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Travel brings us closer to humanity. Sometimes humans should stay home! The youngest brought home a stomach flu from our ski trip. UGH.  He was as good natured as one can be when vomiting on and off all day. I watched carefully, ready to call the pediatrician if it went on too long, and supporting him as best you can without catching it yourself. Lots of cleaning, lots of back rubs.

We got to the point where it seemed his poor body got stuck in a loop. There wasn’t much coming up but bile and I was concerned about dehydration. I decided to make him a tea. Fortunately for me, this is the kid who will try anything and is completely open to my herbal comforts. I had an ace up my sleeve – a tummy tea I had made for the other child was ready to go in the cabinet AND it was pickier-child approved!  I like this tea for a number of reasons – it’s mucilaginous, which means it is thick and will coat a sore throat and tummy, giving it a layer of protection. It will relax and soothe, slowing down those spasms. It foams – which amuses the kids, and it tastes good! I’ve used this base for tea and herb balls.

Here’s what I did: I used equal parts powdered slippery elm, cinnamon, marshmallow and fennel. I powdered the last two myself in a coffee grinder I keep just for herbs. (In my house the black one is for coffee beans, the white one is for herbs. Beware using the wrong one! It will not go well for you!)  I placed 1 tbsp of the combined powder in a mug with 1C boiling water and let steep for 10-15 minutes. The powder will settle to the bottom as it cools enough to be drunk – like cocoa does. You can simply drink down as far as you can before the powder shifts, or you can use a metal mesh strainer. This is a sipping tea – not a gulping tea. You don’t want to overwhelm an already unhappy stomach! I use maple syrup or honey to sweeten as needed.

He started to feel better, and the cycle of heaving broke. We kept up with this tea, sipping throughout the next day while adding bland crackers and toast, then broth. Thankfully it lasted only 48 hours, and was drama free. Homemade remedies provide that extra magic – I’m special and loved. Here’s to riding out the rest of this winter healthy and happy!

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