Thursday, May 22, 2014

Natural Home Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

I wanted to save this bit of info - the source site is listed on the bottom

Natural Home Remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome can be treated by avoiding certain foods, by taking medications, and by making lifestyle changes. Home remedies from your kitchen are another way to treat IBS symptoms. 
Home Remedies From the Cupboard
Oat bran. Increasing fiber is a cure for almost every intestinal ill, and oat bran is especially good for IBS because it's mild and usually colon-friendly. So use some every day: a bowl of oatmeal, oat bran bread, oatmeal cookies. But don't expect immediate results. It may take up to a month to get any IBS relief.
Home Remedies from the Sink
Water. Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day is important, especially if you have diarrhea or are increasing your fiber intake.
Home Remedies From the Fridge
Cabbage. Juice of the cabbage soothes the symptoms of intestinal ills. To turn this veggie into juice, simply wash and put through a juicer or blender. If these are not available to you, cook the cabbage in a very small amount of water -- just enough to keep it from scorching or burning -- until very mushy. Then pulverize with a fork or mixer.
Carrots. These little gems help prevent the symptoms of IBS as well as regulate diarrhea and constipation. Eat them raw, by themselves or in salads, or eat them cooked -- steamed and tossed with a little melted butter and brown sugar for a sweet treat. You can put raw carrots through the juicer, too. Since they're not a juicy veggie to begin with, add a little pure apricot nectar when you make carrot juice. Any way you eat a carrot is fine, just don't overcook them so much that you boil out all the goodness.
Lettuce. You can eat it raw to relieve symptoms of IBS, but it's especially helpful if lightly steamed. And when you're picking out your lettuce, go for the darker varieties. The darker the color, the more nutrients it contains.
Pears. Fresh, ripe, sweet pears are a nutritious fruit that also helps relieve the symptoms of IBS. Buy them when they're still hard and let them ripen at room temperature for a few days. Pure pear juice and dried pears are also helpful in treating this intestinal woe.
Yogurt. Yogurt with active cultures will supply your digestive tract with the helpful kind of bacteria, which can ease IBS symptoms. You can also try mixing 1 cup yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon psyllium husks (or psyllium bulk you can buy in any pharmacy) and eating the mixture one hour after meals.
Home Remedies From the Spice Rack
Fennel seeds. These can relieve the intestinal spasms associated with IBS. They may also aid in the elimination of fats from the digestive system, inhibiting the over-production of mucus in the intestine, which is a symptom of the ailment. Steep the seeds into a tea by adding 1/2 teaspoon fennel to 1 cup boiling water. Or add them to veggies such as carrots or cabbage, both of which soothe IBS symptoms. You can also sprinkle the seeds on salads or roast them and snack on them after a meal to reduce the symptoms of IBS and freshen your breath. To roast, spritz a baking sheet with olive oil, then cover with fennel seeds. Bake at 325 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes.
Flaxseed. Make a tea using 1 teaspoon flaxseed per cup of water, and drink at bedtime for relief of symptoms.
Peppermint. Several studies have shown that peppermint can reduce IBS symptoms, particularly when cramping and diarrhea are major problems. These studies have primarily involved capsules of peppermint essential oil (0.2 mL menthol) and have found that 1 capsule taken with each meal offers the best results. Steeped into a nice, relaxing tea, dried peppermint can relieve intestinal spasms. Use 1 heaping teaspoon dried peppermint, and steep in 1 cup boiling water for ten minutes. Peppermint can exacerbate heartburn, but there are no other side effects.
Irritable bowel syndrome need not be a condition that prevents you from leading a normal life. If you learn to manage IBS and try these home remedies, you can remain both pain-free and carefree.


Anise, Fennel, & Oregano for IBS digestive aids


Anise, which is botanically related to fennel, is an ancient spice indigenous to the Mediterranean. It was cultivated by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and noted in the works of Dioscorides and Pliny. Anise has been grown in Italy continually since Roman times for use as a digestive aid. Anise was introduced to central Europe in the Middle Ages and by the 14th century was so popular in medieval England that King Edward I placed a special tax on the spice to raise money to repair London Bridge. 

Anise seeds have a very sweet, pronounced licorice taste and contain a volatile oil, anethol, that aids in the digestion of rich foods and settles the stomach. Anise stimulates gastric juice production, relieves nausea, and is helpful for colic. It regulates digestion, making it useful for both constipation and diarrhea. 
Anise is also helpful for belching, gas, bloating, vomiting, chronic diarrhea, gastrointestinal cramps, and sluggish digestion. It's a mild sedative and is useful for calming stress-related nervousness and relieving insomnia. Anise has anti-spasmodic and anti-fungal properties, and helps prevent fermentation and gas in the stomach and bowels. 

Anise is available as small, black, dried seeds from spice shops or the bulk section of health food stores, and can be easily brewed into tea. Lightly crushing the seeds before brewing them with hot water will increase their strength. Whole anise seeds can also be chewed. 

