Top 5 Herbs that Help Digestion

In my experience as an herbalist and a patient suffering from fibroids and endometriosis, I’ve found that, creating a balanced environment in your gut can allow your hormonal system to work a bit more efficiently and eventually reduce pain and discomfort until your body returns to a balanced state.

Here are the 5 herbs I’ve used through the years to soothe my GI tract and also help balance my hormonal self.

*Chamomile – very popular and mild. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s common and wildly used. Chamomile increases gastric juices, helps you expel gas, reduce painful spasms and reduce inflammation. It is wildly used because it is mild so even people with IBS and other serious gastric conditions can use it.

*Hops (will help you sleep, sedative, nerving relaxant), but it revs up your digestive juices.

*Slippery Elm (Ulnus spp) – is used in lots of OTC’s. Slippery Elm is great for the mouth (soft tissue, canker sores, stomach walls). Awesome to sooth the gut when your hormones are causing LOTS of issues

*Yarrow: Yarrow leaf and flower can be added to food or used in tea. This bitter plant may be helpful in managing blood sugar, which is so important in maintaining digestive health AND regulating thyroid function, which is key in maintaining strong and balanced hormonal health.

*Triphala, an Ayurvedic combination of the fruits amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki, is the classic herbal remedy for long-term digestive benefit. It tones the intestinal walls, detoxifies the system and promotes evacuation. Triphala has a high tannin content, so in low doses, it treats diarrhea (1 gram per day). In higher doses, it treats constipation in a slow, gentle way, toning the walls of the gut while it works.

Favorite Herbs For Sleeplessness And/Or Low-Level Anxiety

When talking about lack of sleep and and low level anxiety that keeps you up at night, we always want to focus on calming our central nervous system, rather than forcing it to shut down.

On this video, I show you my go to “hacks” and a few herbs (including an awesome,  yet simple remedy) to help your mind and body relax and manage your sleeplessness and low level anxiety:

Ashwagandha

Known as Indian Ginseng, Ashwagandha can increase energy to the body at a cellular level but it can also help you handle stress more effectively, helping you deal with anxiety and high levels of stress. In India it is used as an energy tonic, known to increase memory and brain power.

 

Get Some Magnesium

Take some magnesium with dinner (about 350 mg) as this calms your central nervous system and helps you relax. Make sure to take it with dinner, not in the morning! I prefer the powder versions, CALM is a great brand.

 

Massage Your Feet

Massage your feet with oil (sesame or coconut will do) before going to bed. If it’s cold, put some sock on.

 

My Go-To Herbal Remedy

½ cup of almond milk

½ tsp of honey (or coconut syrup)

1 tsp of aniseed

Warm and drink after dinner (7-8pm) every night

Herbal Tonic for Feminine Health

Regardless of where you are in your life: early 20’s and enjoying singlehood, perhaps ready to conceive, struggling with hormonal issues, have absolutely no sex drive, dealing with pre menopause or menopause, just to name a few, this female tonic herb will help you for sure!

First, here are the ingredients and why they are so amazing:

*Stinging Nettle

This is my most favorite all around fertility herb. Not only does it tone and nourish the uterus, it also promotes strengthening of the kidneys and adrenal glands.  If you are or have ever been a coffee drinker, this herb is for you!

One, two, or even more cups per day of this high mineral tea which is also loaded with chlorophyll (a detoxifier) for several months goes a long way toward preparing a woman’s body for pregnancy and for sustaining the embryo once conception occurs.

*Red Raspberry

Red Raspberry leaves, particularly the wild kind, are very high in calcium.   Like Nettle and Red Clover, Red Raspberry leaves serve as a soothing uterine tonic and hence a very effective fertility herb.

The fertility promoting effects of Red Raspberry are enhanced in combination with other herbs, particularly Red Clover.

 

*Red Clover 

Red clover is an excellent fertility herb primarily due to the high amounts of calcium and magnesium. These two minerals are believed to be of high importance in affecting a woman’s ability to conceive.

