By Sue Rodgers
WE have all experienced at some time or another that slightly nauseous or dodgy tummy feeling that can spoil a holiday.
And with so many of us travelling during the summer, changes in diet, water and general routine can have a negative impact on our digestive system.
But there are a number of readily available herbal remedies for such occasions.
A handful of dried blackberry root simmered in water until brownish black, cooled then drunk, will help ease the symptoms of mild diarrhoea.
In fact blackberry root was one of the ingredients in the fittingly named Spanish Tummy Mixture by traditional herbal firm Potter that is sadly no longer available.
The dried root is available from most health food shops.
Tannins found in a wide range of foods, berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries, and some nuts including almonds, walnuts and pecans, all have an anti-inflammatory and an astringent effect upon the digestive system.
For fast first aid against diarrhoea make strong black or green tea without milk or sugar and drink three to four cups throughout the day.
Dried blueberries and bilberries, easily found in supermarkets, contain not only tannins but pectin, a soluble fibre that bulks out watery stools and can soothe an irritated gut.
Slowly chew about one or two teaspoons, up to three times day.
Slippery elm, obtained from the inner bark of the slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) discovered by English colonists from North American Indians, is one of the most useful herbs to treat digestive upsets.
It is a smooth slippery substance that coats the lining of the intestines and not only soothes any inflammation but also protects, heals and nourishes the intestine.
Taken as a pill or in powder form it can be bought at most health food shops.
An old favourite, peppermint tea, will also ease and relax the gut after a meal; in fact it has become so popular that many restaurants now offer peppermint tea in place of coffee.
As with all medical conditions, if symptoms persist or are severe, always seek medical advice.