Seventy per cent or more of our immune system is in our gut, and this is also where we metabolise hormones, make nutrients, create detoxifying enzymes, produce happy hormones and defuse bugs, viruses and pathogens (such as yeast, moulds, and bacteria).
The gut is filled with bacteria, some good and some bad, and the key to good health - physical, mental and emotional - is to maintain the balance between the two. An imbalance in your gut can lead to all kind of health problems, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), headaches, diarrhea, constipation, leaky gut and candida.
There is a clear link between the gut and the brain, too. Ninety-five per cent of the body's serotonin, a key chemical which effects mood, is produced in the gut. This is called the "gut/brain connection", and it is the reason why intestinal discomfort can lead to ADHD, anxiety, depression and even dementia. More and more evidence is emerging of how you can improve your mental, as well as your physical health by improving your gut health. This can be done by elimating inflammatory foods (grains, gluten, refined sugers) + taking herbs & essential oils + eating certain food to promote a healthy gut.
Probiotics and Prebiotics promote good health - what are they? and whats the difference between them?
Prebiotics and probiotics each have their own role to play in the battle for better gut health. But to clear things up, here’s a handy guide for each term:
Probiotics: Living strains of bacteria that ADD to the population of good bacteria in your digestive system.
Prebiotics: Specialized plant fibre that FEEDS the good bacteria. This stimulates growth among the preexisting good bacteria.
Examples of probiotics and prebiotics...
(Keep in mind that pickles need to be unpasteurized to have probiotics.)
Herbs for Gut Health
Herbs are a natural way to deal with digestion issues and problems. Being natural, they have less side-effect. Generally, the herbs that are prescribed can be from the ones available in the kitchen, but sometimes there can be a requirement for the ones that are not available a home.
This carminative is considered as one of the best herbs for digestion. The most widely and commonly used part of this plant is the root. Ginger root is available in any supermarket. The ingredient that contains in this root soothes the gut and aids in digestion by increasing peristalsis, which further moves the food through the intestine. The tonic of this herb helps to normalize the digestive process. The root of this herb can be grated and warm ginger tea can be prepared, which is helpful for soothing nausea.
Triphala is most commonly used to treat constipation. It stimulates the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract that improves and balances the digestion process. It also aids in digestion by eliminating the toxins from the intestinal tract. Its most common job is to support bowel health and digestion.
It is an herbal carminative that eases digestive discomfort. This herb helps in relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract, which further stimulate the bile flow. Peppermint oil acts as a relaxant for the intestinal wall muscles. Commercially peppermint is available in the form of enteric-coated capsules which are to be consumed three times a day. These capsules work well on dyspepsia.
It is a type of bitter herb which is used for digestion. It is a flowering plant and belongs to the daisy family. It has a bitter tonic action which helps in stimulating the flow of bile, which in turn ensures smooth digestion. It’s most commonly used in liver disorders.
It is considered as a digestive tonic. This herb belongs to the daisy family and has been used for several years. This herb is considered as the strongest for digestion as it stimulates the bile flow and helps the body to effectively breakdown food and alcohol. The main ingredient of this herb is Cynarin. A high concentration of Cynarin is found in the leaves which improve the appetite and digestion. It is the most commonly used herb to alleviate the symptoms of the irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and nausea. Commercially the extracts of this herb are available in the form of tinctures and tablets.
Most commonly used to prepare infusions of traditional medicine. The most known and consumed herbal infusion containing chamomile is the Chamomile tea. It is a great herb that soothes the stress-related digestive worries. It also aids in indigestion, reduces heartburn, and acidity. It is an anti-ulcer and helps relieve colic pain in babies.
It’s a wonder herb for all the tummy related issues. Most commonly used for soothing tummy aches. It also has the property to enhance appetite, digestion, and absorption. Along with the easy breakdown and digestion of fatty foods, it also can stabilize the blood sugar levels. It is useful in relieving in severe colic and bloating problems.
The root of this herb is worthy due to its mucilage constituent. This mucilaginous constituent coats and soothes the mucous membrane of the digestive tract, which in helps in relieving heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Its anti-inflammatory property makes it great for curing ulcerative colitis, gastritis and peptic ulcers.
Turmeric is most commonly found in the kitchens and common curry spice. It is widely used to improve digestion. This herb keeps the digestive inflammation under control and soothes the gut wall. It helps in preventing ulceration, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. The herb possesses anti-inflammatory property due to the presence of the active ingredient called Curcumin. Best available and used in powdered form.
It is a miraculous and diverse herb. This herb can improve digestion and absorption. It can reduce the inflammation in the gut wall. It detoxifies the body from the pathogens and helps in battling with amoebic infections and worms. It also relieves pelvic and bowel infections.
The root of this plant stimulates the process of digestion. Being a demulcent, it moistens and soothes the digestive mucous membrane by increasing the production of mucin. Mucin is a secretion that prevents and protects the gut lining against stomach acid and other digestive juices. This herb is sweet to taste and can be consumed in the form of powder along with a combination of other herbs.
This herb is an occasional weed that is seen in some places and is considered as a great medicinal plant for numerous reasons. It contains salicylic acid. If there is any sensation of heat and inflammation in the gut, this herb can be used to treat the irritation in the gut. It is beneficial in treating acid reflux, heartburn, and irritated stomach.
This bitter digestive herb is an incredible healer. The roots of this plant are useful for liver and digestive problems. It soothes the gut, reduces inflammation and restores the liver and gall bladder. Commercially one can avail them in the form of capsules, tablets, tinctures, tea, and coffee.
14.YARROW (Achillea millefolium)
The flowers contain flavonoids, resins, tannins, and lactones. These help in reducing the amount of acid the stomach produces. They do this by acting on the vagus nerve, which is the main digestive nerve. The reduction in the production of stomach acid, in turn, reduces the chances of heartburn and indigestion. Yarrow tea can be consumed by using dried yarrow flowers and yarrow leaves can be consumed raw by adding them into some salads.
It contains Eugenol an active ingredient which helps to reduce the quantity of acid in the stomach. Basil helps to reduce gas, increase appetite, relieve abdominal cramps and improves overall digestion. To ease stomach upset one can add one or two teaspoons of dried or fresh basil leaves in the meals to lessen the symptoms.