Here come the winter holidays again, for better or worse.
The better part is the drawing closer of friends and family to share in the celebrations.
Often though, our stomachs get the worst of it as we feast on candies, cookies, fruitcakes and other rich foods.
And, although stomachaches are not unique to this season, they are almost inevitably more prevalent.
Fortunately, nature has endowed us with swift and sure relief in the form of an herbal remedy our family and friends have come to call tummy tonic.
A combination of peppermint and chamomile, this formula, although simple, is probably the most bulletproof remedy I’ve concocted in over thirty years as an herbalist.
It can be relied upon as a tea, but in the form of an alcohol extract (tincture) it will relieve most stomach pains in two minutes or less.
It is simple to prepare and most agreeable to deliver.
Start with good quality organically grown peppermint and chamomile and your favorite brandy.
Place equal amounts of each herb in a glass jar and pour in the brandy to cover.
After a few hours the herb will swell up, absorbing some of the brandy. Pour in more brandy to barely cover.
This is the folkloric method of making tinctures. Label your jar so you don’t forget what it is if left on a shelf for some time.
Normally this would be shaken daily for two weeks and then pressed out with a clean cloth, leaving the herb in the cloth and the tincture in a measuring cup or bowl. This can be bottled and stored for years.
I sometimes prefer to make a cocktail with it, although it is quite effective neat. Adding a small amount of maple syrup and carbonated water to a teaspoonful of the tincture is my favorite method.
The carbonated water helps dispel gas while the muscle relaxers in the peppermint and chamomile do their magic on the smooth muscle groups in your stomach.
This remedy is safe for children and the elderly as well.
It should be noted that some people are allergic to chamomile and could suffer from ingesting it.
I can’t imagine that anyone hasn’t had chamomile by now, and determined that it is safe for them. It is always better to ere on the side of safety and make sure by asking or trying a very minute dose to patch test for a medicine taken for the first time.
A stomachache is preferable to anaphylactic shock.
Notwithstanding this, I believe this remedy could make anyone’s holiday season more pleasant and would be a great addition to a first-aid kit for digestive emergencies any time of year.
In fact, I have given bottles of tummy tonic as Christmas gifts many a time with nothing but great revues and years of gratitude from the recipients.
So, if you find yourself in the familiar position of having enjoyed more of the holiday treats than your stomach can handle, or you’re looking for that special gift for the person who has everything, check out tummy tonic.
And have a merry, healthy and pain-free holiday season!