Digestion is crucial to our overall health. If your digestion is struggling, the rest of your body could suffer as well, from lack of energy to poor sleep habits to breakouts on your skin. It's important to heal the gut. It really is one of the most complex parts of your body that has a vital impact on your emotional and physical well-being.
Chew Your Food - I know it sounds simple, but it is CRUCIAL to your digestive health. “Some accounts say ayurveda calls for chewing each bite of food a minimum of 30 times, or until it's liquefied, in order to help you distill more nutrients from your food and keep your digestive process running smoothly”. There are digestive enzymes in your saliva, and "when you don't chew your food until liquid, you're skipping an important part of your digestive process," says Robyn Youkilis, a leading expert in digestive health
Castor oil - mostly known for its beauty benefits for hair, castor oil packs are also “thought to enhance circulation and promote healing of the tissues and organs underneath the skin. Some alternative medicine practitioners also use castor oil packs to improve liver function, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve digestion” It can be applied topically as a Castor Oil Pack directly onto the belly using rags or these very convenience wool flannel sheets & placing a heat pack to absorb the oil. This can be used on a daily/weekly or monthly bases as a regular detox
Poop Stool - gives your feet a lift to provide the proper squatting posture to help relieve straining & constipation during bowel movements
Food & Herbs:
Live-culture foods - such as kombucha, kefir, fermented kraut aka kimchi will act to boost the populations of good microorganisms in your digestive tract.
Bone Broth - the gelatin in the bone broth helps seal up holes in intestines.
Fennel seeds - chew on a few post meal or make fennel tea (recipe below)
Peppermint Tea - this herb unwinds stomach cramps, alleviates gas and promotes digestion by increasing bile production.
Miso - loaded with a diversity of beneficial live organisms and helps restore and maintain good bowel health, especially after antibiotic use. Simply sipping on the warm broth can immediately calm and soothe your stomach. Add a dollop to hot water (but not boiling water—combine just before the water boils, or after you’ve taken boiling water off the stove) to make sure you don’t kill the miso’s healthy bacteria.
Incorporate veggies like celery, cucumber, spinach and parsley into your meals that will help reduce fluid retention in the body and reduce bloating
Hawthorn Berry - is considered one of the strongest Chinese herbs in moving stagnant food, helping you digest meat & fats
Arugula & Radicchio - chew on this bitter goodness before you eat to stimulate those digestive enzymes & help the liver create bile, which helps our digestion naturally break down food
Coconut Oil - The fat in coconut oil also aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, making you healthier all around
Ginger is a great pre and/or post eating remedy. It helps to relax the gastrointestinal system, reducing gas. You can either chew on a piece of ginger if you can handle the bitterness or chop it up into hot tea or water. You can also juice it with some of the other great veggies listed above: celery, cucumber etc.
Turmeric - because of its anti-inflammatory properties, the active ingredient curcumin helps to heal the gut and support the growth of good bacteria (probiotics). NOTE: According to a study, published in Planta Medica, taking turmeric in combination with black pepper, which contains piperine, improves turmeric absorbability throughout the entire body. They added 20mg of piperine to 2000mg Turmeric, and it increased the bioavailability of Turmeric 154 percent!
Beets - 1/2 cup of cooked beets if you suffer from chronic constipation or indigestion.
Lemon Water - the juice's atomic structure is similar to digestive juices found in the stomach which tricks the liver to produce bile, which helps food to keep moving through the body smoothly. Squeeze or cut up a few slices into your stainless steel water bottle & drink throughout the day.
Dandelion Tea - is an effective remedy for bloating and has been used medicinally to relieve gas, bloating and other digestive complaints.
Sunchokes - most of the carbohydrates in sunchokes are in the form of inulin, which acts as a prebiotic, providing a source of food for beneficial probiotic organisms in your body.
Slippery elm powder - This powder is a natural, herbal alternative to OTC laxatives. Masé explains: “Its water-soluble fiber content makes it an incredible, safe first-line laxative that is not habit forming—it’s soothing and restores regular bowel habits without ever loosening the stool.” Two tablespoons a day, mixed into a smoothie, is all you need for its effects.
