Heather's Tummy Tea Peppermint | Best for IBS Pain
Here's the true story on why the word buccal is the secret behind my Peppermint Tummy Tea, and why it's so special for IBS.
When I was a little kid an IBS attack could hit me out of the blue. I'd have seconds to get to a bathroom before I was unable to move or even breathe from the pain. Then the world would go gray and I would pass out in agony.
I had a favorite childhood fantasy that a doctor would give me magic medicine to stop that pain instantly. I knew exactly where I would keep it in the bathroom cupboard. But in real life, my doctor did not care, and would not help me.
I kept hoping someone else would. But I never did get that magic bullet from my doctor, or any other doctor I ever saw.
However…I did discover something magical for IBS all on my own. And this is why buccal is your word for the day.
Buccal and sublingual mucosa are what's behind the magic. Let me explain.
You know how the skin inside your mouth is different from the skin on your arms and legs? That's because it's a different kind of tissue, a mucous membrane.
Mucous membranes line the insides of your cheeks (buccal means cheeks) and under your tongue (sub means under, lingual means tongue).
Just like skin protects the outside of your body, mucous membranes line and protect the inside.
The mucous membranes in your mouth are highly permeable. They absorb things very quickly and directly into your bloodstream in ways that regular skin can't.
Things like nutrients from foods that are absorbed while you're still chewing them.
Things like medications that must work in sixty seconds, like a nitroglycerine pill beneath your tongue for heart problems.
Or - now comes the magic! – things like volatile oils in medicinal herbs, particularly peppermint. A high volatile oil peppermint tea has compounds that rapidly absorb from the mucous membranes in your mouth directly into your bloodstream.
And that's magic for IBS. Here's why.
The volatile oils in peppermint are mainly menthol and methyl salicylate. They have several mechanisms of action.
1. Smooth muscle relaxation
Your entire gut is smooth muscle tissue. Calcium and magnesium together regulate gut muscle contractions. Magnesium relaxes, but calcium contracts...
Peppermint blocks the calcium channel, so your gut muscles can relax.
Peppermint also seems to act directly on the entire nervous system of the gut as a whole to relax muscles. That makes it an incredibly powerful anti spasmodic. Plus menthol and methyl salicylate have calming effects on smooth muscles. And they have powerful analgesic - pain-killing – properties. Magic!
Plain English please? IBS involves "visceral hypersensitivity". That means you feel things in your gut (viscera) that normal people don't feel at all (your gut is hyper sensitive). And you may feel these normal things as agonizing cramps and pain.
Peppermint seems to literally affect pain sensing neurons in a way that dulls this visceral hypersensitivity. Magic!
So just how powerful is peppermint when it comes to relaxing the gut? For stopping painful spasms in their tracks?
The concentrated oil from peppermint leaves has actually been used to prevent bowel spasms during colonoscopies and barium enemas. I find that jaw dropping.
Menthol has also been directly observed during surgery to induce smooth muscle relaxation. Ultrasounds and endoscopies visibly show that peppermint oil decreases colon contractions and spasms. This means doctors can literally see, in real time, how peppermint calms the gut.
And that is why high volatile oil peppermint tea is my personal drug of choice. It can stop an IBS attack in just moments.
It's all about those volatile oils, and their rapid absorption via the buccal and sublingual mucous membranes, directly into my bloodstream.
The volatile oils are found in the peppermint leaves. When peppermint is ready to harvest you can literally see the drops of oil rising to the surface of the leaves. If you're ever lucky enough to stand in a whole field of peppermint at harvest time, it shimmers around you like a mirage from the oils on the leaves.
You can steam distill the oil out of the leaves to make concentrated peppermint oil. But that is far too strong to use directly on your mouth's delicate mucous membranes.
Instead, brew the whole dried leaves themselves using hot water to extract the volatile oils. The end result is not just a nice cup of peppermint tea. It's a steaming mug of IBS painkillers and gut relaxants. Help is literally just a few sips away. Magic!
If you're like me and you get hit hard and fast by IBS pain, urgency, spasms, then high volatile oil peppermint tea is your new best friend.
When you need help now – and I mean NOW – RIGHT NOW – go straight to peppermint tea. Brew it strong – brew it black – brew it at least 10-15 minutes if you can. The volatile oils in the tea will be rapidly absorbed by the buccal and sublingual mucous membranes in your mouth and hit your bloodstream fast.
It won't matter if you have a full or empty stomach. It won't matter what time of day or night it is. Just get high volatile oil peppermint tea into your mouth as soon as possible, the moment you feel IBS symptoms coming on.
Those volatile oils are going to work for you as antispasmodics, smooth muscle relaxants, and painkillers. That peppermint tea can quickly stop violent cramps, spasms, and relax your entire gut.
I'm embarrassed to say I was late to the party with peppermint. It took me almost twenty years to discover my magic tea. But it turns out peppermint had already been the drug of choice for all kinds of gut problems, for centuries.
Mint is actually one of the oldest herbs in human history. It was used by the ancient Assyrians and Egyptians four thousand years ago. Ancient Greeks and Romans used fresh mint leaves as a pain killer two thousand years ago. Mint tea has been a favorite cure for indigestion since Biblical times.
And our modern peppermint (Mentha piperita) is even better than ancient mint herbal strains. It's a hybrid of water mint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata). Peppermint has greater medicinal properties than either of the two original plants. Stronger magic!
