10 Herbs to Improve Gut Health and Digestion

Herbal remedies have been around for thousands of years. Herbs can help with digestion and gut health, which is key to your overall wellness. Keeping the gut in top shape is key to keeping the rest of your body healthy. Herbal remedies can help with every stage digestion, which is the main function of the gut.

There are hundreds of herbal remedies.  Which herbs will help you most depends on what part of the digestive process is the root of the problem.  First consider which digestive issues you have:  gas, constipation, stomach cramps,  indigestion, diarrhea or bloating.  Digestion begins in the stomach, moves to the large intestine and ends in the small intestine.

THE STOMACH

Starting at the front of the process here are three herbs that help to speed up digestion in the stomach.  These herbs share one common trait, they are bitter.  You may have seen someone “drinking their bitters” in an old television show or read it in a classic novel,  It is an old digestive hack and a European tradition.  Many Europeans drink a bitter before eating to get the stomach ready to break down what’s coming.   These herbs can also help to reduce bloating and gas.

1.) Dandelion – We typically think of dandelions as a weed but it turns out they can be used for all kinds of drinks because they are rich in Vitamin A, B, D and D as well as many minerals.  There are many varieties of dandelion tea available.  Dandelion can stimulate your appetite and help with digestion.

2.) Gentian is the most common bitter in our western culture.  The root of the plant and sometimes even the bark are used to make medicine.  It can be found in a liquid form.

3.) Barberry root – there are several varieties of barberry root, Nepalese Barberry and Indian Barberry.  This herb is a bitter herb stomach tonic and it also helps with constipation.

 

THE INTESTINES

Moving from the stomach to the intestines, these herbal remedies help with everything from constipation to gas and stomach cramps.

4.) Cumin- Cumin is the super-powered herb because it helps with so many different problems.  It also improves immunity, helps with insomnia, cancer, asthma, the common cold, anemia and bronchitis.

5.) Aloe Leaf (or aloe vera) – We have all used this for a sun burn but did you know it can ease digestion and relieve constipation? Read more about aloe vera. If you consume aloe vera, make sure it is real.

6.) Chia Seeds – Chia seeds have many benefits for digestion.  They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber and they are anti-inflammatory.   Because they are high in fiber, they can help with constipation.  Chia seeds are also widely available in grocery stores, where some other herbal remedies are not. Chia seeds can be added to a smoothy or added to baked goods. Read more about chia seeds.

7.) Mullein Leaf – Mullein Leaf is an anti-bacterial leaf that has long been used to treat many digestive related issues.  It helps with diarrhea, constipation and hemorrhoids.

8.)  Marshmallow Root – Marshmallow root helps to promote moisture within the intestines which can help with constipation.

9.) Lemon balm – Lemmon balm can help with gas and bloating and is also helps to calm your nervous system.  This herb is good to use if your digestive problems relate to stress.

10.) Artichoke – artichoke helps with different parts of digestion, specifically the liver and gall bladder. It helps promote bile production, which comes from the gallbladder, and helps with the digestion of fat.  Artichoke can be eaten steamed, roasted or in an extract form.

WHERE TO FIND HERBAL REMEDIES

Most herbal remedies can safely be ordered from online stores. Many herbal remedies are not available at your grocery store.  And some of them are not regulated by FDA because they are plants.

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