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Many herbs are helpful digestive aids, and can help mild digestive disorders if taken as liquid brews. Some herbs can perk up an appetite, and ease intestinal gas and cramps. Fresh or dried leaves, flowers and seeds, when steeped in freshly boiling water, can bring relief. The method of steeping is known as infusion.

Tougher roots, bark and stems need to be boiled or simmered to release their active ingredients, and this is called a decoction. But whether used as an infusion or decoction, it’s wise to start with a weak infusion or decoction and then make it stronger until you find the strength that is most effective. And if possible, used distilled boiled water to make the teas, for best results.

Herbal brews should always be made in ceramic, glass, enameled or stainless steel cookware. Aluminum should not be used as it might react with the herb.

Appetite-Stimulating Infusions

Dandelion Leaf Tonic
2 teaspoons dried dandelion leaves
1 cup boiling water
Place dandelion leaves in a teapot or small pan and pour the boiling water over them. Let them steep for 5 minutes. Strain into a cup, and let it cool until lukewarm. You can use fresh dandelion leaves as well, but double the amount and chop the leaves before measuring. Make sure you pick fresh leaves where they are free of pesticides or where no pets have roamed. Enjoy this healthy appetite stimulating tonic before meals.

Catnip Tea
Delicious aromatic tea, high in vitamin C. Served cold before meals, it stimulates the appetite. Served hot after meals, it aids digestion.

Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried catnip, or 3 teaspoons fresh. Steep for 5 minutes. Strain. You may add a little honey to the tea, if you wish.


Brews To Settle The Stomach

A number of herbs relieve digestive problems, especially excess gas. Most of them are common culinary herbs available in supermarkets.

Fennel Seed Digestive Tea

Seeds are rich in essential oils that help ease gas. Seeds such as anise, caraway, celery, dill, and fennel. Fennel has been favored for digestive relief for centuries, and besides relieving gas, it also soothes intestinal cramping.

11/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup boiling water

Crush the seeds lightly with a spoon or rolling pin. Put them in a cup and pour the boiling water over them. Steep for 5 to 7 minutes. Strain and drink.

There you have it. Just a few of the many herbs that can aid digestion and help calm digestive disorders.