Do you suffer with indigestion, reflux, bloating, constipation or irritable bowel ?
We really are – how we eat and what we eat!!
Good digestion is necessary for our overall health. It determines the effective processing of food into a form that can be taken into the body and then utilized for cell growth and renewal, manufacture of hormones and enzymes, the assimilation and storage of vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids and nutrients.
Digestion first begins in the mouth, with the chewing and moistening of food. If we are hurried or stressed when we eat, then we may suffer with indigestion, bloating and wind.
It is important to be relaxed and to take time to thoroughly chew the food we are eating.
Digestive juices of the stomach are integral to processing food into a form that can be assimilated into the body. It is quite common, especially as we age, that the digestive enzymes of the stomach are not as effective as when we are young. Stress also causes problems in this area. Gastric acids have a part to play in processing proteins, as well as sterilizing foods we eat. If the stomach is not functioning well, then illness can occur. Stomach acidity is also critical in the absorption of certain vitamins into the body, particularly calcium.
Supplementation with digestive enzymes can make a dramatic difference for people with digestive problems. Some herbs such as Meadowsweet, St Mary’s Thistle and Agrimony can also aid in promoting stomach function.
Liver health and function is another area that may require herbal support. With our modern stressful world, the toxic load on the liver can compromise its function. Once again, dietary modification, stress management and herbs such as Globe Artichoke and St Mary’s Thistle can aid in promoting liver function.
Effective elimination of wastes via the colon is another common problem area. Many people have had the normal bowel flora disturbed by excessive use of antibiotics and exposure to parasites such as Giardia which may cause constipation, diarrhea, irritable or irregular bowel habits.
Naturopathic assessment of bowel health, and the appropriate treatment can alleviate many of these difficulties. Acidophillus, increasing fibre in the diet, adequate water intake plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are all ways in which colon health can be improved. Herbs such as Walnut Hulls, Cranesbill, Marshmallow, Licorice, Dandelion and Slippery Elm can be used to correct abnormal colon function.
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