DIGESTIVE SYSTEM – Skin Herbalist

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DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM AND THE TREATMENT THAT CAN HELP

The Digestive System

The digestive system begins at the mouth and includes the gullet (oesophagus), stomach, small intestine (small bowel), large intestine (large bowel) and the rectum.

Two other organs, the liver and pancreas are intimately connected to the digestive system in that they contribute to proper digestion. However, these organs also perform other functions. The liver is a detoxifier among other things, the pancreas releases hormones into the bloodstream that regulate glucose levels in the body. Most ailments affecting these two organs tend to be of a serious nature and beyond the scope of this course. I would advise professional treatment here.

The rest of the digestive system can be treated with herbs to a satisfactory degree.

Diet

A good, simple alkaline diet is the foundation of the health of the digestive system. It follows from common sense that an unhealthy diet will, sooner or later, cause digestive problems. You should eat easily digestible foods, avoiding stimulants such as coffee, cola drinks, excess alcohol. Herbal teas are good and black tea (without sugar or milk) is good for dealing with problems like diarrhoea.

Bacteria and Probiotics

Many digestive problems arise from having the wrong balance of bacteria in the gut caused by having an unhealthy diet or otherwise introduced. You can rectify this by taking probiotics which is a generic term given to friendly bacteria that normally inhabit the intestines. 

Ailments affecting the digestive system and the treatment that can help;

Frequency Relaxation Therapy may help coupled with an alkaline diet and some daily exercise.

(Please note that I make no medical claims) 

Appetite – lack of

Poor appetite can be caused by an illness or poor functioning of the liver. It is advisable to try to treat the illness in the first place.

Baby colic

This is a painful condition that affects some babies. Sometimes a colicky pain in adults and children may be just trapped wind.

Bloating

Bloating is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen. It is usually a sign of poorly functioning digestion and a lack of friendly bacteria in the bowels. It is also a symptom of IBS. Intolerance to certain foods can also cause bloating.

Constipation

Constipation is a common condition with many causes. It can be caused by an unbalanced diet, insufficient water intake and lack of exercise.

Fruit such as plums may help as should a high fibre diet. You should aim to drink 2 litres of liquid every day.

Excess wind

Excess wind or flatulence may be caused by diet or acid in the stomach or can be a result of having the wrong balance of bacteria in the gut.

Having an alkaline diet can help this condition.

Food intolerances

Sensitivities to certain foods are increasingly common nowadays. Intolerance to wheat or dairy etc.

This is not the same as being allergic to certain foods. Food allergies are more serious.

Food poisoning

Symptoms of food poisoning are severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. These will occur a few hours after eating the suspect food.  

Gall bladder (removed)

If you have had gallstones you may have had your gall bladder removed. This can cause digestive problems because bile will be released into the digestive tract all the time. Eating little and often is best. Try to include a small amount of fat in your meals as bile will be used up in digesting this fat and there will be less unused bile which causes the digestive problems.

Gum problems

Bleeding gums after brushing your teeth can be an early sign of gum disease. Of course you should see a dentist for treatment however nutritional supplements can also help.

Haemorrhoids (piles)

Haemorrhoids are a specific problem occurring in the back passage or end of the digestive tract. They have been discussed in the previous chapter on the circulatory system. Note that they may go away without any treatment.

Heartburn

Heartburn is a burning sensation behind the breastbone (sternum) caused by hiatus hernia or by reflux. The pain is the result of acid from the stomach getting into the oesophagus (gullet) and irritating its surface. It is often caused by diet or lifestyle and these must be looked at in treating it.

Moving to an alkaline diet is important here

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a common worldwide problem. There is no scientific cause associated with it. Among the many symptoms are constipation and diarrhoea, bloating and swelling of the abdomen, excessive blocked wind, a pitting oedema, colic reflux, sensations of incomplete bowel movement and passing mucus in the stool. IBS is mainly caused when there are abnormal contractions in the bowel. The bowel normally contracts a few times a day, but in people with IBS these contractions are a lot more frequent. Some of the causes of IBS may include viral or bacterial infection, stress, food sensitivities, lifestyle particular choices and diet.

Mouth ulcers

There are a number of reasons why you can get mouth ulcers and a medical professional can best advise on treatment.

Stomach ache

If this problem persists seek medical advice.

Stomach acidity – high/low

High stomach acidity is often a result of stress while low stomach acidity may be due to food sensitivities. They both have similar symptoms and you should get a professional diagnosis to determine which one you have. Symptoms are heartburn, a bloating feeling and stomach pain.

Worms

Poor hygiene, poor diet, and constipation are usually the cause of threadworms. Worms are found when the stomach is deranged from eating improper foods, in other words, worms are caused by an improper diet that lacks wholesome foods.