Having a child with food allergies and related conditions is a never-ending process of effort. It’s a little frustrating because he can eat something his body doesn’t like and he will have delayed symptoms, hours or even a day later. It is difficult to peg exactly what caused the upset each time, especially if I have been careful with what I make him to eat. You can read more about his condition here:
Beginning the Gut Healing Journey,
Beginning an Elimination Diet for Gut Healing,
and most recently Healing the Gut Part 3.
Exciting article titles, I know. The fact that it’s a trilogy should tell you its good.
As you may know, allergies are often tied to the health of the digestive system, mainly the gut. My son has gut damage due to overuse of prescription drugs and antibiotics his first two years of life, which is one of the reasons he has fairly severe food and environmental allergies.
Every morning I make my son warm tea with honey to help get his digestion warmed up while I make him breakfast. I have always thought of tea as supportive of the immune system but never bought any particular tea to help with healing his digestive tract.
The other day, we were in the local grocery store and while I was walking down the tea aisle an old lady was stopped in the middle of the isle, blocking my passage. She was reading the label on a powdered coffee creamer: “Lactose free? If I wanted to be healthy I wouldn’t be buying this crap!” Because this delightful old lady was blocking my way, I remembered my son was almost out of tea and began looking over the organic options displayed in front of me. (Why buy organic tea? Read this article from the Food Babe!) We frequently buy Traditional Medicinals and so I grabbed a box of the Dandelion Tea and picked up Throat Coat, thinking of my son’s Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) and wondering if it would help.
After reading the label, I was really excited! The top three herbs included are Licorice Root, Slippery Elm Bark and Marshmallow Root. These are all used as treatments for leaky gut! Is anyone else excited? No? You see, with myself I have no problem buying the herbs and taking them orally. For a child, however, I think it is too risky to medicate without a doctor’s guidance, or at least someone who is very familiar with the herbs and the outcomes. Several times I have almost bought these herbs, but last second decided not to because I am not sure how his little body will handle them.
So yes, I was very excited to find these three herbs in one tea, which I am totally comfortable with giving to my son.
Throat Coat Tea herbal goodies:
Licorice Root – the flavonoids contained in licorice root help decrease inflammation in the digestive system. It also supports the body’s natural ability to maintain the mucosal lining of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. Every time we eat, the mucosal lining is damaged by the passage of food and the body should be able to repair this on its own. When it cannot, large protein molecules can escape into the bloodstream, causing an autoimmune response. Maintaining the mucosal lining is crucial for preventing leaky gut.
Slippery Elm Bark – Slipper Elm Bark has been used as an herbal remedy for a very long time and happens to be great for the esophagus and digestive system. Why? Well, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center:
Slippery elm contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. It coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. It also contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions. Slippery elm also causes reflux stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract leading to increased mucus secretion. The increased mucus production may protect the gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity.
Marshmallow Root – This is another herb which produces mucilage, explained above. It is great for helping line the digestive tract to prevent proteins from escaping into the bloodstream, for preventing toxins from being absorbed via the digestive system which normally would be excreted, and from preventing further damage to the walls of the digestive system due to inflammation or normal digestive processes.
Because we were already in the habit of having tea every morning, this was a really easy way to get extra TLC (tender lovin’ care) for his esophagus and digestive tract. I am really excited!
Want an extra plus for digestive health?
I have been adding a small amount of gelatin to my son’s hot tea each morning, about 1 teaspoon. Gelatin is known for coating the digestive tract, which will prevent damage and allow healing. It is also a great source of protein for picky eaters! Try it in your morning coffee or tea. We use this brand!
Sources not linked:
This post was shared on Natural Family Friday!