Sourdough Bread - The lengthy fermentation process increases the content of beneficial bacteria in the bread & gluten breaks down into amino acids making it easier to digest
Belly Tea - add a few fennel seeds, cardamom, cinnamon stick and mint in a pot of hot water, and then boil it for five minutes on a low temperature. Strain the solution and then drink it.
Cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, ajwain seeds, and a pinch of asafetida are wonderful spices to add to your meals. Each of these helps stimulate digestive fire and prevents gas and bloating after eating.
Digestive Enzymes - helps you break down your food. Take 1 capsule with EVERY meal
Probiotics - will populate your gut with good bacteria, line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are a TON of probiotics out there with different strains. I would recommend rotating these probiotic strains to get a variety of population in your gut
Magnesium - helps to relax the muscles within the digestive tract helping your body move the stool through the intestines, relieving constipation
Charcoal - With its ability to absorb most poisons, charcoal can also be very effective in soaking up the gases and bacteria that accumulate in your gut and intestines. (Warning: take charcoal SEPARATELY from any of your vitamins or medications, as it will absorb & eliminate those as well). Just as clay, this is not meant to be used on a daily bases and be careful as it MIGHT make constipated. This is a good remedy for any food poisoning you might have picked up or as a hanger-over remedy
Collagen - this amazing ingredient helps break down proteins and soothe your gut’s lining, keeping things moving freely in the digestive tract.
Living Clay - Clay absorbs & eliminates harmful substances like toxins, infection from your body. It can also neutralize the excess stomach acid that is causing ailments like heartburn. This is meant to be used as a temporary intervention and NOT for daily/consistent use
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
EFT is a powerful tool you can apply on yourself NOW. Watch the Into To EFT points first
I'm a true believer that our physical pain is a manifestation of our suppressed emotions from the past. Watch and follow along this powerful video to release emotional blockages to extinguish your physical discomfort
Cardamon - this oil helps maintain the proper secretion of gastric juices, acids and bile in the stomach.
Peppermint - due to its ability to reduce spasms of the colon and intestinal tract, and, due to the presence of thymoland & eugenol, this oil can balance the intestinal flora, thereby reducing fermentation of undigested food.
Pigeon Pose - stimulates the internal organs as they are being compressed between your leg & your torso
High lunge Twist - any twist postures massages the abdominal organs, bringing more blood & oxygen to the region, helping to remove stagnation & activate the digestive system.
Belly Down (see video)
Amber - balances the digestive system and in turn the whole body.
Apatite- works at both a physical and emotional level to control digestion and appetite suppressant but In Ayurveda system Apatite controls and releases anger that creates toxins in the digestive area.
Citrine- if laid on the stomach while laying down, will work at a physical level to balance the digestive system. In the Ayurveda system problems in the intestines are related to lack of abundance and Citrine also works at an emotional level to correct this problem.
Blue Lace Agate-relieves Colic and gas pressure in the intestines.
Bring awareness and gratitude to your meals. Every bite has its own unique, subtle qualities that often slip by, unnoticed, when you eat habitually or in a distracted state of mind. Even though this one might be challenging for a lot of us, especially parents, it's an important one! I use it as an opportunity to teach my kids to do the same (even though this lesson might not sink in for quite some time, I know I'm planting healthy seeds)
Drink or eat something bitter before your meals: either 1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with a glass of water on an empty stomach or a bunch of arugula to stimulate the stomach to produce more digestive enzymes, bile & stomach acid
Incorporate Collagen into your day. This by far has been the most helpful thing to treat AND prevent my stomach problem. And it's so simply too, just mix it in with water and you can't even taste it.
Consume prebitoic foods such as raw asparagus, sunchokes, dandellion greens, leaks, garlic, raw & cooked onion. Or take a daily prebiotic supplement
Take a daily Chlorella supplement first thing in the morning on an empty stomach 30 minutes before breakfast, which will naturally detoxify your body.
and again CHEW YOUR FOOD! Aim for 15-30 times per bite