A new study has suggested that women who suffer with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may be at greater risk of experiencing miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.

The study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology was conducted over a number of years on 100,000 women. Its findings are interesting in that it gives us possible clues to a potential cause of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy whose actual causes are at present little understood.

It may be a small contribution to understanding miscarriage and abnormal pregnancy but it certainly highlights what we can do in pre-natal care for women.

As IBS is one of the most common digestive disorders amongst women of child-bearing age, it is one we see frequently in herbal medicine clinics.

We all know a good diet will only benefit us and there are improvements all of us can make, especially if we suffer from a condition like IBS. Herbs serve to compliment the refined (as in wholesome, rather than stripped of nutrients eg. white flour…!) diet we adopt in order to better our health.

Simple measures such as drinking teas of chamomile, fennel, peppermint or marigold can help mild cases of IBS and further herbs may well benefit more complicated cases.

Do you know how to prepare a loose herbal tea? Well, here you go if in doubt!

Dust off your teapot, add a certain amount of dried herb – i usually use around 2 teaspoons for my cups of brew – but you can experiment so that it tastes good to you – not too strong, not too weak but still therapeutic. Then pour over the boiled water from the kettle and leave to infuse. 5 minutes is usually good enough but some herbs can be left a little longer without getting to strong tasting.

Strain and enjoy. You can make a big pot and keep the rest to cool and drink cold or pop it in a thermos and sip throughout the day.

On that point, a patient of mine once said she wasn’t really a tea drinking kind of gal – so she didn’t take her tea. Therefore she didn’t take her medicine. We had to restructure the way she thought about herbal teas. They are medicines, not just a pleasant (in most cases!) cuppa. Teas may seem a simple form of healing but they can potentially change your life.

Right, now i’m off to collect some soggy nettle from outside for my own brew! Happy Easter!