Healing Your Digestive Tract Naturally
If you think your digestive tract issues are solely due to the foods you eat, think again! This article will share some information with you that just might help you in healing your problems naturally.
The digestive tract runs through the middle of our bodies. It is a hollow tube about twelve yards long, which if extended, would reach higher then a high diving board of a pool. It is lined with mucous membranes, different parts which secrete the digestive juices required to break down the food we eat into an easy to assimilate form. The liver, gallbladder and pancreas also secrete vital digestive enzymes.
The food we eat gets partially broken down by the action of the saliva and chewing, and goes down the oesophagus to the stomach. After being broken down further by the gastric juices, the food than passes down into the small intestine. It’s here that it is mixed with a range of digestive enzymes, and with bile, produced by the gallbladder. It is then absorbed into the blood stream and transported to the liver, while the digestible part moves on into the large intestine. The remaining waste passes to the rectum for excretion.
When health is at it’s best, food and fluid remain in the digestive tract, just long enough for optimum digestion, and a bowel movement occurs at least once every 24 hours. This elimination is vital to our digestive tract as the body must rid itself of metabolic waste as well, otherwise a buildup of toxic waste results.
A diet high in fibre or roughage results in a healthier colon. The digestive system is also dependent on nervous control to function properly. When you eat a meal, the autonomic nervous system modifies the circulatory system so that more blood is sent to the digestive system.
During stress, a reverse process carries blood away from the digestive tract to feed the muscles and brain and the digestive function is reduced. During the most stressful periods, a message from the brain runs directly via the vagus nerve to cause the secretion of extra acid in the stomach thus contributing to ulcers. So bringing herbs into the picture when treating digestive issues, an herbalist will use remedies which relax the nervous system.
Herbs used as digestive relaxants are chamomile, and hops. They seem to work at two levels. They relax an overactive and over contracted stomach and bowel, while sedating the central nervous system, helping with anxiety and stress.
For digestive inflammation and pain soothers, try herbs such as comfrey, marshmallow, slippery elm, and licorice. Research on comfrey has shown to reduce a local hormone like activity which causes inflammation of the stomach lining.
Bitter herbs are used to treat the liver. They are centian, and gentian. Also beneficial for the gallbladder as well promoting the secretion of bile, and helping with the detoxification of the liver cells.
Golden seal also helps to treat digestive problems through it’s powerful tonic effect on the mucous membranes. Artichoke is also a gentle liver tonic that encourages good digestion and relieves constipation.
Indigestion, ulcers, diarrhea, constipation, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome, are all digestive tract issues. They can be assisted back to health with the aid of certain herbs, clean eating, and keeping a check on your emotions. True balance and harmony for your life begins with your thoughts, your actions, and what we feed our bodies each day. We must treat our bodies with respect and nourish our souls and strive to be as healthy as we possibly can, the result are overwhelming and well worth the extra effort.