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Herbal remedies for digestion

Natural herbal remedies can do anything from sooth a troubled stomach to relieve constipation.

Here is a selection of the best herbs to help your digestion and gastro-intestinal system. Each one comes with a brief description - click on the herb for more information about the medical uses, other uses and dosage.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera (or the “first aid plant”) is one of those magical substances whose name appears as a remedy for all kind of ailments and medical complaints. The good news for all of us is that this is not just some bogus cure - scientists and medical journals have come to the same conclusions.
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Cascara Sagrada

Cascara Sagrada is a powerful herbal laxative with an extensive history in Native American herbal medicine. Its name literally means ‘Sacred Bark’ – you might otherwise know it as California Buckthorn.
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Chamomile is one of the safest and most popular herbs around. As one of the world’s favorite teas, its soothing aroma can be found in restaurants, supermarkets and many homes.
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Named after the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, this spice has been used for hundreds of years in the fields of herbology and medicine. Many herbologists believe it to be the most powerful of all the herbal remedies, for its effects on the circulatory system and heart.
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Damiana has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac, with the first users widely thought to have been the Aztecs and Mayans in Central America. It has actually been used for a variety of sexual-related conditions, from menopause to male infertility.
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Some people think of it as a weed, whereas it reminds others of a childhood spent outside playing in the grass. For herbologists though, Dandelion is a powerful remedy that has been registered as a drug in Canada.
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Evening Primrose

Also known as "Kings Cure-all", Evening Primrose has a long history of medicinal use in the Western world. After being used for some time by Native Americans, it crossed the Atlantic in the early 17th century and was categorised by one of the first significant European botanists, the Englishman John Goodyer.
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Fenugreek got a mention from Dr. Atkins (of Atkins Diet fame) in his book, “Dr Atkins Vita-nutrient Solution”. He hits on the most important use of Fenugreek, as a blood sugar regulator for sufferers of Type I and Type II Diabetes.
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Feverfew is one of the most popular herbs on the market right now, thanks to its remarkable properties in soothing headaches and migraines. As its name suggests, it was first used in traditional herbal remedies as a cure for various non-specific fevers, before finding a place in modern herbology from around the 1970s.
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Fo Ti

Fo Ti is a remedy that is vitally important to Chinese herbology. In China, it is named ‘He Shou Wu’ (or ‘Black Haired Mr. He’), after a village elder who took it and was miraculously restored to youthful vitality. In Asian medicine it plays an important role in balancing all the systems in your body, with particular focus on the immune system.
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Garlic is perhaps the most ancient remedy there is. An Egyptian papyrus from 1500 BC lists 22 separate recipes and treatments containing Garlic! It has been used by doctors throughout the ages, particularly before the dawn of modern medicine. Its effectiveness is unchanged.
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Goldenseal was touted as a cure for almost any ailment in the 1800s, promoted by an enigmatic doctor named Samuel Thompson who prescribed it for a variety of illnesses. It comes from a bright yellow root, hence the name Goldenseal.
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A favorite of herbologists in ancient times, licorice was an important part of Egyptian culture. Although now more familiar throughout the world as a candy, it still has several uses in modern medicine, especially for colds and respiratory problems.
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Peppermint is a great herbal remedy for all kinds of gastro-intestinal complaints, including IBS and other serious bowel problems. When used together with more conventional treatment, it can effectively reduce the pain and irritation of symptoms. Peppermint has been used in this way since the time of the ancient Greeks.
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Unlike other multi-use herbs like Ginger and Aloe, Senna is really only used for one thing, as a laxative. Limited as it may be however, Senna is extremely effective at this particular job and appears in many over-the-counter remedies. Along with Cascara Sagrada, it is many herbologists’ herb of choice for constipation.
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Slippery Elm Bark

Although some herbs on this site are regularly featured in the news, Slippery Elm is featured for a much more controversial reason. The value of its bark, as a treatment for digestive complaints, has led to widespread theft of the tree in North America and beyond. Incredibly, this once-widespread elm tree is now in danger of extinction.
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We’ve all seen Spearmint in the food we eat, but few people realize that it is actually a powerful herbal remedy too, whose uses are mainly focused on digestive problems.
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