3 Herbs To Heal Your Gut (And Recipes!)

Did you know that there are more neurons in your Enteric Nervous System (Gut Brain) than there are in your spinal cord?

Amazingly, we didn’t hear a lot about our gut (and the millions of microorganisms that live inside it) until about 2001. Now we’re seeing articles on it everywhere, often stating that the state of our gut health is one of the most critical factors in our overall wellbeing.

The good news is that there are many ways you can help your gut flora flourish. Simple things like foregoing antibiotics (when possible) and getting active outdoors can really make a difference.

And of course, we can’t exclude the importance of eating foods that strengthen the microbiome. Adding fermented foods to your diet — like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha — introduce healthy bacteria called probiotics to your gut which stabilize your internal environment when consumed regularly.

But did you know that there are specific herbs that are effective for this as well?

Here are 3 gut-healing herbs and recipes to incorporate into your routine

#1 Gentian

Gentian root (Gentiana lutea) is the most classic digestive herb.

It’s commonly used as a base for aperitifs — alcoholic beverages that are served before a meal. This old school tradition was popularized in France and spread like wildfire. Now it’s practiced around the globe!

Gentian kick-starts the digestive system by stimulating saliva, which travels down your throat and gets your body ready to process your meal. Its intense bitter taste helps your body secrete bile which aids you in breaking down fats and storing that energy for later. It’s also an astringent herb which tones the internal tissues of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract!

Use this recipe to make your own Pre-Dinner Digestive Bitters Blend. You can simply add the tincture into water or squeeze a few drops directly under the tongue for quick effects.

Gentian Bitters Blend

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp gentian
  • 2 tbsp chamomile
  • 1 cup berries (blueberry is my favorite)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 oz grain alcohol (or glycerin)

Instructions:

  1. Grind your chamomile down into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
  2. Mix your gentian and chamomile together in a jar
  3. Fill with the alcohol and place in a cool dark place for 1 month (at least)
  4. Strain the alcohol and retain in a separate bowl
  5. Add berries to a saucepan
  6. Cover berries with water and bring to a boil
  7. Lower to a simmer and allow to cook down for 30 minutes or until the liquid has halved
  8. Strain blueberries out and add liquid back to saucepan
  9. Add honey and stir until melted
  10. Allow to cool
  11. Mix with alcohol tincture
  12. Serve 1-2 droppers per person per meal

#2 Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is famous for its ability to calm down nausea and fend off the flu. But did you know that ginger is a digestive ally all around?

Ginger tones your GI tract just like gentian does, but has an anti-inflammatory + analgesic aspect that makes ginger your go-to herb no matter the stomach complaint (added bonus… it’s delicious!).

Ginger is so powerful that it boosts your immune system and detoxifies your body while regulating your gut! Isn’t that incredible?

On top of adding ginger to your cooking whenever possible, I deeply encourage people to regularly drink ginger tea. Tea is one of the simplest and most effective ways to introduce healing herbs to your diet for immediate and long term results.

Give this delicious ginger decoction a try – I could sip this one all day, every day 🙂

Ginger Infusion

Ingredients:

  • 3-5 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 lemon round
  • A sprig of fresh thyme (or a 1 tsp of dried)
  • Honey to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients (except the honey) to your largest mug
  2. Pour water fresh off the boil over the herbs
  3. Steep for at least 5 minutes, or leave all ingredients in and sip it as the water infuses
  4. Add the honey once the water cools to lukewarm (do not pour boiling or hot water over honey)

#3 Fennel

This delightful herb is typically known for its culinary flavors and for its affinity for helping new mothers. But if you ever have a bout of gas in your gut (which can sometimes even be painful), fennel is the perfect herb for you.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) relaxes the muscles and soothes the lining of the gut. Incorporating fennel into your daily life helps your body absorb the nutrients from your food better, develop more regular bowel movements and heal underlying issues like leaky gut or IBS.

Here’s an easy recipe that my family and I love for a fennel syrup that you can add to any tea!

Fennel Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ cup honey

Instructions:

  1. Crush up fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder
  2. Add fennel to a saucepan and cover with water
  3. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and warm for at least 30 minutes or until the liquid has halved
  4. Strain out seeds and pour the liquid back into the saucepan
  5. Add honey once the water reaches a lukewarm temperature and stir until melted.
  6. Keep refrigerated

Using all or any combination of these amazing gut healing remedies is a surefire way to get your tummy and overall gut health back on track.

