Our gut works hard for us every minute of every day. When it is functioning properly, we hardly think twice about it. But the moment things go awry, it’s nearly impossible to ignore. The sudden onset of occasional bloating, cramping, nausea, constipation and a slew of other occasional flare ups let us know that things have fallen out of balance, and that perhaps our digestive system needs a little extra love.
Fortunately, there are very simple things that you can incorporate into your everyday life to keep yourself moving smoothly. As herbalists, we’re sharing some of our favorite herbal health hacks to support digestion naturally.
Herbalist Tips for Healthy Digestion
1. Learn to love bitters!
Bitter tasting plants are some of nature’s best resources for keeping your belly in check. That bitter flavor which might make your face wince, ignites a cascade of reactions along your digestive system to help your body prepare for and process food. While our modern taste buds may favor sweet over bitter, it’s an essential flavor that your body needs.* So, instead of shying away from it, embrace it! One of the easiest ways to get your dose of bitters is through Urban Moonshine’s array of digestive bitters. These are liquid extracts of some of nature’s best bitter herbs. Simply spray or squeeze a few dropperfuls onto your tongue 20 minutes or so before meals to get those digestive juices flowing.* Their bitters sprays make it particularly convenient to carry with you wherever your next meal may be.
2. Sip on some herbs
Do you enjoy the flavor of ginger, fennel or peppermint? These key herbs are some of the best to support healthy digestion. When taken in tea form, they are a convenient companion to any meal, and the warmth may provide extra soothing benefits. If you find yourself in a bind, these can offer a solution to occasional discomforts. Check out our full line of digestive support teas, each offering slightly different benefits, from digestive support through our probiotic teas and nausea relief through our ginger-forward teas; or soothe gas, bloating and digestive cramping with blends featuring fennel, chamomile or peppermint.* As herbalists, we formulate our herbal teas with medicinal-grade herbs to provide the greatest benefit possible.
3. Chew on fennel
Have you ever been offered fennel seeds to chew on after a meal at an Indian restaurant? More than just a flavorful end to a meal, this treat is steeped in tradition, and function! Fennel seeds are what we herbalists classify as carminatives. That means, aromatic herbs that contain volatile oils which help relieve intestinal gas, bloating, and cramping.* We recommend keeping some stored on your kitchen table or counter in a convenient jar, so you can scoop some into your mouth after especially rich meals. You can find plain fennel seeds in the spice aisle of many grocery stores or seek out candy-coated ones at more specialty markets.
4. Upgrade your salad
We all know getting greens into your diet is always a good thing. We challenge you to upgrade this good habit by mixing in bitter tasting herbs. Many lettuces and greens you’re likely already familiar with provide functional support for your belly.* That’s why many cultures around the world have incorporated herbs like dandelion greens, radicchio, endive, arugula and escarole into their dishes, and often serve them at the onset of a meal. If you’re already incorporating these plants into your salads, you can smile knowing that you’re serving yourself a hidden bit of herbal medicine!
So remember, to support your digestion, learn to love bitters, sip on some herbs, chew on fennel and upgrade your salad.* For more herbalist-recommended tips, visit the Inspiration section of our Plant Power Journal!