There’s no skirting around the fact that digestive problems downright suck. In a series of posts I will be sharing my tried and tested methods to make peace with your tummy and find gastrointestinal love.
The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself. Sometimes, however, we could all do with a little gentle help along the way. I have found this particularly true when if comes to digestive problems. I have had more than my fair share of gastrointestinal upsets, ranging from uncomfortable bloating to chronic diarrhea (oh fun times!). On my healing journey so far, I’d say I’ve come to know a few tricks of the trade and I’m as excited as a rainbow unicorn to pass them on.
Knowing how debilitating it is to experience digestive problems, I really wanted to share the natural healing aids and methods that I have personally found to be a great assistance to me and my little stomach. Over this ‘Sexy Digestion’ series of posts I will cover healing drinks, healing foods, healing supplements and healing practices. This information will be useful to sufferers of all digestive problems, such as food intolerance, irritable bowl syndrome and any discomfort you may experince from the top of your pipeline to evacuation point (yes, I will be going there).
When your guts and bowels just ain’t rolling like a Hollywood movie, things can go downright sour. The gut brain connection is not one to be messed with. Forget silver screen queen, girlfriend. Here’s the new script: you already feel like crap (no pun intended) physically, and then the ugly stepsister rocks up and now you feel like crap mentally too. So where’s Prince Charming got to then?
Enter Nature. Plants, herbs and natural substances to the rescue! We don’t need a pumpkin carriage after all, but our fairy godmother just might like to brighten our spirits with a shot of aloe vera juice.
This post will cover healing drinks. Read on to be enlightened.
Lots of you would be familiar with this one! I’m sure your mum or nan has given you a cuppa of the good stuff when your guts were doing cartwheels. No list of natural digestive aids would be complete without this baby. Peppermint is highly soothing to the digestive tract, with the active ingredient menthol having anti-spasmodic effects. You can enjoy peppermint tea brewed as a comforting hot drink or chilled to be a refreshing cool beverage, in order to get the benefits. It can help settle an upset stomach, ease nausea, relieve stress (which in turn effects your digestive system), help excessive gas in the GI tract and stimulate digestion. If I’m ever feeling off in the gut region, I always have a number of cups of organic peppermint tea and I really notice the difference it makes. If you suffer from Coeliac Disease or gluten intolerance and accidently get some gluten into your system, have a pot full of peppermint tea to ease your symptoms and reduce recovery time.
Chlorophyll is a deep green wonder-food that ranks highly on my tummy-time hit list. For our general health it is awesome, aiding the building of healthy red blood cells (it has an almost identical structure to haemoglobin!), delivering magnesium to help keep our bodies alkaline, cleansing the liver and reducing inflammation. More specifically for our digestive system, chlorophyll helps break down gas which often accumulates and causes discomfort if you have GI problems or poor digestion. I recommend taking 2-3 teaspoons of a liquid concentrate mixed into a small glass of purified water right before bed, so it has the whole night to do it’s sexy thang in your system!
Don’t be offended, but if you’re a smelly person, you might also like to know chlorophyll naturally reduces body odor… bonus.
You can also get a daily dose of the fabulous chlorophyll in the form of green juice. But why else do I love my plant blood (aka juice) for digestion? If you are in the process of healing your small intestine from damage caused by Coeliac Disease, then your poor little villi are having a damn hard time getting the nutrients out of the food you ingest. By drinking juices, you’re giving your body highly bioavailable, accessible and easily assimilated enzymes and nutrients which are ready to be absorbed into the bloodstream and used by our cells. Since juicing removes the fibre, our bodies don’t need to use energy breaking down the food to get the goodies out, which is perfect for a less than stellar digestive system. It takes the struggle out whilst delivering optimal nutrition. Incorporating cold pressed, organic juices into the diet is great for overall health and is a must for boosting vitamin and nutrient intake whilst allowing healing to take place for those with digestive troubles.
Aloe Vera: all hail! This extraterrestrial-like plant is no alien to your gut. In fact, it may just be your new best friend. I personally adore aloe vera juice taken orally as a digestive healer. It soothes internal inflammation and helps heal the GI tract from the inside. It is also a natural aid in relieving constipation. You can purchase pure aloe vera juice from your health food store (please chose organic), either containing the pulp or filtered, whichever you prefer. Take a serving (usually about 50ml) daily, best on an empty stomach. You can shot it straight (hardcore…i know) or pop it in some water, green juice, a smoothie or with your chlorophyll drink. I usually have this either first thing in the morning or just before bed. If I’m having a particularly bad day with my digestive system or post accidental gluten consumption I will put a few serves in my water and consume throughout the day.
You can’t get a tip easier than this. Simply squeezing lemon juice into your water is delicious and a great help for the digestive system. Sipping lemon water aids in digestion as the atomic composition of the beverage is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid found in our digestive juices. It also helps break down bile and prevent excess bile in the body, assisting the liver. This is particularly helpful for those healing from digestive illnesses as when the body struggles with digestion and processing our food a large burden is placed on the liver, so it may need an extra kick up the butt to get going. For the past two years I always start my day with a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon to stimulate cleansing of the liver and prepare my system for the process of daily digestion. Grab a slice of yellow and get squeezing!
Readers, what drinks does your digestive system love? Do share!
When it comes to the digestive system, it’s often the small steps that can be taken which add up to a big difference. Better still these aids are natural and affordable. The next topic I will be discussing in Sexy Digestion will be healing foods – stay tuned.