Easy, Portable Herbs for Digestive Support for Work, Travel or at Home

Herbalist Lindsay Kluge shares her favorite herbal remedies to support your digestion this holiday season.

The season of travel is in full swing and with travel can come some digestive uncertainty. One of the most common complaints I hear from patients is that when they travel, their digestion can become unpredictable, stagnant, uncomfortable and sluggish. It can take weeks for them to feel “back on track”, and I think we can all relate to the feeling of unease when our digestion is compromised.

Fortunately, there are plenty of easy, portable herbs for digestive support that we can take with us when we travel, or tuck away in our office at work, or keep at home for guests to use when they need support.

Here are 4 of my most commonly recommended herbal allies for digestive health – effective and convenient for holiday travel.

  1. Chamomile Tea – Chamomile is an all encompassing digestive remedy for all ages and one of the most effective herbal allies for gastrointestinal support when symptoms present either in the stomach or lower intestines. From minor stomach aches to lower GI bowel spasms, chamomile is a gentle anti-spasmodic that helps to calm, soothe and normalize digestive function no matter where symptoms are presenting. I recommend folks travel with individual tea bags that they can use on a plane, right after dinner at a guest’s home, or to store away in their desk drawer at work to make a quick cup whenever they need it. When it works best: Tummy aches for children; mild stomach or intestinal spasms; mild diarrhea; when digestion feels like it’s moving “too fast”.
  2. Digestive bittersherbal bitters work wonders to help digestion before meals. Just a tiny taste of bitter on your tongue helps stimulate the production of digestive enzymes to support the efficient breakdown of foods. As this is the season when we’re often eating larger, fuller meals than normal, our stomach can use some additional support.  Herbal bitters are ideal to travel with and to share around the table before a holiday meal. When it works best: Before large meals; for blood sugar support post meals; taken regularly before meals when traveling out of the country (or trying new foods).
  3. Peppermint Tea –  Peppermint is a wonderful herb to take in tea form when we have difficulty digesting heavier foods like meats or beans that may cause gas and bloating. Taking individual peppermint tea bags with you when you travel is an easy way to consume this no matter where you may be – on a plane or train, at the office or at home as long as hot water is available. Peppermint tastes delicious, and is safe for all ages.       When it works best: taken after meals to reduce gas and bloating
  4. Ginger chews or Ginger Tea – Ginger is an ideal herb for sluggish digestion when you need to get things moving and warm up an otherwise stagnant (or cold) digestive tract. Many people suffer from slower bowels when they travel, and ginger is a warming and stimulating herb to support healthy bowel movements. Ginger tea is something I always recommend to people who fly often to help keep them energetically grounded and warm. You can also use the ginger chews on the go for the same benefit if tea is not accessible. When it works best: travel induced constipation; slow gastric emptying or sluggish digestion; nausea; taken daily when traveling to colder climates. When digestion feels like it’s moving “too slow”.

Each person presents with such a unique digestive picture that sometimes just a single herb doesn’t quite do the trick for them or offer enough support for how their symptoms are showing up. If you need more individualized support or a custom compounded herbal remedy to support your digestion this holiday season, consider scheduling an appointment with our clinical herbalist, Lindsay Kluge, before your holiday traveling.

About the Author:

Lindsay Kluge is a Clinical Herbalist & Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist and received her Masters of Science degree in Herbal Medicine from the Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2012. She has been with Richmond Natural Medicine since 2013, and specializes in therapeutic holistic nutrition, circadian rhythm balance and sleep physiology, digestion, and Ayurvedic nutrition. She offers individualized nutrition and herbal medicine consultations that include meal planning support, custom compounded herbal formulas, nutrition guidance and general wellness support.  Learn more about services that Lindsay offers at Richmond Natural Medicine by clicking HERE.