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Constipation is one of the most common digestive disorders today, usually caused by a low-fiber diet, lack of exercise, insufficient water intake, or stress. Get unstuck with these natural remedies:
• Psyllium is rich in fiber, and is a safe and effective remedy for long-term use in chronic constipation.
• Flax seed helps treat constipation, especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
• Aloe vera relieves occasional constipation and inhibits the development of colitis.
• Cascara sagrada is a purgative laxative; it’s extremely strong and is appropriate only for occasional use.
• Magnesium can ease colon tension; it’s a safe, gentle treatment for occasional or chronic constipation.
• Triphala, an Ayurvedic herb that is traditionally used to treat constipation, ulcers and other disorders, may also have cancer-protective effects.
Gut healers: Garden of Life Super Seed; Traditional Medicinals Smooth Move psyllium fiber capsules; The Vitamin Shoppe Aloe Vera 470 mg; Nature’s Secret Super Cleanse; Modern Products Swiss Kriss Tabs; TwinLab Magnesium Caps; Planetary Formulations Triphala Internal Cleanser.
Heartburn and acid reflux
Heartburn and acid reflux are caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus. It’s the main symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Some ways to stop the burn:
• Aloe vera soothes irritation in the esophagus, and has anti-inflammatory effects.
• Orange peel extract, in one small, proprietary study, was shown to significantly relieve heartburn with no significant side effects.
• Pulsatilla and nux vomica are two leading homeopathic remedies for heartburn and acid reflux.
• Deglycyrrhizinated licorice root (DGL) seems to increase mucous production, protecting against excess stomach acid.
• Digestive enzymes, especially those that contain protease for protein and lactase for dairy products, ease digestion and prevent excess stomach acid.
Gut healers: Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera 80 Stomach Formula; Enzymatic Therapy Heartburn Free with orange peel extract; Enzymedica Acid Soothe with marshmallow; Natural Care Reflux-Away with DGL; Gaia Herbs Reflux Relief, with aloe, licorice and marshmallow; Boiron Acidil with nux vomica and other homeopathics.
Peptic ulcers are painful, open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach, upper small intestine, or esophagus. It’s now known that H. pylori bacteria, not stress or spicy foods, causes most ulcers; natural remedies can help:
• Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) has been shown in a number of studies to offer significant relief from ulcers, without increasing blood pressure.
• Marshmallow root and slippery elm contain mucilage, a soothing compound that coats the lining of the esophagus.
• Ginger has antioxidant and antibacterial effects that can combat H. pylori infection.
• Acidophilus and other probiotics keep H. pylori in check, and maintain a healthy gut flora.
Gut healers: Nature’s Life Chewable DGL Licorice; Enzymatic Therapy DGL; Solaray Slippery Elm capsules; Nature’s Way Marshmallow Root capsules; The Vitamin Shoppe Ginger Root; Nutrition Now PB8 Acidophilus; Natrol Biobeads Probiotic Acidophilus.
Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting have a vast number of causes, ranging from motion sickness and pregnancy to food poisoning, viruses, and stress. Remedies are abundant as well. Some of the best ways to quell queasiness:
• Ginger relieves motion sickness, as well as nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
• Peppermint calms the muscles of the stomach and improves bile flow to help ease digestion; it’s also useful in preventing gas and flatulence.
• Ipecacuanha is one of the most common homeopathic treatments for nausea, vomiting and upset stomach. Nux vomica and Tabacum are other common remedies.
• Ionized silver, a liquid suspension of microscopic particles of silver, is used to treat food poisoning.
Gut healers: New Chapter Ginger Wonder Syrup; Soloray Ginger Trips; Nature’s Way Pepogest peppermint oil; The Vitamin Shoppe Digest Ultra; Hyland’s Upset Stomach with nux vomica.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) occurs when intestinal muscles contract faster or slower than normal, causing pain, cramping, gas, constipation, and/or diarrhea. Remedies to calm your insides:
• Colostrum contains a compound called pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor that helps calm and repair the digestive tract.
• Fennel is a safe, traditional remedy for bowel irregularities and spasms.
• Peppermint oil has long been used as an antispasmodic for digestive discomfort, and research confirms its effectiveness in IBS.
• Chamomile is a mild antispasmodic and sedative that soothes the bowel.
Gut healers: Natural Balance Ibx Soothing Bowel Formula; Renew Life Intestinal Bowel Support; Now Foods Peppermint Oil; Alvita Fennel Seed Tea; Hyland’s Calms Forte with chamomile.
Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue or gluten sensitivity, is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. The main treatment is elimination of gluten; certain herbs and supplements can also help.
Some to try:
• Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation in autoimmune disorders.
• Evening primrose oil contains gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which helps reduce intestinal inflammation.
• Multivitamins, especially of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, can replace nutrients lost because of poor absorption.
• Digestive enzymes help boost digestion for those with gluten sensitivity.
Gut healers: Barlean’s Flax Oil Highest Lignan; Carlson Laboratories The Very Finest Fish Oil; Solgar Super GLA; Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems Women’s One Multi; Garden of Life Vitamin Code Men; Source Naturals Essential Enzymes.
Enzymes Benefit More than Digestion
Systemic enzymes combat pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, even symptoms related to autism
Systemic enzymes are good for your whole body, not just digestion. Protease enzymes, in particular, can be effective against viruses. Many viruses are surrounded by a protein film, and protease enzymes can digest away this protective film, leaving the virus unprotected and easier to destroy. The Herpes zoster virus has been successfully treated with enzymes since 1968. Enzymes are considered one of the best therapies for this virus, and they have also demonstrated significant pain relief.
People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can benefit from systemic enzymes. CFS is often a result of toxicity, inflammation, and/or infection. Plant enzymes can reduce inflammation; remove toxins; and reduce bacteria, yeast, and fungi associated with CFS. Systemic enzymes improve blood flow in CFS sufferers by helping remove fibrin (a protein involved in blood clotting) from the blood, and have also been found to reduce “brain fog.”
In autism, digestive enzymes are typically low or lacking. Taking digestive enzymes can have systemic results by helping to break down gluten (found in wheat) and casein (found in dairy). This alleviates the digestive problems typically associated with these foods, and also decreases related symptoms of these food intolerances, such as aggressive behavior and lethargy.
Ginger is especially effective at relieving motion sickness,
and nausea and vomiting in pregnancy
Peppermint oil has long been used as
an antispasmodic for digestive discomfort.
Rainbow Light Advanced Enzyme System provides complete digestive support with full-spectrum plant-based enzymes. Whole-food sources include green papaya, ginger, turmeric, fennel, and peppermint.
Hyland’s UPSET STOMACH is a traditional homeopathic formula including nux vomica for the relief of symptoms of flatulence, belching, and gas due to improper digestion or gastric upset.
Solaray Ginger Trips. With 135 mg of ginger root extract per serving, these convenient chewables provide rapid relief from nausea or motion sickness.
Natren Healthy Trinity provides 30 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of beneficial bacteria per capsule for enhanced digestion, improved nutrient absorption, and proper elimination.
UAS LABS DDS-Plus is a complete microrganism supplement for the intestine. Available in both liquid and capsules, it contains 5 billion viable DDS-strain Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidus, and Fructooligosaccharides per gram.