Your Healthy Living - December 2021

Page 32

Your Health

Four herbal heroes

Digestion, absorption and elimination are all central to overall health in traditional health systems like herbal medicine. Here, Lily Canetty-Clarke suggests four herbal allies to hold close this Christmas:

1 Chamomile flowers help to relax spasms and normalise digestion. This aromatic, bitter-tasting herb is a very accessible first choice to try for indigestion, wind, bloating, acidity and colic. It is anti-inflammatory for the digestive system but also a sedating, calming, antispasmodic herb which means it reduces spasms and pain, especially when linked to stress and nervous tension. As a digestive relaxant, drink chamomile as a tea three times daily. Make sure to brew your tea with the lid on the pot to ensure no medicinal benefit is lost to the evaporating water.

2 Dandelion root is a general digestive restorative bitter. It is one of the world’s most common and safest remedies to improve biliary elimination and relieve an overworked liver. It is particularly indicated for constipation and abdominal bloating and for skin disorders caused by weak digestion. As a liver restorative, take three cups per day of dried root in a decoction. Simmer in boiling water for 15 minutes with the lid on the pot.

3 Milk thistle seeds are known as the liver protector. Milk thistle is a hepatoprotective plant, meaning that it protects the liver by preventing and acting as a permeability regulator, preventing toxins from entering the liver cells. Grind the seeds and sprinkle on foods like yogurt for your daily fix of this fantastic liver herb. 4 Turmeric root is the gut spice. Taken internally, one of the many incredible uses of turmeric is for liver function and poor digestion such as dyspepsia, colic and IBS. It is particularly helpful when there is inflammation in the gut, and it has a beneficial prebiotic content for building a healthy gut microbiome. It is also stimulating to the liver, increasing bile output to help digest fatty foods. To support a more robust digestive system, drink a powdered mix of turmeric daily with milk and black pepper to increase bioavailability. Lily Canetty-Clarke is a medical herbalist certified with NIMH (

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For surviving Christmas 32 December 2021

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