Arbor Gate's Picks
of the Month

Herbs For Good Digestion

December 9, 2016 Back to Picks >

Nearly everyone has suffered now and then with indigestion. This problem has plagued mankind since the dawn of time. Fortunately, there are safe herbs that can be used to treat occasional problems. Here are five herbs you can grow at home and use to settle your stomach and tame your intestines. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a hardy perennial to Zone 5. It can grow 2-3 feet high. The leaves are bright green and about two inches long with toothed edges. Its light lemony flavor does indeed serve as a balm to a sour stomach when steeped in hot water.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an herbaceous perennial has almost bamboo-like stems growing three to four feet tall with narrow, glossy leaves. This familiar spicy root (really a rhizome) has a buff to dark brown skin and grows in clusters, known as “hands” to growers. Ginger root is used worldwide for nausea and motion sickness.

Dill (Anethum graveolens) is an heirloom annual herb that grows easily from seed to five feet tall with fine green foliage. Dill sets seed in late summer to early fall. The brown spicy seeds can be chewed to freshen breath and settle the stomach.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) – We all recognize the scent and flavor of peppermint. Peppermint has dark green smooth leaves on spreading stems. Peppermint leaves can be eaten raw or steeped in a tea to counteract the effects of a heavy meal.

German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) – has finely divided leaves, small white flowers with a golden center and a scent reminiscent of apples. It has a calming effect on all parts of the digestive system.

All of these herbs like full sun and regular watering. All but the dill will grow well in containers. Give them a try and your stomach will thank you.