Today’s first combines several firsts, actually. And like so many of my experiences this year, it came to me. This time, it was not exactly in a way I would have chosen. I had lunch today at a favorite restaurant, and ate chili that I have eaten several times before. Today, however, the chili DID NOT agree with me. As the afternoon progressed, I felt worse and worse….nauseated and light headed. My granddaughter Aubrey and I were at Chick Fil A when I decided I needed to be at home. She was agreeable, precious little nurturer that she is.
When I feel nauseated, which is rare, the discomfort is made worse by the fact that I don’t throw up. In my whole life I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually vomited, and 3 of those times were connected to morning sickness during pregnancy. Even when I KNOW I’d feel better emptying my stomach, I can’t seem to. So the nausea turns to pain and acid backs up my esophagus, closing off my throat. As I tried to play with Aubrey I became miserable. I attempted to soothe the upset with antacids, which didn’t help. And then Pepto Bismal, which helped a little. Poor Aubrey, I wasn’t a very good companion this afternoon. She played and entertained me and we watched Peter Pan together….and I fought down the waves of discomfort that would rise into my throat.
After Aubrey left, I had an idea. I have dried herbs, some recently prepared from my own garden, and I decided to create, for the first time, a hot tea from a combination of herbs that could soothe my digestive system. From my book Home Herbal, I found a recipe I could adapt slightly. I had most of the herbs. It was time to bring healing to myself.
The tea is a combination of chamomile and fennel, plus marshmallow root, yarrow and lemongrass. The lemongrass was from my apothecary garden, and the first time I’ve made a tea using my own home grown herbs. I scooped a teaspoon of each dried herb, using my recently acquired wooden teaspoon (another first) and placed the herbal mixture in a metal ball. Dropping the metal ball into my white porcelain teapot, I covered it with boiling water and let the herbs steep for about 10 minutes. The tea was light in color and tasted great.
The chamomile soothes stomach irritation and upset, and relaxes the body. Fennel aids in digestion and adds a subtle licorice taste to the tea. Marshmallow root improves digestion. Yarrow, which is an ancient herb used for medicine, is good for indigestion and improves liver, pancreas and gall bladder function. Lemongrass is a great general health herb, easing aches and pains and soothing infection.
I passed on dinner tonight and had a couple of cups of hot, flavorful tea. I felt better almost immediately. Whether it was the power of the herbs or the power of my mind, or both, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, the relief was very welcomed. And I now have a tested recipe to use should I battle nausea again. I’d much rather sip a cup of tea than down antacids or sip on the bright pink stuff! I am grateful to feel good again.