Herbal Tea for IBS Relief

I have always loved herbal teas, so when I found out you can use herbal tea for IBS relief, I was pretty happy. I have never been a coffee drinker because I get too jittery from the caffeine. I do like the taste and smell of coffee, so once in awhile when I am at a cafe with my husband or friends, I will have a decaf cafe mocha. But like many others, I feel, if you are going to drink coffee, what's the point of drinking decaf? I guess I would much rather get my caffeine fix from a chunk of dark chocolate.

Those of us with IBS are not even supposed to have caffeine. Especially if you have IBS with diarrhea, a cup of coffee can be way too harsh. Some teas, such as green tea, or earl grey, have a smaller amount of caffeine, which may be tolerable. Try and see what works for you, but it is best to avoid the caffeine as much as possible.

So that said, I really enjoy using herbal tea for IBS relief.

They usually have very little or no caffiene. There are so many unique and even exotic flavors you can indulge in, and teas are good for you! If you are looking for a low calorie or no calorie drink, they are a much healthier option than a diet soda. They can easily be sweetened with some sugar, honey or stevia to help satisfy a sweet tooth.

Sometimes I do not heat the water for my tea, but instead, keep the tea bag in the water and sip it leisurely over several hours. But there is something so soothing about warm tea, especially if you need the warmth for abdominal pain. Heating the water also tends to bring out so much more of the unique flavor that teas offer.

Using tea for IBS symptoms is beneficial to your body, but it is also beneficial to your mind. It feels like a little indulgence, having a soothing cup of hot tea. Treat it as a time when you do something just for you!

There are many different teas recommended to help soothe the symptoms of IBS. In using tea for IBS, everyday you should be drinking one or all of these fabulous teas! You can combine them to make up your own fancy tea flavors!

Chamomile - This plant from the daisy family has been used for many years to soothe the nerves and relieve stomach cramps. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and can ease spasms in the digestive tract. It is also used to help with insomnia. Some people may be allergic to it because it comes from the ragweed family, so use with caution if you have never tried it before. The beautiful flowering bush of chamomile grows wild all over Europe. It has a somewhat fruity flavor and is sometimes combined with lemon to enhance it's flavor.

Peppermint - It smells like candy canes and soothes the intestinal tract. What better IBS natural remedy is that? One or two cups a day is all that is needed, but you may want more because it is so tasty! Hot or cold, I like Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Tea because it tastes great and there is no string on the bag. With no string, I can just toss a bag in a bottle of water with a little stevia for sweetener. Then I'll have a great tasting natural way to soothe my stomach on the go. Sometimes, this tea is only available in the grocery stores around the holidays, but you can get it all year online.

Ginger – We've all heard of this one, and most of us have tasted it as flavor in Asian stir fries and gingerbread cookies! It is the root of this plant that is used as the spice, and can be sliced or ground up to use in cooking. Ginger by itself is quite aromatic, with a strong spicy flavor that acts as an anti nausea agent to treat motion sickness and morning sickness.

You can buy ginger tea bags at health food stores, or online.

Fennel – I have saved the best for last. There is something about the unusual and exotic flavor of this tea that, because of my IBS, I have just recently discovered.

Fennel is a spice that is used in Italian dishes such as salads, sauces and Italian sausage.

As a tea, Fennel tastes like licorice, and heating it in water brings out an extremely unusual and rich tasting tea.

If you have ever gone to an Indian restaurant, you can get a handful of candied fennel after your meal to help with digestion.

By using this tea for IBS, fennel works at treating spasms in the intestinal tract as well as stimulating digestive juices for proper digestion. Since it regulates the contractions of the intestinal muscles, it helps relieve gas by allowing for a gentle and natural flow through the colon.

I like to combine fennel with chamomile for a yummy drink to sip on all day.

You can make your own fennel teas by purchasing the spice in bulk at the health food store or online. I prefer fennel tea bags from a company called Alvita. This allows me to take them on the go and have a cup after a meal at a restaurant (just ask the server for a cup of hot water).

Do not be afraid to mix the tea for IBS treatment. It is fun to experiment and can be exciting to taste the new flavors you create!

Drink up!

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