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Heather's Tummy Tea.
As some of you may know I have ME/CFS and one of the problems with this disease is that it affects the gut and this presents with an irritable bowel type symptom pattern. It differs in some ways from those who have irritable bowel syndrome, in that it runs in line with other symptoms and flares during relapses, but in essence it causes the same miserable things such as wind, bloating, constipation, delayed gastric emptying, pain and diarrhoea. I have tried almost every remedy over the years, but rest is actually in my case the best treatment, but for those with IBS not related to ME their patterns can be much less easy to predict, and it is so important to get this under control to be able to live a normal life.
It goes without saying that anyone with bowel symptoms must go to their GP to rule out conditions such as Coeliac disease and many others, but in medically diagnosed IBS there are many remedies that can help alongside or instead of regular medications. When I was at my worst a few years ago, without getting too graphic, everything I ate was rushing through my gut and coming out undigested, and apart from the pain and bloating it was having a dreadful affect on my life as I was reluctant to go anywhere as these attacks were so frequent. As the ME relapse abated I saw a calming of the gut and the symptoms eased, but I began to look for anything that would help me to understand how to treat myself. This was when I discovered Heather' s Tummy Tea. At the time I also discovered the website behind this product, which I found was only not only a resource for the illness, but also a place to purchase one of a number of other products. You can find the website at - www.helpforibs.com.
This American website is outstanding and it really does help with all aspects of the condition including diet and lifestyle, and there is even a forum for sufferers to share their experiences. It is the website founded by Heather Van Vorous, a lady who has suffered with IBS for all of her life from the age of 9, and is now a well known author and founder of the IBS community at HelpForIBS.com.
I think one of the things that helped me the most was the sheet called the IBS Diet Cheat Sheet which is detailed on the website, and which provides an excellent resource for information about all the foods you can eat, those you should avoid and those you should eat with caution.
The Peppermint Tummy Tea is sold in drums of 36 massive tea bags, and although you can send to the US for it the postage charges are high, and you are in danger of having to pay duty as it comes over into the United Kingdom. I usually buy mine from Ebay or Amazon where it is marginally cheaper, although it is still expensive and works out at over £12 plus postage. Bear in mind though that each tea bag is so strong that I have found it can be used all day long, so I find a drum lasts me 36 days so it works out at about 35p per day- not too much to pay if it helps IBS.
The tea is presented in a large drum cannister with a sturdy lid and it is explained that "Peppermint is a cooling calming herb that helps to relieve the symptoms of IBS including pain diarrhoea and urgency." The bags contain a very high concentration of the volatile oils in peppermint which have a calming effect on the gut. The bags are so large they are like little pillows, and you need a large mug to accommodate them! When you remove the lid from the container the smell is incredible, in fact when my gut is playing up it is actually a relief just to stick my nose to the container, as you can taste the peppermint even before you have brewed the tea!
To make the drink you simply add one tea bag to your mug, add 8 ounces of boiling water and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Then it is ready to drink. If you love peppermint tea then this will not disappoint. It is so refreshing and delicious and I drink this every day. It is gluten free and organic and of course free from caffeine.
In terms of relieving IBS symptoms I can say that this does so very well indeed, especially with regard to the wind and the bloating, and I find it to be more effective that the medically prescribed drug Colperin which is in fact itself enteric coated peppermint oil.
As well as being available in tea bags it is also possible to purchase this in loose tea if you prefer this, in which case it can be brewed using a traditional tea pot.The website also details other items including Fennel tea products.
My mother who has sadly suffered a stroke and has ongoing problems with bowel function uses this tea herself, and it has reduced her IBS attacks considerably. This is a very positive outcome for her as she is disabled and finds going to the toilet very difficult as she has very limited mobility.
I take this product on holiday with me as I find it helpful when travelling, which does seem to aggravate my bowel problems especially after flying or in hot climates. Additionally the large tube packaging is ideal to pack in luggage and it stays fresh and protected.
Of course any peppermint tea will help with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome including my favourite Summerdown, which is also a very high quality brew that affords calming properties to the gut, but Heather's is of a medicinal quality and comes highly recommended from me.
If you have irritable bowel syndrome, especially if you have wind and bloating, this product is a worthwhile purchase and a valuable asset to your armoury in the treatment of what is a very unpleasant and often life limiting condition.
This review will also be published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278