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Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

Grow Your Own Remedies for Gut Health

by Linda Grace Kingsbury

Digestive upset is a common health issue that we all experience from time to time. The foods we consume, stress we hold, and the environment that we eat in all have an impact on how our body processes what we feed it.

Thankfully, Mother Nature offers us weeds and easy-to-grow plants that support healthy digestion. Indigestion, acid reflux and constipation can all be improved by adding bitter foods and herbs to your daily diet. Bitters clear excess heat from the heart and small intestines. When the heart is happy all foods are easier to digest. The following suggestions can help improve your gut health. If you’re unable to grow your own greens and herbs, all the below are readily available in common grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

  • If you feel like you’re losing your cool, eat a salad with an abundance of dark leafy greens
  • To ease an upset stomach, chew on fresh peppermint, lemon balm and lovage leaves
  • Improve gut bacteria by consuming bitter greens like arugula, amaranth, kale, beet greens and spinach
  • Add dandelion leaves to a salad or fresh juice to help digest fatty foods and improve sluggish digestion
  • Ease worry and anxiety, often a source of digestive upset, with calming lemon balm and motherwort
  • Soothe Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms by drinking peppermint leaf tea
  • Reduce hyperacidity, gastritis, intestinal gas and diarrhea with herbal preparations containing yarrow
  • Relieve inflammation in the digestive tract with plantain and mallow, both common backyard weeds
  • Boost immune health with oregano and thyme

 Herbal Vinegars

In addition to eating leafy greens and using bitter herbs as condiments or tea, another way to support a healthy gut is making herbal vinegars. Here are simple instructions on how to make your own herb-infused digestion support vinegar.

Digestion Vinegar

-Gather or buy fresh herbs and one quart of a high-quality apple cider vinegar that still has the “mother.”

-Chop three cups of fresh herbs and pack lightly into a quart jar until it is filled about ¾ of the way full.
-Fill to the top with apple cider vinegar.
-Cover with a plastic lid to avoid metal corrosion.
-Allow the herbs and vinegar to steep in a cupboard for two weeks.
-After the steeping time has passed, strain off the liquid through a filter lined funnel into a glass jar.
-Put a label and date on the jar.
-Compost the herbs.
-Keep the herbal infused vinegar refrigerated.

To make a digestion supportive beverage, add one teaspoon to one tablespoon Digestion Vinegar to one cup of warm water. Drink it before lunch and dinner to improve assimilation of the minerals from food, ease indigestion, and balance insulin sensitivity. Drink a cup of warm water with up to a tablespoon of Digestion Vinegar when experiencing acid reflux symptoms.

As much as possible, create a calm space to enjoy a conscious connection with the foods you eat. Turn off all media and have a lit candle on the table during mealtime. Allow the colors, tastes and textures of your meals to inspire and uplift you. Grow what you can and support your local farmers. Feed your joy center, restore health, and thrive with bitter greens. Feel thankful for the abundance and beauty that the summertime offers.

Dr. Linda Grace Kingsbury holds a Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition. She grows and gathers wild and organic herbs in Idaho and formulates premium herbal products. Her two brands include Idaho Herbs and Spirit Herbs, which are sold on her Etsy/SpiritHerb store. Join her Edible and Medicinal Weed Identification walk and home remedy medicine making classes this summer. For more information, call/text 208-883-9933, email [email protected] or visit SpiritHerbs.com.
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