Herbology Stomach Remedies
by Beth Lytle
Many people suffer from stomach ailments. Some of the old-fashioned remedies are still in use today. It can be difficult to know which remedy is the safest and which may work the best. Some people go with remedies that their mothers or grandmothers used, whereas others are experimenting with new treatments.
There are many health benefits to using cayenne pepper. For starters, it can help make you feel warmer, particularly during cold winters. It improves circulation and is sometimes used in moderate amounts for an ailing stomach. Cayenne capsules may also increase energy levels and should not be taken too close to bedtime. The key to using cayenne for upset stomach is to avoid the cayenne capsules, which are known to cause heartburn. Instead, take cayenne powder by mouth. The reasoning behind this is that cayenne increases digestion and many health experts believe that good digestion begins with the mouth and not the stomach. Properly chewing your food is important to aiding digestion. The reason cayenne capsules upset the stomach is because they don't spend much time in the mouth, but are rather transported directly into the stomach, which can have the wrong effect on the body.
Try adding a small amount (for example, an eighth of a teaspoon) to a small amount of fruit juice (such as a fourth of a cup of grape juice; carrot or tomato juice can be used too). The dose can be increased gradually over time. This dosaging can be used to both increase circulation and help with better digestion and upset stomach.
Barley is a grain and is usually associated with breads and cereals, but barley tea can also be beneficial to the stomach. The Latin name for "barley" actually means "gladiator." The Roman gladiators were said to use barley to gain better endurance and to give strength to the body and the soul. Barley is a high fiber grain and roasted barley tea is a popular cold weather drink that can both warm the body and cool the body down. It is sometimes used in homemade cleansing programs to aid in clearing out the negative toxins from the body.
Barley tea can be used to ward off cold and flu and in ancient times, it was used to flush out kidney stones naturally. It can also provide relief for asthma sufferers. To make barley tea, heat a skillet pan over medium heat. Using a sieve, rinse a few pearlized barley leaves under cold water. Gently pat dry between two pieces of paper towel. Place the barley in the hot pan and dry roast it, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cool until it turns a golden brown. After the barley is dry roasted, add it to a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to steep for three to five minutes. Add honey or lemon to a cup of barley tea (you may use the leaves in the cup of tea or serve without) to soothe the stomach and/or throat.
Ginger is good for soothing the stomach and also helping to rid the body of a headache. It is available in tea form, powder form, or in a crystallized candy. Some people chew on a bit of crystallized ginger throughout the day in order to soothe and upset stomach or help ward off a bad headache. Ginger can also be added to cooking or can be drunk as a tea.