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  • Writer's pictureNaghmeh Mirhosseini

Herbal Teas for Healthy Gut

Digestive concerns such as dry and sore mouth, difficulty swallowing, lack of appetite, taste change, nausea and vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea and constipation are common when you are dealing with cancer. These may be caused by the cancer itself, its treatment or even changes to your lifestyle.

Some eating problems, such as poor appetite or weight loss, may have been symptoms led to your cancer diagnosis. Other eating problems may be due to the location of the cancer in your body, causing poor digestion. Or they can be caused by some cancer treatments as the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These interventions might kill the good bacteria in your gut who are responsible for a better digestion.

Drinking herbal tea is an accessible, affordable, harmless approach that has helped treating digestive issues for thousands of years.

Here are our herbal tea recommendations to soothe your digestion.

1-Peppermint; It is well-known for its ability to soothe an upset stomach. Evidence supports that peppermint might alleviate symptoms of nausea, vomiting and lack of appetite in patients receiving chemotherapy for their breast cancer.

2-Ginger; Different compounds in it can stimulate stomach emptying, and might help with nausea, cramping, bloating, gas, or indigestion. Evidence has shown that taking 1.5g of ginger (ginger tea also can have similar effect) can reduce nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

3-Gentian Root; It has been used to stimulate appetite. Its bitter compounds, known as iridoids, can increase the production of digestive enzymes and acids and helps with better food digestion and absorption.

4-Fennel; With its liquorice-like taste and antioxidant compounds fennel helps prevent stomach ulcer. It may also help relieve constipation and promote bowel movements.

5-Angelica Root; It has a polysaccharide which may protect against stomach and intestinal damage caused by oxidative stress in those with chronic inflammatory conditions in their digestive system. Moreover, angelica root can stimulate the secretion of intestinal acids and help relieving constipation.

6-Dandelion; Its extracts contain compounds that may stimulate muscle contractions, promote the flow of food from the stomach to the small intestine and finally the digestion. On the other hand, dandelion extract helps protect against ulcer by fighting inflammation and decreasing the production of stomach acid.

7-Marshmallow Root; It has a compound called mucilage which can help stimulate the production of mucus-producing cells and coating your throat and stomach. This layer has been mostly damaging by chemotherapeutic agents. In addition, marshmallow root may have antioxidant properties that help decrease inflammation in the body and subsequently it may protect against ulcers.

8-Lemon Balm; According to its traditional use, lemon balm tea may relieve mild digestive issues, including bloating and gas. It may also decrease abdominal pain and constipation.

9-Wormwood; It may prevent or relieve indigestion or discomfort in your upper abdomen. By promoting the release of digestive juices, it also can help optimize healthy digestion and decrease bloating. Wormwood may also kill parasites, which can be the main reason of bloating. Its bitter taste can be softened with lemon juice and honey.

10-Chamomile; Chamomile traditionally has been used to treat indigestion, gas, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and ulcer. Evidence suggests that it may prevent Helicobacter pylori which is a bacterial infection, causing stomach ulcers and associated bloating.

11-Green Tea; Drinking green tea regularly helps your body break food down more effectively. Evidence shows that EGCG (the compound in green tea) works to reduce inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract and ease digestion.

To make the herbal tea; soak 7–10 fresh peppermint leaves/ 2 tablespoons of sliced ginger roots/1/2 teaspoon of dried gentian root/ 1 teaspoon fennel seeds/1 tablespoon angelica dried roots/1/2 cup of dandelion flower/ 1 tablespoon dried marshmallow root/1 tablespoon dried lemon balm leaves/1 teaspoon dried wormwood/1 tablespoon dried chamomile/1 tablespoon dried green tea leaves OR 1 herbal tea bag of each in 1 cup (250 ml) of boiled water for 10-15 minutes before straining and drinking it.

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