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The Willow Journal

Healing with Carminitive Herbs

...And the winds bring the breath of Spring

Today while skipping down the streets of Durango I found a new bounce to my step and a glide to my walk as I felt the warming sun bathe my body. There is so much renewal and promise in the blessings of spring, yet for some of us Spring can be a tricky time of year as the days grow warm, but the winds pick up.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the elemental forces of nature and how they effect us internally as well as externally. In many traditional systems of healing the air element effects the wandering quality of the mind, the functions of the lungs and can present itself as gas in the the digestive tract. In the spring we might find ourselves feeling a bit more scattered than usual or even feeling low grade irritation or anxiety as our nervous system might be just a bit more sensitive. The dry winds of spring even aggravate insomnia. One approach to addressing wind irritation is to look at our diet. In the the spring, we often think about cleansing but the trick to a healthy  cleansing diet is addressing the nature of our imbalances. Wind in the gut is typically a sign of poor digestion. 

Warming carminative herbs like curry, turmeric, fennel and cumin can help to balance the digestive fires and cooked root vegetable can help to ground an irritated constitution and put ones feet back on the ground. Lastly, the use of soothing nervines like skullcap, chamomile, oat straw and tops, motherwort and lemon balm can equally sooth irritated nerves and troubled sleep. 

Dancing Willow Herbs has some wonderful products to help ease the discomforts of spring wind irritation and they are listed below. We are also offering a wonderful class that addresses Allergies and how you can use herbs to heal, prevent, and soothe. While we all love Spring, it does usher in pollens and allergens that sometimes need reckoning with! We would love for you to join us. See the flyer below and and give us a call to sign up.

I am ever grateful for my Dancing Willow community and as always wish you warm....


Dancing Willow Herbs carries a large line of culinary bulk herbs and can help you choose the Carminitve Herbs that are perfect for you.
We also recommend our special formulations:

Peaceful Slumber-Promotes sleep. Useful for nervous insomnia and restlessness. Contains: Hops, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Passion Flower, and Valerian

Peaceful Heart- A tincture that helps to ease feelings of anxiety and restlessness. Good for grief, PMS and panic attacks.Contains: Oat Flowers, Motherwort, Skullcap, Vervain, and Anemone. 

Gear Down-
A tincture designed to take the edge off the day. Encourages relaxation and a restful night's sleep. Supports adrenal function.

What are Carminative Herbs and how can I use them?

It's easy and tasty to improve digestion is by utilizing flavorful, carminative herbs.ᅠHerbs with carminative properties help to reduce flatulence and bloating.ᅠThey are beneficial for treating colic, as well as for decreasing smooth muscle cramping and intestinal cramping. Some carminative herbs increase bile flow, which improves the digestion of fats. ᅠ

Examples of carminative herbs which improve assimilation include  anise, cardamom, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, ginger, orange peel and peppermint.

There are numerous ways to incorporate carminative herbs into the diet through foods we eat everyday.ᅠAnise, cardamom, coriander, fennel, and ginger enhance the flavor of soup, bread, grain, bean, and meat dishes. Drinking herbal tea, consuming an herbal extract or a digestive chew are other methods of ingesting carminative herbs.ᅠHere are some yummy ideas and recipes!

Digestive Chew Recipe
Two parts of candied ginger (chop into small pieces ᄐ to ᄑ inch size)
One part each of anise, cardamom, fennel and orange peel
Combine  above ingredients and consume one teaspoon of the mixture before or after meals. 

Carminative Tea Blend
Add one part each of allspice, anise, cardamom, coriander, fennel, orange peel, and marshmallow root; add one half parts of licorice root and dry ginger. 

First, combine the previously listed herbs. ᅠNext, place four tablespoons of the tea blend in 48 ounces of water, in a vessel with a lid.ᅠ Simmer on low for a minimum of thirty minutes. This will yield  one quart of tea.ᅠ Strain the tea and add cream or milk as desired. 
Carminative Chai Tea Blend (caffeine free)
Two parts of fresh grated ginger root (or one part dry ginger root)
One part each of allspice, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, and fennel seed
One half part of licorice root 

 Combine dry herbs.ᅠNext, place two tablespoons of fresh grated ginger and two tablespoons of the herbal blend in 48 ounces of water, in a vessel with a lid.ᅠ Simmer on low for a minimum of thirty minutes. ᅠIf fresh ginger is not available, use four tablespoons of the dry herbal blend. ᅠStrain the tea and add cream or milk as desired.