As we move into the fall season, many of us crave time to rest and digest. This means winding down from the busy summer season and walking into a more family-oriented, relaxing, and festive time of year. Every holiday season, we’re stuffed with foods that may taste wonderful in the moment but can leave our digestive systems struggling for days. Stress and constant demands in our lives can also leave us with a not-so-balanced gut microbiome or strained digestion. So many factors can cause digestive issues, but that’s why we have natural remedies to help guide us through this season with more ease.
Today, we’re sharing seven herbs we vouch for (and use in our herbal formulas) that help promote easeful digestion and gut health—before and after meals.
1. Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
Ginger rhizome is a root prized in many parts of the world as a digestive aid. Whether you have stomach woes or need an extra boost in your immunity (which has a home in the digestive tract with 70% of immune cells housed in the gut)¹, ginger has been a go-to digestive aid for centuries. Ginger is featured in several of our digestion and immune-supporting formulas. It’s featured in our newest herbal bitters tincture, Never Been Bitter™ as well as our inflammatory support formula, Claim to Flame™. Both use ginger for its inflammation-easing effects on the gut, bowels, and overall digestion.
2. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
An orange root from the same family as ginger, the turmeric rhizome is an inflammatory powerhouse for the gut and digestive system². Turmeric has been revered for centuries for its ability to dispel gas, improve digestion, and overall strengthen the body’s ability to respond to inflammation³. The compound, curcumin, is responsible for much of turmeric’s gut, digestion, and total-body benefits. Curcumin, in combination with black pepper and ginger, has been shown to provide even more inflammatory support in the digestive tract and the body as whole. That’s why we combine turmeric and ginger in our herbal bitters tincture, Never Been Bitter™, and we add black pepper to our formula, Claim to Flame™ because the more inflammatory support, the better!
3. Dandelion Root (Taraxcum officinale)
Commonly known as that one yellow flower lurking in your garden, dandelion is anything but an ordinary herb. The roots of dandelion have been used in American herbalism for centuries as a potent digestive tonic that helps calm gastrointestinal issues⁴. Traditionally, dandelion root was made into teas and tinctures to provide immediate support to the bowels and to serve as a diuretic, especially during those times when smoother bowel moves were needed⁵. We’ve incorporated the benefits of dandelion root into two Apothékary formulas, Never Been Bitter™ features dandelion for its digestive benefits and Clean Sweep™ features dandelion root for its gentle detox properties.
4. Burdock Root (Articum lappa)
If using roots to promote smooth moves in the digestive department is of interest, look no further than burdock root. This brown and white root has been used for thousands of years as a digestive aid and gut microbiome support. Inulin, a prebiotic fiber found in burdock root, helps aid in easeful digestion and nourishes good bacteria in the gut microbiome⁶. In addition, burdock root is prized for its detoxification properties⁷. We love the gut and digestion benefits of burdock root, so we feature it in several Apothékary formulas including our gut support tincture, Never Been Bitter™, our detoxification support formula, Clean Sweep™, and our healthy bowel movement support formula, Soothe Operator™.
5. Gentian Root (Gentiana lutea)
Named after the ancient king, Gentius, stories have been told that gentian root was thought to have “healed” the king during a time of great illness⁸. Nowadays, gentian root is prized as a digestive aid. Its bitter properties activate digestive bile (saliva) and gastric juices to get your body ready for meals. One of the first steps of digestion begins in the mouth with saliva. So, gentian root is an ally for those looking to get their digestive juices flowing before eating. In addition, this ancient root has shown liver detoxification properties that help protect the liver in the long run. Gentian root is a main ingredient in our herbal bitters tincture, Never Been Bitter™.
6. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Widely used in Southern Europe and across the Mediterranean, fennel in all of its roots, seeds, and glory, has been used in food and medicine for centuries. Fennel seeds are especially prized for their digestion-soothing qualities that calm gas, bloating, and a discomfort⁹. Fennel is a carminative herb, which is a class of herbs commonly used as digestive aids and detox support for the body’s organs. Fennel has shown protective properties for the gastrointestinal tract and can help calm and nourish it¹⁰. So, next time you need digestive and intestinal tract support, add fresh fennel or its seeds to your meal.
7. Marshmallow Root
Known for its slippery texture when wet, marshmallow root works wonders in the digestive tract. It’s a demulcent herb which means it coats and soothes parts of the body with a gooey film. That film makes it an effective digestive aid when it comes to promoting healthy bowel movements. Marshmallow has been shown to have inflammation support properties when it comes to the gut lining¹¹ and the urinary tract¹². With that, marshmallow root is a key ingredient in our bowel movement support formula, Soothe Operator™.
Nature’s best remedies for digestive ease
Now’s the time to give your gut and digestion the best herbs nature has to offer. Whether you’re looking for digestive support before meals, easeful digestion after meals, or gut and inflammatory support, these seven herbs have been trusted for centuries and affirmed by science to deliver natural digestive support in the short term and long term. If finding these herbs and creating tonics is a challenge for you, our in-house Clinical Herbalists create potent herbal remedies with these exact herbs to help promote easeful digestion all season long. Check out our herbalist-crafted digestion collection to find the right Apothékary formula for you.