This is the time of year when people begin to travel to mountains, shores and sometimes to lands far away. One of the problems with traveling is that the digestive tract and gut do not do well with flying or driving to new places. Our bellies and intestines also have to contend with new bacteria and new foods as well. I have traveled extensively the last three years and have found that certain herbs are a must on these trips.
One of the main stays in traveling is to take along a few bottles of bitter herbs. The bitter flavors of herbs and plants help with cleansing and detoxification. To "drink your bitter brew" has real significance as it indicates the energy of detoxification and elimination. For the most part, the typical Western diet is usually devoid of anything bitter but many developing countries, as well as some European countries, have learned that taking a little bit of "bitters" each day is a simple way to maintain health and well being.
Bitters help with digestion, prevent bacterial and viral infections, as well as prevent and eliminate parasites.
There are at least five ways that the bitter taste of herbs exert their detoxifying effects:
1. They tend to stimulate the flow of bile and thus detoxify the blood and lymphatic system by enhancing the liver function.
2. They tend to reduce cholesterol in the veins and arteries.
3. They tend to be antibiotic, anti-viral and anti-parasitical.
4. They tend to alkaline the blood and system generally, thus further serving to neutralize toxins throughout the body.
5. They stimulate digestive secretions, especially in smaller dosages, and thus enhance appetite and assimilation.
Some bitters are dandelion, Oregon Grape root, artichoke leaves, and gentian. But the one
formula that is a “must” is a tincture a combination of black walnut hulls and goldenseal.
Purchase one ounce of each herb and combine them in a travel safe jar. Take a half a
dropper full of the combination before each meal. ( about one half teaspoon) This will
help as a prophylactic to prevent bacteria and parasites from infesting your interior.
Black walnut is a very strong medicine and is a specific for eliminating fungus, parasite and bacterial infestations. Goldenseal is very bitter and also helps as an anti-parasitical. If goldenseal is hard to come by or too expensive then purchase the herb gentian as a strong bitter with similar properties.
Another herb that you can take with you on your travels is ginger. Originally from tropical Asia, ginger has been used as a medicinal herb in the West for at least 2,000 years. Ginger’s spicy nature helps to ward off parasites and eases digestive problems such as motion sickness, nausea, gas and bloating. For these conditions, drink a cup of hot ginger tea. When traveling it is best to carry the dried herb either as a powder or cut and sifted ( small pieces). Put about ¼ to ½ teaspoon in a cup of hot water, let it steep for a few minutes and then drink it, or you can take capsules of ginger - one or two pills with meals. Remember, ginger has the special capacity to stop the vomiting reflux and can be used to ease that queasy feeling. The tincture may also be used – 10 – 15 drops per dose.
Safe travels and may you stay well on your journeys this season.