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Thirteen Herbs Every Traveler Should Know.

Dr. Varro E. Tyler, dean emeritus of the Purdue University School of Pharmacy and Pharmacal Sciences, and distinguished professor emeritus of pharmacognosy, is America's foremost expert on herbs and plant-derived medicines. Here are 13 herbs, a few of which he advises putting in your suitcase, to keep your stomach calm while traveling.

* Chamomile: Use freshly dried German chamomile, distinguished by a hollow, not solid, yellow center of the little flower head. Use a heaping tablespoon of crumbled flower seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep, covered, for 15 minutes and strain. Drink one cup of the fresh tea between meals, three or four times a day. However, if you have pollen allergies, use chamomile with caution.

* Peppermint: Place one tablespoon of recently dried leaves in a scant cup of boiling water. Steep, covered, for five to ten minutes and strain. Drink one cup three or four times a day for a good burp! [Avoid this remedy, however, if you have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).]

* Fennel, anise, caraway, and coriander: Right off your spice rack, each of these herbs makes a tasty tea that eases digestion. Use one teaspoon to one cup of boiling water, and prepare as with chamomile.

* Concentrated extract of artichoke for easing flatulence or cramps, when it's not convenient to make a pot of herb tea. Take one or two capsules containing 320 milligrams of 4.5 to 1 concentrated extract three times daily with meals. (But don't take artichoke extract if you have gallstones--it increases the flow of bile and may cause stones to block the bile duct.)

* Turmeric: Buy it as a tincture (liquid alcohol extract) or in capsules and follow the label dosage directions. (Turmeric is what gives curry its brilliant yellow color.)

* Leaves of blackberry, blueberry, or raspberry: For diarrhea, these tannin-rich herbs can't be beat. Use one to two teaspoons of finely cut, dried berry leaves in one cup of boiling water. Steep and strain as with chamomile. Drink up to six cups a day to control diarrhea.

* Dried blueberries: Another (and tasty) diarrhea remedy is a handful of dried blueberries. Two varieties, Vaccinium corymbosom or V. myrtillus work best. Simply chew and swallow about three tablespoons of the dried berries--but don't use fresh blueberries, which might cause diarrhea. The tannin is formed during the drying process. Apples and bananas, dried or fresh, are pectin-rich fruits that will also help control diarrhea.
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Publication:Medical Update
Date:Jul 1, 1999
Previous Article:Meningococcal Vaccine for Travelers.
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