Normal digestive functioning can get thrown off pretty easily. When women reach the mid-life point and hormones start becoming more erratic, our digestive health can take a hit.
Fortunately there are a number of herbs to aid digestion for women over 40. And I have a very affordable resource for you. I order all of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs because they are all organic, a high integrity company and the best prices I’ve found. I love Mountain Rose Herbs so much I have partnered with them as an affiliate to make their products available to my clients and customers.
According to Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP, the science of using botanical remedies to treat health conditions is finding its way back into mainstream medicine. Nature’s healing properties, found in plants, herbs, roots, and flowers have been an essential part of restoring health for centuries, long before we could reach for pills from grocery store shelves.
Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD based in Atlanta recommends people consult with their doctor or registered dietitian to rule out intestinal disease or conditions and incorporate a healthy diet of nutrition-rich foods rather than relying on herbs.
I agree, that women should always consult with their health practitioner before taking herbs, depending on your health and any medications you may be taking.
According to herbalists there are three important herbal properties that can be helpful when our digestive system is off balance include bitters, aromatics, and demulcents. Let’s take a closer look…
Bitter herbs can assist to stimulate digestion by helping gastric juices flow and encourage peristalsis. Just a drop of this flavor on the tongue is effective in activating the production of beneficial digestive secretions including saliva, gastric acid, and bile.
This will often help to promote normal elimination, provide relief for gassy cramping and to support a healthy appetite for nutritious foods after an illness or while traveling. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle of these bitters on-hand to take by the drop or to make a super easy bitter soda. Here’s a recipe:
Dandy Bitter Soda
- 1 part organic dried orange peel
- 1 part organic dried dandelion root
- 1 part organic cacao nibs
- ¼ part organic gentian root
Fill 1/3 of a 4oz jar with the herb mix. Pour a high grade unflavored vodka over the herbs until the jar is filled. Allow to extract for 2 weeks and strain. Use several droppers in a pint of seltzer water with a squeeze of fresh grapefruit juice, or take a few drops straight on the tongue.
Aromatic herbs have been used in cuisines around the world to add bursts of flavor to a meal, and also to help stimulate healthy digestion. These plants have volatile essential oils that present strong aromas like fennel, peppermint, dill, coriander, and ginger to name a few. Many aromatic herbs are warming to the digestive tract and carminative, meaning they help expel gas. This action can ease an uncomfortable feeling of fullness especially after a meal by making flatulence more productive and less stagnant.
- 4 parts organic maple or coconut sugar
- 2 parts organic cardamom powder
- 1 part organic ginger root powder
- 1 part organic licorice root powder
- 1 part organic acacia powder
- distilled water or organic fennel tincture
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Use a glass dropper to add one dropperful of liquid at a time to the bowl. Keep adding one dropper of liquid until the mixture holds together in a clump, similar to the consistency of cookie dough. Be careful not to add too much liquid. Form into small lozenges about the size of a pencil eraser. They will be strong! Coat the outsides with additional licorice root powder if desired. Allow to dry on a screen or plate for a few days. Store in a glass jar or tin.
Some herbs are mucilaginous and produce a slippery texture that coats, soothes, and protects mucus membranes. These plants also help to ease dry conditions. The slippery action triggers a reflex that promotes natural moistening secretions within the body systems such as respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive. Best extracted as an infusion in water rather than in alcohol tincture form, they can be helpful for hot and dried out conditions.
- 3 parts organic marshmallow root
- 2 parts organic rose buds
- 1 part organic cinnamon chips or ½ part powder or 1 stick
Fill 1/3 of a pint jar with herb mix (you can also bundle the herbs in cheesecloth) and cover completely with cool water. Refrigerate overnight and strain. Add honey to taste if you’d like a little more sweetness. Drink and enjoy!
*DISCLAIMER: For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.