Some reports suggest that Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a collection of nasty symptoms that affect the stomach and digestive system, might be suffered by one in five of the population. There is no test for IBS, and it is only the exclusion of other diseases which leads to a diagnosis. For this reason, it is important to tell your doctor of all your symptoms to eliminate anything more serious. Relatively little is known about what IBS is but it is thought to be caused by anything from stress, anger, food insensitivites or intolerances, a post-viral reaction to even simply a sensitive gut.

Basil contains essential oils that can soothe the stomach and intestines and chewing raw leaves might help while Fennel has been used as a digestive aid since the Greeks found it growing in the famous village of Marathon. Fennel is used to relieve gas and bloating and the symptoms of IBS as well as abdominal cramps and water retention.

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