Now, usually I’m not one to get heartburn. As a child I adored spice, pungent, and acidic flavors. I still have memories of old, retired veterans at the VFW doting on the 6-year-old me, and finding it hilarious that one of the snacks I loved so much were the pickled sausages they had sitting in a jar. When you plucked them out of the gargantuan glass jar, you’d be staring at a bright red hot dog imbued with the spicy zing only hot sauce, vinegar, garlic, and time could provide. At a quarter each, they were a fantastic treat that I could pay for myself with my own dollar-a-week allowance. After the bartender realized I was such an addict, he even started dropping in hard boiled eggs in after the sausages were dwindling. Those were little gems of ingenuity with a red outside, and a pale pink inside. I couldn’t get enough.
A few years ago, however, I had one again. Someone had the brilliant idea to vacuum pack my favorite pickled sausage and sell them singly at a convenience store. They caught my eye, I squealed with glee (confusing the living hell out of the gentleman at the counter), immediately purchased one, and ate it. It threw me back to being four feet high and running around our local VFW lodge, chatting up every World War II veteran that would listen. It tasted just as amazing as I remembered.
But about ten minutes later my stomach was cranky. In all honesty my iron stomach has faded. I used to be able to do vinegar shots (what can I say? I loved the flavor of apple cider vinegar as a kid.), drink a glass of pickle juice without batting an eye, and eat piles of lemon slices. Now I’m lucky to down a spicy V8 with a few shots of hot sauce without having to pop a Tums.
But I never have, and never will be swayed from flavors that I adore. I refuse to give up my hot sauce or vinegar, so instead I let my body have a helpful post-meal sip when I suspect something may cause my stomach to rebel.
2 parts anise seed
2 parts fennel seed
3 parts peppermint
1 part cinnamon
1/8 part lavender.
1 1/2 tsp to each 8 oz. glass water at 205F for 5m. Sip throughout your meal, and after your meal.
Anise and fennel are excellent digestive aids, helping to quell any digestive rebellion. Peppermint also has fantastic digestive properties (which explains the after dinner mint, doesn’t it?) while cinnamon is warming, and lavender is soothing.
I’ve also heard this is an excellent tea for pregnant women deal with their stomach sensitivities. Of course, I’m not pregnant, nor have I ever been, but after researching these herbs, I don’t see why it couldn’t be used to quell the baby heartburn. Just remember, small meals, small nibbles, and if you’re going to gobble heartburn inducing foods, sip tea afterwards.