Containing more than 200 million neurons in permanent communication with the brain, our digestive system is considered by scientists as our second brain. As a result, the health of the flora must be a priority. Regularly, the first reflex adopted in case of a stomach ache is taking medication. Yet the symptoms simply testify that a compound is disrupting your intestines. So we must ease these inconveniences.
For centuries, natural medicine has been treating and soothing the pains of poor digestion just as effectively as drugs. If several spices naturally fight against stomach upset, plants are particularly effective.
Following a good meal, bloating, heartburn or stomach cramps may occur. Here are 8 plants that soothe intestinal pain and regulate transit.
1. Black radish
Famous for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, black radish is used in herbal medicine to cleanse and purify the liver. A cure of black radish helps the body to fight against some inconveniences related to a bad digestion: nauseas, vomiting, bloating and heartburn. Difficult digestion occurs when the number of bacteria in the digestive system is excessive.
This plant of Chinese origin contains in large quantities isothiocyanates, compounds that destroy bad bacteria or other agents responsible for infectious diseases.
Licorice mainly treats heartburn. Injuries due to inflammation of the lining of the stomach and esophagus, these burns indicate an excess of acidity in the stomach, tissue damage or gastric reflux.
Thanks to the flavonoids it contains, the plant has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These molecules help dramatically fight the free radicals responsible for the oxidation and premature ageing of our body cells. Also present in licorice, are saponosides; natural compounds that increase the secretion of gastric mucus diluting the acid content in the stomach.
3. The artichoke
Used by ancient Romans and Greeks to facilitate digestion, artichoke leaves are still used today in traditional European medicine. The flower bud has the ability to increase the production of bile, a biological fluid of the liver that facilitates digestion.
The artichoke contains insulin, a liquid that helps the beneficial bacteria, located in the small intestine, to preserve intestinal health. At the same time, this vegetable is high in fiber, which represents between 12% and 19% of the daily intake recommended by health professionals. These insoluble fibers notably prevent constipation.
4. Lemon balm
Melissa is particularly indicated in nervous disorders of the digestive system such as intestinal spasms. Star of relaxation, this plant native to Asia Minor is known for its soothing and sedative action. When consumed as an infusion, it considerably reduces stomach cramps, gastric reflux and intestinal spasms appearing in cases of colic. Like artichoke, lemon balm increases the production of bile.
5. Star anise
Star anise has been part of the Asian pharmacopoeia for many years. Since the end of the 16th century, it has been used in the phytotherapy of several European countries. In an infusion, it relieves intestinal spasms while fighting against bad breath. From the badianier, this fruit is also carminative since it helps to reduce gas formation and bloating related to aerophagia.
In essential oil and internally, peppermint perfectly heals the symptoms of functional colopathy, also called irritable bowel syndrome. Its leaves help relieve gastrointestinal spasms and flatulence. Two to three drops of essential oil diluted in a little organic vegetable oil 3 times a day are enough to reduce digestive disorders.
It is inside the leaves of the mint that we find its many active ingredients: menthol that gives it this particular perfume, vitamin C and flavonoids, powerful antioxidants.
Like star anise, fennel has the ability to fight flatulence related to aerophagia through the fibers it contains. In the form of an infusion or decoction, the consumption of its seeds after a meal naturally facilitates digestion. Recommended for all members of the family, it is appreciated during infantile colic. Fennel also provides the body with antioxidants. Vitamins C and E protect the body from premature cell ageing. From May to November, fennel can be eaten raw.
This herb is usually grown for food. Its leaves and aromatic seeds are appreciated for their particular aroma. Used as an infusion, dill has long been a valuable stimulant of the digestive system. Its stomachic, digestive and carminative properties effectively fight against nausea and vomiting while reducing flatulence.