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Archive for March, 2014

Carminative drops 4When suffering with accumulated gas, bloating or griping of the bowels we should think of the wonderful array of aromatic herbs which are often found in our kitchen cabinets.  Aromatic herbs can help dispel or prevent gas, relax the area and help to ease colic and griping of the bowels; in herbal terms this action is referred to as Carminative.

With any condition we should look to determine the root cause.  The formation of gas is natural although in excess it should be a signal to look at improving digestion.  There are a number of conditions that may be associated with excess gas formation.  For example, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when the number of “bad” bacteria in the gut outweighs the number of “good bacteria”.  Because “good” bacteria are essential for proper digestion, SIBO prevents foods from being properly digested.  Undigested foods begin to ferment and the process of fermentation leads to the formation of gas.

Certain foods may contribute to gas formation especially if digestion is poor.  The buildup of gas formation can be reduced by eliminating suspected foods.  Herbs can be wonderful adjuncts while looking for the underlying cause of excess gas.

Some examples of Carminative herbs include Anise, Black Pepper, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Ginger, Nutmeg and Peppermint.

Here is a wonderful recipe I created which was inspired by a formula called “Confection of Pepper”, that I came across in an old herbal I was reading.  The ingredients in my formula include Black Pepper, Caraway seeds, Fennel seeds and Honey.  Aromatic Carminative drops are designed to be taken as an aid to digestion after a large meal or when there is gas, bloating, colic or griping of the bowels.  This formula may be effective as a palliative remedy for those who suffer with Irritable bowel.

Aromatic Carminative Drops

Ingredients:

½ tsp Caraway seeds (powdered)

½ tsp Black pepper (ground)

2 tsp Fennel seeds (powdered)

Honey

Combine the herbs in a small bowl and add enough honey to make a paste.  The paste can be rolled into small balls about the size of a pea and then dusted in licorice root or anise seed powder.  You can also leave this as a honey paste and just take a about 1/8 – ¼ tsp as needed.

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CayenneBotanical Name: Capsicum annum; C. frutescens

Family: Solanaceae

Parts Used: Fruit

Actions: Stimulant, diffusive, carminative, diaphoretic (stimulating), rubefacient, expectorant (stimulating), antiseptic, astringent, emetic, alterative

 Tissue States: Depression, Atrophy

Energetics: Warming/Drying; Acrid

 Indications:

As a stimulating herb Cayenne acts on the circulatory system spreading throughout, warming and toning the system. Cayenne can warm the periphery where there are cold hands and feet and open the pores to increase perspiration. Herbalist Matthew Wood says it is an herb that is useful when we age and, “the heart muscles are starting to become lazy and the circulation is getting stagnant in places.” Acting on the heart and blood vessels, Cayenne may be beneficial in increasing the strength of the pulse without affecting the rate.

Cayenne increases metabolism, peristalsis and digestion while helping with the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats. Cayenne may be beneficial where there is a lack of function in the stomach or the intestines with poor appetite and weak digestion. As a carminative, Cayenne may be beneficial in helping to relieve gas and bloating or cramping of the stomach and bowels.

Topically, Cayenne increases circulation at the surface bringing oxygen and nutrients into the area helping to expedite healing and relieving pain. In cases of sore throat a compress soaked in Cayenne may be applied to the throat while also taking internal doses. A diluted infusion of Cayenne can also be used as a gargle for tonsillitis and is indicated for hoarseness when the uvula is relaxed.

Uses and Preparations:

– Research suggests that Cayenne may help protect the mucosal lining of the stomach from the effects of NSAIDS. (Stargrove)

– Tincture (1:5 in 25%)

– Infusion/ ½-1 tsp with to 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 mins. Mix 1 tbsp of infusion with warm water and drink as needed (Hoffman)

 

Composition Powder

Bayberry bark (Myrica cerifera) 16 parts

White Pine Bark (Pinus strobus) 8 parts

Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) 8 parts

Cayenne (Capsicum frutescens) 1 part

Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) 1 part

Combine dried powdered herbs. Add 1 tsp to hot water; Indicated for colds, flu, fever and poor circulation.

Cayenne Gargle for Sore Throat

Ingredients:

1 tsp Cayenne powder

1 tbsp Sage or Thyme(dried)

2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp Sea salt

2 tbsp Honey

1 pint of water

Make an infusion by pouring boiling water over the herbs and steep for 10 minutes. Strain off the herb and add the remaining ingredients to the sage and cayenne infusion. Use as gargle as often as needed.

 Contraindications:

– In large doses it may cause vomiting and/or pains in the stomach and bowels.

 

 

 

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