Red clover contains every single trace element needed by the glandular system.   As such, this alkalizing herb is probably the single most effective plant used for balancing of the hormones needed for conception to take place.    Balancing the body acid/alkaline PH, and thereby, the uterus PH, goes a long way toward favoring conception.

Now there’s the awesome infusion:

Equal parts of:

  • Red Clover
  • Red Raspberries
  • Nettles

Combine in about 24 ounces or warm to hot water (not boiling hot, please) and steep overnight or during the day. Drink 1-2 cups a day and leave the rest in the fridge, drinking it daily or at least every other day.

Try it, you won’t regret it. Give it a go and let me know in the comments below!

 

“Magic” Herb that kills STRESS + Ashwagandha

There’s a new herbal superstar in town! I’ve been using it for about 3 years and recommending it to clients with outstanding results. Why do I love it? Because it’s one of the most effective stress relieving substances I’ve ever tried. And it’s legal!

This little marble is called Ashwagandha and the people in India and those in the West who follow Ayurveda, have known about its amazing properties for decades.

It also happens to be an all-around health tonic (meaning, it helps your entire system, not just your stress levels). Learn more about it and get some of the herb here!

If you’re interested in trying this marvel herb, check out the ones from Lost Empire Herbs! I love it in tincture form and this company offers a truly high quality one!

Best DYI Mosquito Repellent

Mosquitoes are a pain! They can ruin your picnic, sports event, gardening, hike or fun in the ski! And if you’ve ever been anywhere in the tropics, you know there’s no way you can enjoy an evening outdoors in a pair of shorts of a cute little summer dress because they will attack you and use your body as a Thanksgiving feast!

Sadly, plenty of the popular mosquito repellents out there are made with chemicals that will get into your body through the pores of your skin, eyes and nose. It’s literally like voluntarily spraying yourself with a pesticide… no thank you!

Fortunately there are natural alternatives to the toxic and chemical laden commercial mosquito repellents. Today’s video will show you one of my favorites (and one that my family in Puerto Rico uses regularly):

Ingredients:

1.5 ounces vodka or tequila, 25 drops peppermint essential oil and 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil.

Method: Use a clean and sterilized spray bottle for this. Add vodka to the spray bottle. Now, add 25 drops of peppermint essential oil followed by 1 teaspoon jojoba oil. Shake well and your very own mosquito repellent spray is ready!

Spray onto exposed skin and/or clothing, avoiding eyes and mucous membranes.

Will you try it? Let me know in the comments below the video!

How To Curb Late Night Binging

Craving sweet, salty or fatty foods late at night? Even after you’ve had an awesome day full of nourishing foods, plenty of fiber, and water!

You’ve done everything you can and you still have those pesky cravings. How to curb them? This video will show you what I do to help me not un-do my healthy day!

Here’s the list of the tips mentioned on the video:

  1. Consume more nutrients through the day
  2. Spread out your water
  3. Avoid bringing crappy food into the house
  4. Have raw cacao powder
  5. Take cinnamon bark tea
  6. Have sex
  7. Increase healthy oils in your meals
  8. Peppermint essential oil

Hope you enjoy them!

Sore Throat/Laryngitis? You Need THESE!

Have a sore throat or laryngitis due to a viral or bacterial infection? Maybe even recovering from a nasty bout of the flu! (Yikes!)

On today’s video I’m sharing my tips for relieving the pain, clearing the phlegm and getting your voice back to pronto!

  1. Gargle with apple cider vinegar
  2. Gargle with warm water and sea salt
  3. use Oil of Oregano
  4. take Sage tea (but only at night time)
  5. Make ginger tea (or add it to your hot tea)
  6. Use Licorice Root tea
  7. Rub your chest and neck with Eucalyptus oil
  8. Take Aloe Vera

Check the video for more details! xoxo

7 Tips To Avoid The Winter Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real condition that affects millions in the Western World and can increase your feelings of stress, anxiety, loss of productivity, and other emotional/mental conditions. While SAD is often temporary and in most cases not dangerous, it is disruptive to your quality of life.

If you suffer from SAD or any other type of depression, please get help. There is no need for you (or anyone) to suffer alone. There are many way to help relief the symptoms of SAD.

