Hot or warm herbal teas are both comforting and medicinal. Using teas according to what the body needs, can support the body in ways not found anywhere else. Different teas have different factors to support the body. Knowing what to use when can be an incomparable asset. For those rebuilding a damaged microbiome, they are valuable. “Herbs are generally allowed as a tea or an extract. When the diarrhoea has cleared, you can start consuming them raw and dried, as by then your gut should be able to handle fibre (herbs are usually fibrous),” says Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

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The general rule of  tea making is to steep one teaspoon of the looseleaf tea to one cup of water. Stronger teas can use one tablespoon of the herbal remedy to one cup of water and steep much longer. Tea can be made in many ways, each person will put their own twist on it. You can not really steep tea too long, even though some will become bitter the longer they steep. Making tea is done by pouring boiling water over a teaspoon of herbal loose leaf tea and letting it steep for three minutes.  Tea infusions are done by pouring boiling water over the quantity of two tea tea bags (two teaspoons) for three to five minutes, it uses more and steeps a bit longer. Some brew it longer, even an hour. A tea decoction is powerfully strong, made by putting one ounce of herbal tea in one pint of water, in a stainless steel pot. Heat on medium at a low simmer, without the lid, until the water reduces by a quarter in size, leaving three quarters of a pint.

Teas, while on the GAPS Protocol, or any other healing protocol, should be sourced from loose leaf herbs instead of commercially manufactured teabags due to anticaking agents and free flowing agents in the tea, as well as, plastics used in making the tea bag. Tea can be brewed by tying up loose leaf teas in an unbleached coffee filter, a stainless steel tea ball or any other similar method.

Fresh squeezed lemon juice can be added to any tea to add flavor and increase the medicinal effects as lemon is an astringent. 

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by lemonade

Nettle leaf: Stinging Nettles are known to have toxic substances, including stinging hairs, which are neutralized when heated. They are credited for being deeply nourishing as well as supporting lymph drainage. Dr. Natasha says, “Do not use nettles in pregnancy because it can initiate contractions. For this reason nettle infusion has been traditionally used in the third stage of childbirth, when the baby is out, but placenta is still in and needs some encouragement to come out.” Click here for GAPS approved stinging nettles. 

Ginger: Ginger is a prokinetic, famous for assisting in creating function in the intestinal tract. Fresh ginger should only be used for proper medicinal properties.  It is also famous for assisting in calming nausea, vomiting, stomach ache and diarrhea. For GAPS approved ginger click here

Milk Thistle Seed:  Milk thistle is known to support the liver, due to silymarin, the extract, flavonoids, in the seeds which work as an antioxidant which aids and assists in producing new and healthy liver cells. Phytotherapy Research says it, “Is the most well-researched plant in the treatment of liver disease. In animals, silymarin reduces liver injury caused by acetaminophen, carbon tetrachloride, radiation, iron overload, phenylhydrazine, alcohol, cold ischaemia and Amanita phalloides. Silymarin has been used to treat alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis and toxin-induced liver diseases. ” Milk thistle seeds are more powerful if ground just before use. Click here for a GAPS approved milk thistle seed. 

Rooibos: Rooibos tea is credited with assisting the body in making glutathione. To read more click here. For GAPS approved rooibos tea, click here

Chanca Piedra: The nick name of Chanca Piedra is stone breaker. When used as a tea, it is credited with turning gallstones into sludge, so the body can flush them. Flushed gallstone sludge looks like fat pudding piles floating on the top of the toilet water. The International Brazil Journal of Urology says, “Phyllanthus niruri (Chanca Piedra) has been shown to interfere with many stages of stone formation, reducing crystals aggregation, modifying their structure and composition as well as altering the interaction of the crystals with tubular cells leading to reduced subsequent endocytosis.” For GAPS approved chanca piedra, click here. 

Pau d’Arco: Pau d’Arco is credited with reducing overgrowth of yeast. SIDAhora reported a study using females with vaginal yeast infections. They administered Pau d’Arco and found, “Pau D’arco is also anti-yeast. Boil for ten to twenty minutes, and take a teaspoon two or three times a day. Tea, or vinegar and water, can be used as a douche. Some women get relief by adding a half-cup of white vinegar to their bath.” For GAPS approved Pau d’Arco, click here

Olive leaf: Olive leaf is used for many reasons including its anticancer properties, antioxidant properties and antiparasitic properties. Nutrients says, “Both inflammatory and cancer cell models have shown that olive leaf polyphenols are anti-inflammatory and protect against DNA damage initiated by free radicals. The various bioactive properties of olive leaf polyphenols are a plausible explanation for the inhibition of progression and development of cancers.” For GAPS approved olive leaf, which should be crushed before brewing, click here. 

Licorice root: Licorice root tea is credited with supporting the adrenals. It is ten times sweeter than sugar, adding a sweetness without the damages of sugar. The Journal Of Research in Medical Sciences says licorice root showed beneficial effects against normalizing Helicobacter pylori levels. For GAPS approved licorice root, click here. 

Dandelion root granules: Dandelion root granules are credited with supporting the liver, in powerful levels. The Review Of Diabetic Studies says it has anti-diabetic plant because of its anti-hyperglycemic, anti-oxidative, and anti-inflammatory properties. For GAPS approved dandelion root granules, click here

Elderflower: Elderflower is credited with support for flu, colds and constipation. Plant Foods For Human Nutrition from Dordrecht, Netherlands published a study on elderflower tea which found, “The results of this study suggest that elder beverages could be an important dietary source of natural antioxidants for the prevention of diseases caused by oxidative stress.” For GAPS approved elderflower, click here. 

Peppermint: Peppermint tea is credited as a digestive aid. Phytotherapy Research says, “Peppermint has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and antitumor actions, and some antiallergenic potential. Animal model studies demonstrate a relaxation effect on gastrointestinal (GI) tissue, analgesic and anesthetic effects in the central and peripheral nervous system, immunomodulating actions and chemopreventive potential.” For GAPS approved peppermint tea, click here

Chamomile: The Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences says, “It has shown to be an anti-inflammatory, astringent and antioxidant especially in floral part.” They further added that it could be showing results in lowering blood sugar levels. For GAPS approved chamomile, click here

Rosehips: The Iranian Journal of Public Health says rose hips are remarkably high in vitamin C and flavonoids. Naturally found ascorbic acid in rose hips varied due to location of growth, species and ripeness. For GAPS approved rosehips, click here.

White Pine: The Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine says pine needles are high in flavonoids, vitamin C and antioxidants. White pine can be harvested outside in most regions. For a white pine, click here

Valerian Root: Valerian Root is credited with helping people calm down for sleep. For GAPS approved valerian root, click here

Several teas are mucilaginous, but still have beneficial healing properties for those on GAPS. For example, marshmallow root tea is mucilaginous, but is beneficial against pathogenic species living in the stomach and tract. At the Weston A. Price Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2017, Dr. Natasha said, “I would do the tea.”

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.



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