Back-to-School Wellness Kit

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Back-to-School Wellness Kit

Stomach Problems
MUST-HAVES Fresh ginger, probiotic supplements, yogurt, chamomile and peppermint teas

Consider opening a branch office of your medicine cabinet in your refrigerator: that's where you'll find help for a troubled stomach.

Keep fresh ginger on hand for ginger tinctures, suggests Burris. A 2005 German review noted that ginger is particularly helpful for pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. For any kind of nausea, slice three or four pieces the size of a quarter and steep them in mint tea; drink a cupful as often as needed. Or use up to three dropperfuls of tincture per day (containing a total of 3,000 mg of ginger extract) as needed.

To rebalance your gut during bouts of diarrhea, Koffler advises taking refrigerated probiotic supplements such as Metagenic Ultra Flora Plus and New Chapter All-Flora, found in most health-food stores. "They have a mix of organisms that approximates the mix in our bowels," she says. While it's less effective than probiotics, you can also consume 1 to 2 cups daily of yogurt with live active cultures until the problem clears up. Look for the National Yogurt Association Live & Active Culture (LAC)seal, which guarantees 100 million live cultures per gram. Chamomile and peppermint teas also calm a gassy, bloated bowel and ease muscle spasms--and if you have diarrhea, they're rehydrating.