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At any given moment, our bodies can be sent into digestive distress. Whether it's an ongoing issue or a flare-up from not-so-friendly food, we can count on digestive disturbances to happen from time to time. How do we support these issues? There are a multitude of tips and tricks to aid with digestive woes, but today, let's dive into carminative herbs.

What are carminative herbs?

The short answer is carminatives are herbs that can help ease gas, decrease bloating, support digestion over time, and even calm cramps through their herbal actions. Through the work of volatile oils (think lavender, peppermint, or thyme as common volatile-rich herbs), carminatives provide stimulation so the digestive tract can work more efficiently. They can support dispelling gas by irritating gastric mucosa to reduce cramping.

Carminative herbs can warm the body and support your Qi

Herbs like coriander, turmeric, and ginger (all found in our new Never Been Bitter™ tincture) are all carminatives. These carminative herbs bring warmth into the body. This warmth is excellent for people with chronically cold hands and feet, which can often come from a cold environment or a sedentary lifestyle, as you are not bringing warmth into the body and digestive system.

Think of how you feel when you sip on ginger tea or enjoy a meal with these herbs; you can feel the warmth dispersing throughout your body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, a cold disposition can disrupt the digestive system (slow and sluggish digestion is most common), cause tiredness, and cause Qi deficiency (Qi=vitality).

Carminative herbs can support gut, digestion, and immunity

Since harmful pathogens thrive in a cold environment, warming herbs can be great to support everyday wellness throughout the seasons. When you have a cold, you are quite literally experiencing a cold interior. Introducing these warming herbs can support in heating the body from the inside out and in turn could help combat bacteria. Not only can carminatives work on the fly to help with acute situations, but they can be used daily and over time to encourage good gut flora—which can significantly improve our immune responses and support with easing inflammation. Carminatives often provide near-immediate relief from digestive disruptions, making them great herbs to have on hand for travel to support your digestion when you may be consuming foods that are outside of your day-to-day.


If you’re looking to harness the power of carminative herbs in one easy-to-enjoy formula, check out our new gut and digestion support tincture, Never Been Bitter™. This potent herbalist-crafted tincture combines many of the carminatives outlined in this article along with bitter herbs like gentian root, dandelion root, calendula flower, artichoke leaf, and burdock root. The combination of carminatives and other herbs work in harmony to help calm digestive distress, nourish the gut microbiome, and promote liver detoxification over time. Simply drop one to two full droppers of Never Been Bitter™ directly onto the tongue or into a liquid of choice and let these delicious carminative herbs become your new belly bestie through all your digestive woes.

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Written by Casie G.

Clinical Herbalist