Last monday night I was having trouble sleeping. I kept waking up with stomach pain but I would ignore it and soon fall asleep again. I finally got up at 6am on Tuesday and it was not good. I wanted to gouge my stomach out and toss it aside to save myself what was coming. You know that feeling, that terrible stomach turning/having to go to the bathroom a lot illness. I've rarely ever had it but I hate it, so does everyone, its rather embarrassing. As soon as I could I went to my cabinet to see what herbs I had on hand to save me. I had herbalism class that day in 3 hours and didn't want to go feeling awful and having to run the bathroom every 30 minutes. Plus, we were driving down to NC after class... oh please no; not 5 hours in a car with this! It's not pretty. So I needed a cure. I pulled out echinacea, spearmint, a cinnamon stick, licorice root, fresh ginger, red raspberry leaf, and yarrow. If I had some nettles, I would have definitely thrown those in there too for good measure. I made a quart of a strong infusion by steeping the herbs while covered for 1 hour. Over the next hour I drank it and felt my stomach settling and the pain cramps stopping. Plus, it was super tasty, I want it even when I am not sick. Like, right now.
So the low down on this blend? I figure digestion, I really need to ease and help my digestive track... it is going through a lot. The mint, cinnamon, licorice and fresh ginger are great carminatives (digestives) and definitely contributed to the tastiness. These carminatives also help decrease inflammation in the digestive track. Licorice is also anti-viral and I wasn't exactly sure what was going on down there but it was either a virus or bacteria. Echinacea, as you well know (I'm sure) is a great tea for illnesses, especially at the onset of symptoms. Perfect for boosting the immune system and it is anti-microbial. Red raspberry leaf is widely used in women and pregnant women but it has wonderful astringent properties, making it able to treat diarrhea... which is a cruelty of the stomach bug. It also is quite nutrient rich to help replenish what you are loosing. Yarrow is another nutrient rich tea to build your body back up. It is antiseptic to flight bacteria, anti-inflammatory, and also astringent to help with diarrhea.
I really am impressed and happy over how fast and well this tea worked. I had no issues after about 30mins-1hour after drinking several cups of this tea. I really recommend it. I know this seems like a lot of ingredients but building up a basic stock of herbs to keep in your home is great, you'll find so many uses for them and learn a lot. Plus, dried herbs last a long time, you don't have to worry about them going to waste.
Recipe (makes 4 cups - a medicinal daily does for 1 person)
4 cups water
Echinacea - 1TB
Licorice - a few pieces of licorice root (2tsp)
Cinnamon stick - 1
Ginger - fresh minced root (1-2tsp)
Spearmint - 1tsp
Red raspberry leaf - 1TB
Yarrow - 2tsp
Add the water and herbs into a pot, cover, and heat up to a low simmer. Turn off the heat and let infuse for 1 hour (if you can, 15-20 minutes at the least). Strain out, reheat to desired temperature, and sweeten with honey if desired. Although, this tea is really tasty and sweet without adding anything. Sorry for just these two simple photos... at the time I wasn't concerned with a photo, just feeling better. So I came back later to take these.