On the other hand, if you feel a little “blue” around fall/winter, you may have a bad case of the “winter blues”. While SAD and winter blues are used inter-changeably, they are not the same. SAD is a type of clinical depression, often a life-long condition while the winter blues is often temporary and situational.

On today’s video, I’m offering some herbal remedies and holistic approaches to help relief the winter blues that may also help you manage the symptoms of SAD.

  1. Get out of the house – even if ti’s hard
  2. Take in the sun (or supplement with a Vitamin D supplement)
  3. St John’s Wort – known as Nature’s Prozac
  4. Avoid Getting Sick – Use adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola or Panax Ginseng 
  5. Feed your “2nd brain” – your gut with probiotics and probiotics
  6. Don’t isolate yourself
  7. Laugh out Loud

Check the video for more details! xoxo

Remedies for Occasional Diarrhea

Ugh! We’ve all suffered from it at one point or another…. diarrhea… and all that comes with it:

  • Stomach ache
  • Feeling feverish and ill
  • Dehydration
  • Uncontrollable bowel movements
  • Frequent passage of loose and watery stool
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Dry mouth

The reasons why we suffer from diarrhea as far and wide, from bacterial infection to serious autoimmune disorders. Whatever the reasons behind your loose and watery stools, one of these natural remedies might be able to help.

Check out the video below to learn my go-to remedies to treat occasional diarrhea.

Now, in the comments below, tell me: Have you used any of these? Have they been helpful?

Do you know of any remedies as effective to manage diarrhea symptoms? Let me know in the comments below!

Over Eating And Feeling Miserable? Use these!

This is a little recipe I take with me everywhere I travel and have at home for those days when I overeat and/or eat away from home, meaning we might be eating things I normally avoid.

Sometimes switches on your diet, even if minor can wreak havoc on your digestion. Anything from stinky farts to constipation and feeling bloated and heavy for days!

In order to prevent those tummy troubles, I add these 3 seeds together in a jar and take them with me as an amazing homemade natural digestive remedy: 3-Seed Crunchy.

Check out why they’re awesome and how to make it here!

Immune Boosting Herbs

I LOVE herbs and spices, take them with me everywhere I travel, use them for minor ailments and offer them to clients to compliment their wellness practice.

Check out this video of herbs and supplements that have drawn attention from researchers for their immunity protecting properties!

ALFALFA

The extensive root system allows the plant to absorb a high level of nutrients from the soil. It is known to detoxes the urinary tract, purify the blood and liver and have a strong alkaline effect on the body. It also promotes bowel movement regularity and healthy hydration.

ASHWAGANDA

This is an excellent adrenal supportive herb that balances the entire hormonal system. It reduces stress on the adrenal gland and stimulate the thyroid gland activity. It is also known to reinforce immune activity. It can help the body build a line of defense for the endocrine and metabolic systems.

ASTRAGALUS

One of the most potent immune tonics used to improve the lungs, strengthen muscles, increase metabolism, reduce stress and strengthen the genetics. It is also a diuretic and promotes waste elimination as it promotes digestion and adrenal gland function.

BRAHMI (GOTU KOLA)

An Ayurvedic herb that helps boost memory and improve dementia. It also balances neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing stress and improving immunity.

CHAGA MUSHROOMS

Chaga contains the highest amounts of anti-tumor compounds of any herb. It is also high in phytochemicals, nutrients, and free-radical antioxidants, especially melanin. Chaga is second only to cacao in antioxidant content and is a powerful anti-cancer herb.

Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments below!

 

How To Improve Your Vision Naturally

So I work long hours and plenty of those are spend on the computer, writing, creating scripts for videos, researching. SO my eyes get very strained and I think I’m starting to use my eye sight. Went to the doctor who confirmed about a year ago that I was “just a few months away” from needing my first pair of glasses.

Don’t get me wrong, I think glasses are totally sexy but I don’t want to have to rely on them unless I absolutely have to.

Here’s what I did to improve my vision naturally:

As you know, I’m passionate about Ayurveda and so I went to my ayurvedic practitioner and friend Saadia who recommended I use this really popular herb to wash my eyes with. TRIPHALA!

