Top 5 Gut Healing Herbs
Updated: Feb 24
We have all had a run through with an unhealthy, inflamed gut at some point. Let's explore, together, the amazing benefits of 5 gut wall soothing and supporting herbs.
Ever suffered from an inflamed or unhealthy gut?! If you have ever been on antibiotics, eaten some foods which doesn't agree with you or been really stressed, chances are you have!
An unhealthy gut can lead to the more well-known symptoms of indigestion, bloating, cramps but it can also lead to the less-obvious eczema, anxiety, insomnia and even lends itself to chronic conditions.
Did you know that our gut lining is the home to about 80% of our immune system?!
In order to achieve true healing, it is important to understand the root cause, however, herbs can be used as allies to help support and soothe overall gut health.
Today, let's explore the amazing benefits of my top 5 herbs to help support a healthy gut wall. We will live in a world where information is easily accessible and it is important that we utilise this, with that being said please gain the knowledge you need from this and continue to explore the amazing world of herbs.
#1 fenugreek - Trigonella foenum-graecum
Fenugreek is a herb that is used quite frequently in Indian cuisine; the seeds smell and taste similar to MAPLE SYRUP! 😲Although, in the food industry it is used for these qualities, when it comes to the gut wall the benefits of fenugreek is unmatched.
Within the seeds of the fenugreek plant, a large quantity of mucilage can be found - this helps to provide a protective physical coating on the gut wall and other surfaces within the digestive tract. Helping to soothe inflamed or irritated linings of the oesophagus, stomach and intestines thereby providing pain relief and preventing any potential blood loss. Fenugreek also has a bulking action, so it can help to steady the performance of the bowels, either reducing constipation or preventing diarrhoea.
The benefits of fenugreek don't stop there, due to its bitter qualities, this amazing herb can also help to support the function of the liver. This nourishing herb helps to replenish nutrients, particularly after a debilitating condition and gently stimulates appetite.
#2 marshmallow root - Althaea officinalis
Marshmallow, not the sweet and soft confectionary that we are all familiar with but the plant, that is used for medicine 🙂
Marshmallow root, just like fenugreek, has a high mucilage content. This wonderful herb, helps to form a gel-like layer on any exposed, irritated parts of the mucous membrane, including that of the gut wall. This protective layer, gives the gut time to repair itself while also preventing any further deterioration, particularly in hyper acidic conditions. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can therefore help to calm down inflammatory conditions associated with the gut such as gastritis, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis and IBS.
WOW!! Marshmallow is definitely a herb to have handy when suffering from gut issues.
#3 aloe vera - Aloe barbadensis (and many other synonyms)
If you are a sucker for succulents (like me), chances are you have an aloe vera plant right in your home! 😲I think many of us are familiar with the benefits that the gel has on our skin but did you know that the juice is also great for the gut?!
Aloe vera juice and gel contains carbohydrates known as polysaccharides which give it this almost greasy sensation. The polysaccharides help to provide a physical benefit to irritation in the gut wall and the cooling effect and demulcent qualities of aloe vera, helps to soothe any warming conditions in the gut. It is a safer alternative to antacids and proton-pump inhibitors used to treat dyspepsia and other hyper acidic conditions.
In addition to the amazing benefits mentioned above, aloe vera has the ability to regulate bacteria in the intestine, it is therefore indicated in Candida and makes it a great remedy for gastric and intestinal function.
#4 peppermint - Mentha × piperita
The benefits of peppermint in the treatment of digestive upset are well documented. This refreshing herb, lends its soothing properties to the volatile oil found within its leaves known as menthol.
Peppermint tea helps to alleviate pain and spasms associated with bloating, gassiness, constipation, IBS and other digestive upsets, due to its antispasmodic properties. With regards to the gut healing benefits, peppermint contains tannins which help to protect the gut wall and has a calming effect on the bowels.
NOTE: We all probably have some peppermint tea in our kitchen cupboards, a tip when dealing with digestive issues is to steep 2-3 bags per cup for 15 mins. Be sure to keep your tea covered so that all the volatile oils do not escape.
#5 Slippery Elm - Ulmus fulva*
The last but not least herb within this concise list is: slippery elm. In many traditions, this particular tree bark was used to self-medicate during digestive upset, where it coined the name 'chew-bark'.
Slippery elm just like many of the herbs listed here has soothing, demulcent properties which helps to form a protective layer on the gut wall. In addition to this, slippery elm also has astringent properties - which helps to draw out any excess heat and toxins found in inflamed gut mucous membranes or even wounds within the gut; helping to calm the digestive tract and encourage healing.
*Slippery elm has been identified as an at-risk plant. Due to declining wild populations please ensure that when sourcing this herb, it is from a cultivated cropped and not wild-harvested bark.
And there you have it!! 5 wonderful herbs worth having in your arsenal to help soothe and support your gut wall. Isn't nature amazing?! Although many of these herbs mentioned here are not easily accessible any more, especially if one lives in a city (if they are, lucky you!), we do have the internet where we can order these great herbs to have within arms reach for those moments when we have a digestive flare up! Please be sure to do adequate research on reputable suppliers!
If you found any of this information useful, then please do share and leave a lovely comment below, have you used any of these herbs before?! 🙂