Stay curious,

Nick Polizzi
Host of Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed By Science
& Founder of The Sacred Science

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46 Responses

  1. You are a blessing to the world, or at least the USA. So many other nations have better health and food industry laws that they are healthier than we are here. I’m one of those with gut issues at the present moment. I appreciate this information and the recipes. I’m all about healing with natural, God-given creations over chemical, toxic medications. Most of us in this country have never heard of the LD-50 rule over approval of prescription drugs. So I thank you for your dedication to helping humanity to live better longer, utilizing the old ways of living. Salute!

  2. I peel and thinly slice ginger root, add fennel seeds and cover in honey. I eat a teaspoonful of the ginger and fennel every day before dinner, and the ginger and fennel flavoured honey that is left over is delicious in my chia porridge. I also peel and chop garlic and turmeric and cover with organic apple cider vinegar (with the mother). I add some of this to just about everything I cook as its delicious.

  3. I do like everything Mr Nick Polizzi writes, publishes and sends in order to help people in need or everybody who is interested in herbal and alternative medicine.

  4. Thank you Nick for your good counsel, wisdom that can be embodied into practice. It so needed in our country today as Lynn Presnell says below. I am a woman who is now 52 years old. I grew up poor, but was given free dance classes by an enlightened, loving retired dancer out of the New York Ballet. I learned to dance and to dance well. I followed my passion throughout my life, even though my mother and father called me conceited and selfish when they saw me on stage. I began having uncontrollable epileptic seizures at age 34. It was horrific at first, but did send me into a journey of enlightenment, wherein I had to look at the failures of conventional medicine in the United States. I rejected a lot of that advice and found a lot of my recovered health in ancient, medicinal practices like meditation, herbal medicine, massage and acupuncture. Of course, my insurance coverage didn’t cover anything but the toxic pharmaceuticals prescribed for this common, age old disease. I now have a few seizures a month. I learned to walk with the “wind” in peace, and as I enter menopause, our shared dance often includes even fewer seizures than that. I wrote a book about my experience. I write as well as I dance and choreograph. It is titled, “SEIZED – Searching for Health In the United States”. You can find it on amazon.com, or contact me and I’ll send you a copy for free. People need the wisdom you share in order to find within themselves the empowerment to reject conventional medicine’s fear based, one size fits all paradigm, more about making a profit for the hospital than about healing the patient. Thank you for your good work and steady on with the effort.

  5. Your guidance are so amazing about the guts problem, and supports information
    on these herbs.
    God Bless you for all your wonderful writing
    Instructions on sharing your knowledge!❤️
    Thank You so Much 💕🌹🌟

  6. Every morning I make an infusion of green tea, fresh grated ginger, tumeric & honey. I believe it’s what has kept me healthy the past two years. I call it my voodoo tonic!

  7. To Holly Eckert.
    I wonder if you are aware of WHEAT and WHEAT PRODUCTS causing seizures.
    As soon as you can stop the bread/pasta/macaroni/cookies/patties/cakes, etc
    seizures usually disappear.
    DO a search: The dangers of wheat
    GreenMedInfo.com has some great articles on wheat.

  8. A wonderful post.
    How long can the fennel concoction be kept for please?
    Also how often and how should it be consumed? Is it just a spoonful straight from the fridge or maybe added to a hot drink?

    Thank you

  9. Thanks once again for the information I use ginger nearly everyday, fennel I will try but gentian I’ve I should try never seen in the shops in it’s raw form in Ireland. Maybe I should try tincture form from a health shop

  10. I really enjoy your “trusted” post’s. I appreciate all you have done for not only me, but the world!
    Of course, I watch your documentaries.
    Thank You Nick for all of the work you have done and continuing!
    Sincerely,
    Carolyn

  11. In India ajwain or carrom seeds are the classic remedy for stomach ache and for those who have a problem of gas. Boil two tablespoons of ajwain in a saucepan of water for 15 mins. Cool and drink after every meal. This “omum water” as it is called is even given to babies for colic and settles an irritable gut.
    Fennel is chewed after meals in India as a digestive.

  12. thank you, Nick. My gut can use more help. Am just realizing all my “stuff” seems to be stemming from Hiatal Hernia syndrome, which I never hear anyone talking about. Fortunately, I bought a book a couple of years back and recently got a nudge to really get into it. Thanks again.

  13. Hi. I have one concern with the above recipe that contains Chamomile. You are suggesting powdering the Chamomile to put into the blend that will eventually be activated by boiling water. Chamomile is in the ragweed family, as you know, and the agents that can effect those who have a ragweed allergy are taught never to use boiling water when making Chamomile tea. It’s the temperature of the water that allows them to bloom causing great irritation and sometimes can result in a severe reaction. Is this boiling water required to release the components in the rest of the recipe or can one use water that is below the boiling point?

