Carminatives are a group of herbs that have positive effects on the digestive system. They relieve flatulence, flatus, intestinal spasms, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial; to summarize, they soothe the gastrointestinal tract (GI). Carminatives work because they contain volatile oils that are absorbed and these oils stimulate or relax receptors in the GI tract. They are easy to add to the diet as they are the herbs that are commonly used in cooking (carminatives are commonly known as culinary herbs). Depending on which receptor they stimulate, carminatives can have a cooling (e.g. peppermint), neutral (e.g. coriander), or warming (e.g. ginger) effect on the body.

Here I present just one or two interesting tid-bits on some of carminatives I'm learning about this year:

Catnip - treats headaches associated with colds/flus
Caraway - crush the seeds and make a tea to relieve flatulence
Cardamom - found in many allopathic medications as a flavoring agent
Cinnamon - prevent diarrhea and vomiting, slows absorption of sugar
Chamomile - soothing and calming (especially of nerves), helps with sleep
Coriander - dried cilantro, good for bad breath
Cumin - protect against caner, activates anti-cancer enzyme activity
Fennel - soothes stomach, common to chew fennel seeds after a meal in India
Fenugreek - good for diabetics as enhances the insulin absorption
Garlic - medicinally activated when crushed, crush before eating/cooking
Ginger - awesome for nausea and morning sickness
(Black) Pepper - an abortifacient, large amounts can cause abortion
Peppermint - helps with stomach/intestinal cramps, inhale clear sinuses
Rosemary - helps prevent baldness, treats poor memory
Tarragon - good for toothaches

Image source here.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting - I want to print your list.

    PS I had herbal tea that Mitts was insistant on trying to taste - good ole catnip!



Thanks for your comment!