Triphala is an ayurvedic herbal formula that comes in pills and powders and it’s used to support digestion, maintain regularity, assist natural internal cleansing and nourishing the entire body.

I take it regularly and love it. But the thing is awesome enough to help me strengthen my eye sight. Here’s what I did:

  • Boil ½ teaspoon in 12 ounces of water at low heat
  • Let it cool off
  • Drain using a coffee or almond milk strainer
  • Keep in the fridge for up to a week
  • Use an eye wash and rinse your eyes for a few minutes
  • Do it daily for a few weeks and see how you feel.

I can focus better, see smaller print and my eyes don’t get tired any more. It’s fantastic!

Home Remedies For Acid Reflux

Have your suffered from acid reflux? The diaphragm helps keep acid in your stomach but sometimes, some of the acids that help break down food during digestion can trickle up, moving to the esophagus and causing symptoms like:

  • Burning sensation in the chest
  • Sore throat
  • Sour taste in the mouth

Check how to prevent it and how my home remedies here!

Why is this happening to you! Could be because of:

  • Eating too fast or at off times in the day (like late at night)
  • Alcohol and smoking consumption
  • Too many spicy or fried foods

Here’s what I’ve done to avoid is from happening in the first place:

  • Avoid foods with too many spices, or vinegar
  • Avoid tomato sauce
  • Reduce chocolate intake
  • Avoid carbonated drinks
  • Avoid tea and coffee

Here are 2 natural home remedies:

  • Chew on a single tiny little clove stick
  • Chew 5-6 basil leaves after meals
Home Remedies For Bad Breath (Halitosis Cure)

Halitosis can be caused by a number of conditions in the gut or even beyond. My first suggestion is to go to your doctor and make sure you don’t have parasites, ulcers, IBS or any other condition that may be exacerbating this issue. Get a full clean bill of health.

Here’s what I’ve tried in the past for deal with halitosis:

– Oil of oregano – add a few drops to your toothbrush to kill stubborn germs in the mouth (make sure to floss as well) and brush with it 2-3 times per day

– Wash your mouth with hot water and cinnamon powder

– Chew a few parsley leaves

– Mix 1 tsp of chlorophyll in 2 ounces of water and drink on an empty stomach

– Chew on a few fennel seeds throughout the day

Also, make sure that you are eliminating properly and fully every day. Use Magnesium citrate or Cascara Sagrada if constipated.

Best Way To Flavor Water

So we need water to survive and we are also always told to have supplement this and drink herb that for better health. So I’ve found a really awesome way to combine the 2!

My herbal professor used to say never drink water alone, add herbs to get all the benefits and healing properties of the herbs. Perfect way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Here are the favorite things I add to my water every day.

 

Cinnamon

It’s warming to the body and delicious in flavor and also awesome for you too. It is loaded with minerals, including manganese and calcium, and contains essential oils with potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Apple cider vinegar

Great at regulating the body’s acidity (pH) levels, easing digestive discomfort, relieving heartburn, helping to prevent seasonal illness, and reducing inflammation.

Fennel

Fennel is sweet and aromatic and can help those who need to have something sweet or are used to sweet drinks with meals. Fennel is known to have antioxidant, digestive, carminative, and anti-flatulent properties. So great to take after a heavy meal and when you feel gassy.

Black Salt

Not the crappy table salt but a pinch of the unprocessed, amazing salt that have lots of trace minerals that a lot of us are deficient in.

Mint Leaves

Everybody loves mint. And we are perfectly familiar with it. But did you know that as a palate cleanser, mint can help you better digest your food? It also soothes stomachs and help reduce inflammation

Sage

This is really high in antioxidants so it can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, which often results in impaired immunity, and chronic disease. People in the Caribbean use it to shorten the length of a cold and heal laryngitis.

About Jovanka

Jovanka Ciares is a former entertainment executive turned Wellness expert, detox specialist, nutrition educator and author. She is the creator of the Wellness Smackdown™, a proprietary detox and weight loss program for natural weight loss which was featured on the first season of ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours”...

JOIN MY VIP LIST
 
Connect