The digestive system in a nutshell
Digestion begins in the brain. The mind imagines food and the mouth starts to produce saliva.
This is an important step in how effectively we absorb nutrients out of the food. Beautifully prepared and healthy food is welcomed by the body. We should eat in a relaxed atmosphere without being upset, angry or in a hurry.
In the mouth we brake down the food by chewing it and mixing it with saliva. Each bite should be chewed 35 times. This prepares the food for the stomach and takes the burden of the stomach for further digestion. Gastric juices (HCL, pepsin) break down the food into liquid and mucus protects the stomach walls from the digestive acids. Too thin or failing mucus production results in ulcers.
The small intestine secretes various digestive substances that help to absorb nutrients. The liver and pancreas excrete enzymes into the small intestine to break down carbs, proteins and fats. Most of the nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestines.
The large intestine is basically responsible for elimination. Two sets of smooth muscles assist the process. An inner layer of muscles and an outer layer. The inner layer moves circular, the outer layer longitudinal. The circular muscles move matter much like squeezing a toothpaste. The longitudinal muscles would be like smoothing (ironing) the tube between two squeezes. This movement is important to move solid waste through the intestines, in part against gravity. We can see how vital the muscle movement is to elimination.
can be helped with many natural herbs and foods.
We all know that fiber is an important nutrient to invigorate digestion. Whole grains, freshly cooked or raw vegetables and seeds are a good start.
Constipation is a wide spread ailment and should be taken seriously. It effects other bodily functions, for example the heart. If you squeeze too hard with every bowl movement, it puts extra pressure on the heart muscle. A least one smooth bowl movement per day is considered normal.
Less elimination than once a day will also amount in a high level of toxins in the body.
This brings me to the next important fact. Water! One should drink half the numeric number of ounces of plain water per day, then their body weight. For example: if you weight 100 lbs., you should drink
50 oz of water per day. This does not include sodas, alcoholic beverages, energy drinks, tea or coffee; just plain old water. Dehydration causes constipation.
A lot of times irregular digestion has to do with an overtaxed liver. Our liver is the main eliminator of toxins in the body. Toxins such as pesticides, herbicides, food additives, preservatives, air pollution, household chemicals (such as bleach which is way overused), pharmaceuticals - prescribed or over the counter, alcohol, drugs (legal or illegal), nicotine and too much dairy and meat (protein) take a toll on the liver.
Unexpressed and ignored feelings like anger, stress, spite, hate and jealousy can turn toxic over time and further tax the liver. There is a folk proverb in Germany that is used when somebody is angry or upset and it goes like this: "Was ist dir ueber die Leber gelaufen?" Which means paraphrased: "What ran over your liver, or "what crossed your liver?"
The liver stores feelings, and mostly we store the "bad" ones because we don't want to show or express them. I am not saying that the above named feelings are bad and should not exist. They have value and are human. But if ignored over long periods of time they affect our health.
When digestive problems are chronic it is a good idea to support the liver and it will have a great effect on the entire digestive system.
Just a couple of months ago I used a combination of herbs for the liver/gallbladder/kidney area (which some of the same herbs apply) and I had really good results from it.
I would recommend this product - Stone Free - which is available here: http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=138757&catid=183190&aid=338666&aparam=138757&kpid=138757&CAWELAID=120142990000011034&CAGPSPN=pla
Or at Old Thyme Remedies in Pensacola:
Stone Free Proprietary Blend: Turmeric Root, Gravel Root, Dandelion Root Extract, Ginger Root, Lemon Balm Leaf, Marshmallow Root, Parsley Root, Dandelion Root, and Licorice Root.
It invigorated my bowl movements and took pressure off the right side of my body which I had developed over the last year or so. It was a sporadic occurrence and I felt like it was coming from the liver, kidney or gallbladder. One bottle of -Stone Free- is a supply for about 5 weeks. My symptoms receded already after a few days but I stayed on the protocol until the end of the bottle. It just did me a lot of good!
A nutritive liver tonic
4 parts red clover blossoms
2 parts nettle
1 part alfalfa leaf
3 parts peppermint
2 parts lemon balm
1/2 part parsley
By Rosemary Gladstar, herbalist
Make an overnight tea infusion and drink during the day warm or at room temperature to support and relieve your liver.
Ample physical movement is another important factor for a healthy digestive system. Daily walks, bicycle rides, sports of your liking or two to three times a week yoga.with.irmi
keeps the body fluid, flexible, strong and well supplied with fresh oxygen.
A healthy lifestyle is just a good habit!
By irmi presutto
Hello yoga friends,
it came to my attention today in yoga class that some people start to get symptoms of spring allergies, specially now with the strong winds we have.
I am a big believer in herbs and have treated many ordinary ailments with natural herbs over the years for me and my family.
I want to share some herbal remedies with you to help linder those allergy symptom.
As with all natural treatments it is important to take them on a regular basis to built up the medicinal properties in the body.
Allergies effect the respiratory and immune systems. Which means those two systems need to be strengthen.
A very common and effective herb for the immune system is Echinacea.
The respiratory system is helped by Red Clover and the mints. Peppermint and Spearmint. They also open the sinuses.
One easy way to get the most medicinal benefits from
herbs is to make an overnight infusion.
A cup of tea is an infusion but to use the herb as a medicine it needs to have more time to release the beneficial properties into the water.
Make a good amount (two quarts at a time) so you have a lot to drink all day. This is how you build up the nutrients from the herb into your body.
Into a two quart glass jar put about 2 inches of loose, dried herbs (use equal amounts of each herb you want to use).
Add hot water (boil it and let the bubbles reside than pour) to the top, stir slightly, close the top and let sit over night.
In the morning simply drain the herbs through a cheesecloth, wring it out to get all the goodies out of the herbs.
Your medicinal infusion is ready.
Drink during the day at room temperature or warm. Keep the rest in the fridge.
You can add honey at least in the beginning to get used to the taste of herbal tea. After a short time you just like it as it is.
I like to buy my herbs at:
on Nine Mile Rd, Pensacola
They have always really fresh bulk herbs because they have a lot of turnover. You can buy herbs online or Everman has some too, but this is my personal favorite herb place. I have good experience with them.
Local bee pollen is another great way to strengthen your immune system. Here in Milton available at the By Pass Farmer's Market on Hwy 89/Hamilton bridge.
Some food for thought:
History of Medicine
2000 BC - Here eat this root.
1000 AD - The root is heathen, here say this prayer.
1850 AD - That prayer is superstition, here drink this potion.
1940 AD - That potion is snake oil, here swallow this pill.
1985 AD - That pill is ineffective, her take this antibiotic.
2000 AD - That antibiotic doesn't work anymore, here eat the root!
Wish you well-being and if you have any questions, please contact me!
Irmi Presutto, Certified Yoga Teacher