Tea and Digestive Disease

by Brandee · 2 comments

(Trzewia_CzlowiekaBKKL, 1914)

Digestive diseases affect 60 – 70 million people in the United States a year, according to estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics. People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are constantly monitoring their digestive system, sometimes striking a precarious balance between western medicine, eastern medicine, and exercise and diet control. In 2007, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease after years of feeling lethargic and sick. The diagnosis started a journey of discovering what treatment and health management worked best for me. Through this journey, I found that a beverage I’ve always loved (tea) was helpful in managing my digestive system and my spirit. Others affected with digestive disease have experienced the healing and soothing benefits of tea.

There are some standard teas and herbals attributed with helping the digestive system.  They are:

  • Peppermint tea – believed to ease diarrhea, promote digestion, help prevent gallstones, and relieve stomach cramps.
  • Licorice tea – believed to help fight diarrhea, and aid the healing of stomach ulcers
  • Chamomile – believed to relax digestive track muscles, and “soothe the irritated lining of the gastrointestinal tract and reduce the inflammation associated with poor digestion” according to the article, Chamomile Tea for Digestion.

Drinking tea is about the continuous quest for balance, which is a daily process as you interact with your physical, mental, and spiritual self as well as your environment. The tea that soothes one day may not soothe the next. Staying in tune with your body will help you make daily choices around tea and other aspects of your diet. I’ve included some additional tips on how to think about tea in your daily rhythm. Be mindful that this is an art, not a science.

  • Black tea – during periods of digestive flare-up, take a break from it. It is the hardest on the system.
  • Oolong – the mildness of this tea is easier on the digestive system.
    According to wisegeek.com “…the tea alkalizes the digestive tract, which can be helpful for people with problems like acid reflux and ulcers. Oolong tea also stimulates the metabolism, and it helps the body to break food down more quickly, which is why some people promote it as a weight loss aid. Oolong is especially good at breaking down fat, making it easier for the body to process.”
  • Green tea – taken in moderation daily can give your digestive system a boost. It is also easier on the system compared to black tea. An article by Safe Internal Medicine, Green Tea: Digestion and Metabolism, says that “epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most powerful of the polyphenol catechins contained in green tea leaves. Studies have shown that EGCG has an anti-inflammatory effect within the gastrointestinal tract.”

Original article: September 4, 7:39 AMTacoma Tea ExaminerCasie Swanson

{ 2 comments }

avatar Chris October 5, 2009 at 6:09 AM

Brandee,
I am Eileen’s (this is my disease) sister. I am very, very sorry to have to tell you that Eileen’s battle with cancer ended early yesterday morning. She always lived her life HER way even to the very end. I know how important her on-line friends were to her especially this past year. Please accept my sincerest thanks for all the love and support you gave to Eileen. She was very much loved by family & friends. But was never really able to accept that love. She once again runs free on the beaches with her beloved “little dog” Sydney. Please take a moment today to celebrate a life lived well & cut far too short. Be Well!
Chris

avatar Vicki December 1, 2009 at 8:32 AM

Thanks for posting this Brandee…very VERY informative and just the info I needed to see in time for Christmas!

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