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The Willow Journal

Why You Need Carminative Herbs for Digestive Health

Why You Need Carminative Herbs for Digestive Health

You have heard the saying, all disease starts in the gut.

We all seem to be aware of the importance of digestive health but with such a complicated and nuanced system it can be confusing knowing where to start. Most people are walking around wondering, do I have SIBO? Candida? Parasites? Leaky gut? Food allergies? So they start throwing various herbal protocols and restrictive diets at their self diagnosed “gut issues”. Unfortunately, I have seen this do more harm than good in the long term for some folks.

The best way to approach digestive imbalances is to work with a practitioner. Through looking at your specific symptoms, and evaluating labs like the GI map if necessary or financially accessible, we can get to the root cause of your digestive symptoms. Sometimes, however, we just need a place to start on our own before we are ready to take the step in working with someone. 

When we try to self diagnose our digestive issues using Dr. Google, we end up leaning on more aggressive therapeutics, then are confused when they don’t work… or even make things worse.

Cue, carminatives! When someone walks into our apothecary with digestive issues, let’s just say bloating after eating, and alternating constipation & diarrhea, I am not immediately going to recommend Candida Care or Parasite Formula. I am going to recommend our Tummy Tea and Simple Bitters. Two formulas which center on carminative herbs paired with other nourishing and stimulating herbs to support digestive health in a more gentle but effective way.

Unlike powerful herbal antimicrobials, antifungals and antiparasitic herbs (which have their time and place, especially when recommended by a practitioner), carminative herbs don’t effect the good bacteria in your gut. Carminative herbs often do possess antimicrobial, antifungal and antiparasitic action but in a much more gentle, sustainable & balanced way.

This is why carminatives are the best place to start, because they can help balance the microbiome without creating further damage.

Carminative herbs are a great addition to your daily life because they can not only help bring your digestive health into balance, they are also great herbs to work with if you want to maintain digestive health. These are some of the most well known herbs in our culture because we all know how effective they are. Most people know to use Peppermint tea for example, when they have a belly ache.

Some benefits of carminative herbs:

  • Help to ease gas and bloating
  • Increase digestive fire and absorption of nutrients
  • Balance gut microbiome (manage overgrowths and cultivate beneficial bacteria)
  • Antispasmodic, release tension in the GI tract

These effects are particularly supportive when paired with other herbs like:

  • Vulneraries: herbs that help heal the gut lining
  • Demulcents: herbs that coat the gut lining and soothe any inflammation
  • Bitters: herbs that help support the secretion of digestive enzymes & bile to break down foods and digest fat

Some of our favorite carminative herbs:

  • Peppermint
  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon Balm
  • Turmeric
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary

To learn more about these carminative herbs, join us for our upcoming class!

Carminatives: Herbs for Digestion, will be offered in person at Dancing Willow Herbs with an audio recording available for those who live elsewhere or aren't available during our class time! 

Live class: Wednesday, July 12th, 6:15-7:30 PM at Dancing Willow Herbs (1018 Main Ave, Durango CO)

Audio recording: released July 13th- listen on your own time.

We will expand on these topics, discuss lifestyle & nutrition for digestive health as well as get to know our favorite carminatives (and other herbs) for digestion! 

Sign up now!