Fennel ~ Exceptional for IBS Bloating and Gas

Fennel has anti-spasmodic properties and it stimulates the production of gastric juices. High volatile oil fennel tea is exceptionally beneficial for bloating and gas, which tend to be the most difficult IBS symptoms to overcome.

Fennel is also useful for gastrointestinal and menstrual cramps, bowel irregularities (studies have shown that fennel regulates contractions of the small intestine), colic, heartburn, indigestion, and stomachaches. 

The primary volatile oils in fennel are anethole, fenchone, and estragole. The higher the volatile oil content of the fennel, the more effective fennel tea will be for IBS symptoms. 
Anethole has a chemical structure similar to dopamine, a chemical that is naturally present in the body. Dopamine is known to have a relaxing effect on the intestine. Fennel also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, probably also as a result of the anethole, which has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anticarcinogenic. 

Fennel's documented use goes back to ancient China, and the plant is mentioned in virtually every European work on herbal medicines from ancient times to modern day. The mild licorice-flavored (though unrelated to the actual licorice plant) seeds are native to the Mediterranean, were known to the ancient Greeks, and were spread throughout Europe by Imperial Rome. 

In the 1st century A.D. Pliny attributed 22 healing properties to fennel. According to Chaucer, the 14th century English poet, fennel was one of the nine holy herbs of the Anglo-Saxons. 

The United States once listed fennel as an official drug to be used for digestive problems, and today the herb is still used daily as an after-dinner digestive aid from India to Italy to Spain. 

Using fennel every day will actually help prevent bloating and gas in the first place, but if you're already suffering from these problems fennel will help relieve them. 

Fennel is available as a dried, light greenish brown seed in spice shops or the bulk section of health food stores, and can be easily brewed into a delicious tea. Lightly crushing the seeds before brewing them with hot water will increase their strength. Whole fennel seeds can simply be chewed (a custom you may be familiar with if you've eaten in Indian restaurants), though they tend to get caught in my teeth so I prefer the teas. 


The use of oregano, which has benefits similar to peppermint, is documented by the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks used it for convulsions and muscle cramps, and the herb is mentioned by Aristotle as an antidote to poisoning. Traditional Chinese medicine has used oregano for centuries to relieve vomiting and diarrhea. Early American colonists brewed the leaves for muscles cramps and stomach troubles. 

Oregano contains two volatile oils, thymol and carvacol, that act as anti-spasmodics, increase the production of gastric juices, ease bloating and gas, and relieve menstrual cramps. 

Oregano also aids nausea and morning sickness, and has a calming effect as a muscle relaxant. 

The dried or fresh leaves of the herb make a warm, spicy tea that will probably remind you of pizza. 
Oregano oil has anti-spasmodic, anti-convulsant, pain-killing, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. Pure oregano oil can be found at health food stores and is typically taken by adding 2-4 drops to a cup of hot water or herbal tea (the pure oil should never be used undiluted.). Enteric coated oregano oil capsules are also available - the enteric coating ensures that the capsules dissolve in the intestines instead of the stomach, which could cause heartburn

Information from

Cardamom for bloating


For bloating, Herbipedia recommends: The peppery, almost bitter, essential oils in cardamom works to help your body create more digestive enzymes. This dispels the bloating.

What form should I take it?

Herbal syrup: Take one green cardamom pod and smash with back of a spoon to reveal seeds. Then ground the seeds into a powder with a spoon and wooden board.

Once you have a powder, mix 1 tsp of honey and 1 tsp of hot water then take whole mix as 1 shot.

When to take: After a meal or when bloating becomes uncomfortable.


Anise for flatulence

Anise (aniseed)

For flatulence, Herbipedia recommends: Anise has that distinctive liquorices flavor, which is the volatile oils that allows anise to be a powerful weapon on gas formation in our digestive tract.

What form should I take it?

Tea infusion: To prepare your anise you will need 2 seeds. Crush them with the back of the spoon, place in cup then add boiling water. Now, place saucer over cup to trap volatile oils that are a vital medicinal part of anise. Then leave to infuse for 5mins…

After 5 minute drink, must be still warm

When to take: Before a meal so that you inhibit gas formation, caused by green foods, legumes and carbohydrates.

Cinnamon for Diarrhea


For Diarrhea, Herbipedia recommends: Cinnamons warming action soothes the cramping because of its eugenol (chemical) content, which is a mild painkiller. Diarrhea is a great expelling of waste from your digestive system, which can be coupled with extreme cramping. The Eugenol helps to stop the pain and movement of the colon to control diarrhea. If mixed with sugar and salt solution it will help with the dehydration caused by diarrhea.

What form should I take it?

Powder formulation: 1 tsp cinnamon powder, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt in 250mls (1 cup) of warm water.

When to take: Sip slowly through out the day. Take up to three times daily

Fennel for Constipation


For Constipation, Herbipedia recommends: Fennel has calmative action to help create a soothing mucus for the stool impaction to move through your colon.

What form should I take it?

