What defines a healthy gut?
1. Effective digestion and absorption of food.This includes Normal nutritional status and effective absorption of food, water and minerals and regular bowel movement, normal transit time and no abdominal pain.
2. Absence of Gastro-Intestinal illness. Includingn no enzyme deficiencies or carbohydrate intolerances and no IBD, coeliac disease or other inflammatory state.
3. Normal and stable intestinal microbiota. Normal composition and vitality of the gut microbiome. No GI infections or antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.
4. Effective immune status. Immune tolerance and no allergy or mucous hypersensitivity.
5. Status of well-being and a normal quality of life. Enough sleep, less stress etc.
What herbs and herbal preparations will help heal our gut?
1. Swedish bitters (Also known as digestive bitters)
Bitter herbs have a drying effect in the stomach and intestines, which is beneficial in cases of poor digestion. Bitters also help heal the liver (which is often compromised in cases of poor digestion) and stimulate it to produce bile, which is essential in digesting fats and clearing out undigested food residues from the gut.
2. Slippery Elm powder
It is effectively used as a mucilaginous herb internally to coat and soothe mucous membranes while also absorbing toxins which can cause intestinal imbalances. Slippery elm is an effective remedy for duodenal ulcers, gastritis, diarrhea, colitis,irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids and heartburn.
3. Marshmallow root
It has been suggested that marshmallow root is an effective way to help treat certain digestive disorders, including leaky gut syndrome, which develops when particles leak outside tiny openings in the gut lining, allowing them to enter the bloodstream where they can trigger autoimmune reactions. Marshmallow helps restore integrity of the gut lining by forming a protective layer around small junctions. It seems to be beneficial for people with other forms of inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
4. Dandelion leaf
The leaves are used to stimulate the appetite and help digestion.
An infusion can help to effectively remove inflammation that affects both the stomach and the duodenum. Calendula can also be used for improving sluggish digestion, constipation and bloating. As an old folk remedy, the plant is known for treating gastritis and peptic ulcers. It is believed that these beneficial actions are provided by triterpene glycoside (calendulozide B) that possesses an anti-ulcerous and sedative action.
Regular use of alfalfa helps to promote better overall digestion and eliminate most stomach upsets. It is known to contain eight digestive enzymes and aids in digestive problems including: Indigestion, gastritis, gas pains, nausea and appetite stimulation.
As an oil, peppermint can be used externally to massage onto a sore stomach. It can also be ingested, when added with a little olive or coconut oil.
Wishing you all happy, healthy tummies.
Lots of love
Sue and Chris