  • Spasmolytics: Reduce muscular cramping

But that’s enough of the technical stuff… Did you know that some of the herbs and spices you have in the kitchen panty right now, including tea infusions and culinary spices, have digestive healing powers?

Here are 6 favourites that are key to achieving a Happy Healthy Gut!



chamomile Chamomile heals and has the potential to break down the cycle of ulceration in the gastrointestinal process. It is an anti-inflammatory as well as a spasmolytic and therefore can accelerate healing the gut. Sipping on Chamomile tea before bed has many benefits, including digestion and promoting restful sleep.
Cinnamon in closeup Cinnamon is an aromatic digestive that improves gastric acid secretion. This powerful spice used as a powder or bark acts as a blood sugar regulator as well.  Sprinkle over your breakfast pancakes or muesli and don’t forget to add it to your favourite soups and casseroles. You will be surprised how well it complements.
Fennel11 Fennel is an excellent spasmolytic and carminative herb that improves gastrointestinal motility in small doses. Used as a tea, in your favourite Indian cooking and char grilled or roasted, it too will help regulate blood sugar.
 ginger Ginger is that warming, pungent herb that stimulates and improves gastric digestion. It provides symptomatic relief from nausea, and is excellent to use sliced fresh as a tea (simply pour hot water over the ginger and allow too steep for 4-5 minutes). You can also add it to your favourite stir-fry or Asian inspired meal to pack a punch.
peppermint tea Peppermint’s fresh menthol taste lingers and lasts. It cools, reduces spasms and helps to improve overall gallbladder function, thereby soothing the digestive system. Great as an after dinner digestive.
licorice-2 Licorice is a favourite mucilaginous herb providing mucous membrane protection and sweetness to teas. It also improves pancreatic secretion assisting carbohydrate digestion.  Beware though, licorice sweets do not contain any of the active constituents but rather are plentiful in sugar!

So there you have it!

Not surprisingly these herbs and spices are food medicines that heal.  Use organic ingredients as much as possible and always store your herbs in a dry, cool and dark place for longer shelf life. More importantly, start using your herbs and spices to heal your gut and importantly your body today!

If you need to fine tune your gastrointestinal system, have digestive health concerns, feeling bloated and lethargic? Book in for a consultation with naturopath and GAPS Practitioner, Karen Green.

See her profile on NHAA website: Board Director Karen Green

Gaining Health Naturally Naturopathy Brisbane, Sunshine Coast Qld

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