    1. Hi Jacki, Excellent question! As the plant materials are initially macerated, tinctured (alcohol extraction), then strained – you are not boiling the chamomile itself. You are simply adding the tincture to the new liquid (e.g. Mix with alcohol tincture). So, to be clear, you are NOT boiling chamomile in this recipe.

  14. Hello Nick, I appreciate all the helpful infomation you give. I have a number of health n autoimmune issues n recently l sought the help from a naturapath. With new information now that l have a leaky gut l.m eager to follow his advice n try to heal my ailments. Thankyou so much too for all you are providing for our benefit on our healing journey.

  15. I’ve suffered with gut issues for the last 19 years, after radiation due to cancer. I’ve just found Sacred Science.
    I’m grateful & can’t wait to try these suggestions.
    Thank you
    Linda

  16. Tried to make the fennel syrup. About how much water do you end with? After 12 minutes I had only a few tablespoons of liquid left!

  17. Holly Eckert
    I didn’t see your book on Amazon. Perhaps I didn’t search correctly. This comment of yours makes me want to read your book. I have been subjected to allopathic methods in the past & my entire body just rejects such ways. And I have a large family who don’t all understand why I don’t believe doctors. I have been much happier using natural means for health.
    ‘People need the wisdom you share in order to find within themselves the empowerment to reject conventional medicine’s fear based, one size fits all paradigm, more about making a profit for the hospital than about healing the patient.’

  18. I work 40 hours a week from 11pm-7am, go to school online 2-3 hours a day, and am trying to start my own natural herbal healing business in my “spare” time, while still taking care of my home and family. Your series are sometimes hard to fit in my schedule but so worth the knowledge. Thank you for providing information rather than it being a highly information advertisement, as many of series end up being. I appreciate you and all of the people involved. Thank you for all that you do.

  19. This is good information. I’m wondering about resources for folks with SIBO? Also, do you use fennel seed exclusively, or can you consider the entire plant beneficial for GI issues?

  20. Thank you Niick sharing this I love it with the recepee quite nice ! I use a lot of ginger and lemon as well mostley in hot drinks in the morning Love to hear diffrent uses

  21. I love recipes from the herbal garden. I make my own vinegar, kombucha, and kefir. I have recently discovered Switchel, a lightly fermented probiotic drink that uses ginger. I am trying a batch with a handful of blackberries today. Fruited switchels is so delicious that I think most children will love the taste. Recently I have added flowers to my palatte. Rose tea latte is so delicious!

  22. Thank you for being such a wonderful resource! Why is it not advised to pour boiling water over honey?

  23. Thanks for your post … I have been meaning to buy some bitters ingredients and make my own. Aloe also improves the gut bugs, protects and heals ulcers and is anti inflammatory. Lecithin is great too – it a strengthens the mucus membrane, increases the immune system and softens gall stones if they are made of cholesterol so they pass naturally. It also reduces LDL cholesterol and improves brain health. And seaweeds, oats and guar gum…. ferment and protect the gut bugs and lining.

  24. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom on the three herbs!
    Re: Fennel, how do you use the fennel syrup? Do you mix it with other drinks, or do you take a little bit of this syrup by itself during the day? Not sure how to administer it.

  25. I think you most sincerely for all three recipes today. I’m a 75 year old woman with a host of autoimmune difficulties and my digestion has taken a hit. I have to have powerful meds to stay alive and you know the rest. I have been purchasing bitters and they help but cannot wait to give your herbal remedies a try.

  26. Thank you! I love this. Will try all the recipes. So happy the microbiome is finally getting the attention it deserves. Look forward to checking out the docuseries. Thank you again!

  27. PROVEN? Healing Break through Backed by Science? Explain? Example- backed by Studies, Research. Who determined it would give the results you are claiming? Does FDA have to approve them? Do you have a Disclaimer( many, many emails contain content, but are Disclaimers.) Can people be allergic to any? Thanks for the opportunity. Linda

  28. Thank you for reminding me of these herbs and introduce me to a new one. Ginger is truly amazing for many things especially gut. And fennel is simply a miracle. In my family we use fennel only if we are sick. But to consume it daily must be so healthy for the guts. Thank you for your compassion

  29. Please let me know where I can view: “Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed By Science” and “Remedy: Ancient Medicine for Modern Illness” Mahalo, Magenta

  30. Just wondering if you have done any research on fructose intolerance and GLUT-5 enzyme. Can this enzyme be reactivated?

  31. I had trouble with my bowel; Fennel opened it. I hewed the seeds ,took hot tea; 24hrrs I was clear.

    Matthias

  32. I receive numerous health related emails all requiring a large time commitment to listen to 8 or more masterclasses-time I prefer to spend otherwise! I very much appreciate Nick & his most helpful info which is freely given in one email-thank you🙏

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