Best herbs for the digestive system

Part 2


If you've read our last blog post then you would've seen that Marshmallow and Peppermint are two herbs that greatly help to support the digestive system. Here are two more herbs that can help too.

 

Fenugreek

Latin name: Trigonella foenum graecum

Best part to use: Seed. Alternatively, the aerial parts can be used as a fodder crop for animals.

Actions:

- Demulcent – relieving inflammation or irritation.

- Nutritive – providing nourishment.

- Laxative - stimulate or facilitate evacuation of the bowels.

- Expectorant - promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages.

- Galactagogue - promotes or increases the flow of a mother's milk.

Why is it good: Fenugreek can be used to stimulate appetite, for gastric disorders such as ulceration and to encourage good milk production in nursing mothers. The seeds are extremely nutritive and contain up to 8% oil and 20% protein, as well as Vitamins A, B, C & E.

Fun fact about Fenugreek: The plant’s Latin name means ‘Greek Hay’ because in the past the plant was used to add ‘nose’ to poor quality hay. In the 1900’s it was used as a feed additive for both horses and cattle to help them put on condition. Most of us know the herb as one of the spices used in Asian cookery.

Liquorice

Latin name: Glycyrrhiza glabra

Best part to use: Dried root & occasionally the leaves.

Actions:

- Expectorant - promotes the secretion of sputum by the air passages.

- Demulcent – relieving inflammation or irritation.

- Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation.

- Laxative - stimulate or facilitate evacuation of the bowels.

- Adaptogen – help the body adapt to stress.

- Spasmolytic – relieve spasm of smooth muscle.

- Antibacterial – active against bacteria.

- Antitussive – prevent or relieve a cough.

Why is it good:  Like Marshmallow it can be used for both the digestive and respiratory systems. It also provides a demulcent action, helping to reduce gastric acid secretions and making it ideal for any inflammatory gastric or digestive concerns.

Fun fact about Liquorice: Liquorice has been used medicinally for over 3,000 years and was spoken of by the ancient Greeks in the 3rd Century BC. Ancient herbals carry instructions for its use on both animals and people.