Fennel Vinegar:Take 1tsp of fennel seeds and ground with back of a spoon , Warm ½ cup of cider vinegar. Place crushed fennel seeds in vinegar. Now, place saucer over cup to trap volatile oils that are a vital medicinal part of fennel leave to cool.

Once cool drain seeds from vinegar and place in jar.

When to take:

1Tbsp in warm water, up to three threes daily.

Vinegar will keep for 1 year.

Note : cider vinegar contains significant amounts of pectin, which is a water soluble fiber which coupled with depurative substance Fenchone form then fennel work together to move stool.

Digestive Tea & Tummy Rub Recipe

Digestive Tea Recipe

The herbs in this formula relieve cramps, bloating and flatulence.
• 1 tablespoon peppermint leaves
• 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 1 teaspoon anise seeds
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon chips
• 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
• 2 cups water
1. Combine herbs in a clean jar.
2. Boil water; remove from heat.
3. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of herb blend per cup of hot water. Cover and steep for 20 minutes. Strain and enjoy before and after meals.
—Adapted from 500 Time-Tested Home Remedies and the Science Behind Them by Linda B. White, Barbara Seeber and Barbara Brownell Grogan.

Tummy Rub Recipe for Pain and Bloating

This oil blend relieves intestinal upset in adults and children.
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 drops peppermint essential oil
• 2 drops basil essential oil
• 2 drops lavender essential oil
• 2 drops ginger essential oil
1. Blend ingredients in a jar.
2. To use, lie on your back. Massage 1 to 2 teaspoons of the mixture onto your belly in a clockwise direction. Cover with a damp cloth and a hot water bottle or heating pad.
3. Cap and store leftovers out of reach of children. External use only.
Variation: Add 8 to 10 drops of any one of these essential oils to olive oil, then use as directed

Read more:

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Catnip for me & you

Already happily growing in my garden is my Catnip
One of my favorite herbs for me & my cats!!
Its one of my main ingredients in my "Sleepy" tea blend

It has sedative properties & makes a relaxing and soothing tea. Valerian root which contains similar active ingredients, is often included in herbal sleep potions.

Because it is soothing and relaxing (antispasmodic) it is also used for digestive upsets (nervous dyspepsia) where the main cause is tension. Catnip is also recommended for muscular pain, cramps, colic in babies, spasms and tics and stomach pains. It is also helpful in headache where tension is mainly responsible.

Another bonus is Catnip leaves contain considerable quantities of vitamins C and E, both excellent antioxidants

Lastly Catnip (Nepeta cataria), is a hardy perennial, A herb of the mint family (Labiatae) so it is very easy to grow.

Catnip's soothing effect is also useful in reducing menstual pain.

Catnip good for dogs

Did you know that cats aren’t the only 4-legged family members who like the stuff? Dogs do too!
For cats, it’s a stimulant – but for dogs, catnip has an opposite effect. So if your dog is the type who gets nervous riding in the car or going to the vet, try putting a few fresh catnip leaves in her drinking bowl or sprinkle dried catnip (about 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon per pound of food) on his food.

Catnip contains minerals: magnesium, vitamins E and C, tannins and flavonoids. It also contains essential oils which can aid in keeping your cat’s and dog’s digestive system in good shape. In fact, catnip can relieve gas which makes it ideal for dealing with flatulent pets.

Some research reveals catnip as ten times more effective in repelling mosquitoes than DEET. And because catnip contains a compound called thymol, it can also be used as antiseptic treatment for external cuts, scratches and sores on your family pets.
Red more of the article here -

Catnip as Insect and Rat Repellent

Catnip as Insect and Rat Repellent
There is a long tradition of planting catnip near a house or barn to repel mice and rats and to keep insects away.

Research has shown that cockroaches and termites are repelled by Catnip.

Catnip has been used where cat sleep to help keep fleas away. The effect on cats only lasts for a few minutes and the cat is not affected after this time. The catnip needs to be regularly refreshed with new grass to keep it working.

More recently, research done at Iowa State University, showed that catnip was 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.

In the 1960s, Cornell University naturalist Thomas Eisner reported that catnip oil repels insects (Science 1964, 146, 1318). The paper suggested that nepetalactone defends against plant-eating insects.

Chemical And Engineering News article on catnip including chemical structure.
Read more of this article on catnip -

Catnip Magical Correspondences

Catnip Magical Correspondences:
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Gender: Feminine
Associated Deities: Mostly associate with Bast, catnip is also associated with Venus and Sekhmet.
Magickal Properties:
Animal magick, beauty, happiness, love.

Magickal Uses:
Creates a psychic bond with cats.
Promotes playfulness.
Used for love spells in mojo bags and sachets. Use with rose petals in love sachets
Grown in the garden, it attracts good spirits and luck.
Add to dream pillows to promote sleep
Large leaves have traditionally been used for marking pages in magical books.
Catnip enhances beauty and happiness.
Grow it near your home to attract good spirits and great luck.
Mix with dragon's blood in an incense to rid oneself of bad habits or behavioral problem