I'm not the only one who thinks of peppermint as their IBS drug of choice. It's literally been called that by modern medical researchers as well. In 2005 a review of multiple clinical trials of peppermint oil concluded it was the "drug of first choice in IBS." Just because it's magic doesn't mean it's not real!
High volatile oil peppermint tea is the best thing I've ever found for stopping my IBS attacks in not minutes, but seconds. I actually keep an electric kettle and peppermint tea bags in my bathroom as well as the kitchen.
For years I would buy little boxes of peppermint teabags at the grocery store and then brew half the box to make one dark cup. I knew that the stronger that tea was, the faster it would help me. But I didn't realize how much of a difference it would make to have the right peppermint in the first place. I was about to discover I wasn't going to get what I really needed from a tiny teabag in a little box.
This is why I still remember the exact day my husband Will discovered bulk loose whole leaf peppermint leaves at a health food coop. It was at River Valley Market in Northampton, MA, thirty years ago. (And they now carry Heather's Tummy Care!)
He went poking around in the cupboards beneath the counter and found the bulk bags of peppermint the store was using. When he asked a clerk if he could just buy a whole bag they couldn't understand why. Who needs a whole pound of peppermint leaves?
Well, I did. Because I needed to use a generous tablespoon or two of that potent peppermint for each cup. And I needed to drink it all day long when I was feeling touchy. And I wanted to drink it every single day to stay stable in the first place. So that's a lot of peppermint.
There was a world of difference between that bulk fresh whole leaf peppermint and the dinky little tea bags I'd been using.
To this day Will can somehow sense when I'm going south. And I can go south fast. He doesn't even ask, he just makes me a black cup of peppermint tea because he knows that will help instantly.
I was never able to find peppermint like this in tea bags, so I had to make my own. That's the story behind my Peppermint Tummy Tea. It's a high volatile oil peppermint, medicinal strength herbal tea that is also naturally caffeine free, FODMAP free, gluten free.
It's unique. It's formulated to contain the largest possible leaf size and the highest volatile oil content. This equals quality and potency.
I actually have my own peppermint organically grown locally, in the Columbia River Valley. The volcanic soil makes for the best peppermint in the world. And this lets me spec for the highest volatile oil content levels from each crop.
The peppermint is harvested and packed to be as fresh as possible, and it is processed for minimal volatile oil dissipation. Remember, it's the volatile oils in peppermint that make it so effective for the dietary management of IBS symptoms, particularly pain and spasms.
Heather's Tummy Tea is packed in very generous quantities. How generous? 36 huge teabags per canister!
It's meant to be used daily as a medical food for IBS. Wherever you are, brew a delicious cup of tea several times a day, every day, as part of your dietary management of IBS symptoms.
I even use my peppermint teabags to stuff the corners and pockets of my luggage when I travel. I make sure there's a tea kettle in my hotel rooms. I ask for hot water to brew my own at restaurants and on planes. I am never without my tummy tea!
My peppermint tea is sourced and specially produced for IBS:
* Extremely high volatile oil levels. Why does this matter? Because the volatile oil is the component within the tea that yields the medicinal benefits. The higher the volatile oil level, the stronger the cup of tea, and the greater the benefit for IBS symptoms.
Our peppermint crop can have a volatile oil content of 3%. This is extreme - a percentage of 1.8% to 2.0% is considered high!
You can actually see the oil rising to the surface of the peppermint leaves in our fields. This is what our farmers watch for so they know when to harvest the fields at the optimum volatile oil level.
When we were out in our fields in the fall right before harvest, the whole expanse of peppermint looked like it was glistening. It was not only beautiful, but the smell and taste of the fresh leaves was more potent than I'd ever imagined.
* Very large leaf size (cut and sift grade, the largest cut available in the organic market). Other teabag brands use "teabag cut" herbs, which are very finely milled. This is so the tea will flow through teabag machines. But, the more finely you cut an herb, the more volatile oil is released and dissipated, and the weaker the final cup of brewed tea will be.
We actually customized our own teabag machines so that we could run large leaf peppermint through our machines.
* Special jumbo-size biodegradable teabags, which give an average of two to three times more tea per bag as other brands.
* USDA certified organic. This means, among other things, that our herbs are guaranteed free of: pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, GMO (genetically modified organisms), preservatives, additives, irradiation, and there is no animal testing.
Organic materials and processing are significantly more expensive. But, our tea prices are actually significantly less expensive than non-organic brands.
In addition, a comprehensive review of 97 published studies (published as the "State of Science Review" by The Organic Center) comparing the nutritional quality of organic and conventional foods has shown that organic plants contain higher levels of 8 of 11 nutrients studied, including significantly greater concentrations of the health-promoting polyphenols and antioxidants. This review concluded that organically grown plants are 25% more nutrient dense, on average, than conventionally grown plants.
* Packed in very generous quantities, as this tea is meant to be used daily for IBS symptoms.
The end result? Our high volatile oil, medicinal strength, large leaf Peppermint Tummy Tea can stop IBS pain and cramps faster than just about anything.
It is exponentially stronger and more effective, and a better value, than other brands. One sip is all it takes to tell the difference. Try it for yourself!
NOTE: Peppermint is actually such a powerful muscle relaxant that it can trigger GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) or heartburn in people who are susceptible. If you are prone to these upper GI problems, avoid mint and stick to Heather's Tummy Tea ~ Organic Fennel for IBS.