Large meals, rich foods and a string of Christmas parties usually mean that by now your body is ready for a post Christmas clearout. However, getting your digestion running smoothly may be more important than you realise.
The Digestive Link
Many people have impaired digestion, or a low digestive fire. One of the reasons for this is often an inadequate quantity and inefficiency of the digestive juices produced in the stomach and pancreas.
Incomplete breakdown of foods can result in the formation of partial protein molecules called ‘free peptides’. When absorbed, these unusable substances are treated as invaders by our body’s immune system causing inflammatory responses resulting in skin rashes, breathing difficulties and headaches.
Partially digested food entering the gut encourages the proliferation of ‘bad’ bacteria which cause bloating, indigestion and bowel problems.
Signs of Imbalanced Digestive fire:
Whitish coating on the tongue
Bloating, gas or constipation
Signs of a Healthy Digestive fire:
Tongue is pink
Hungry for next meal
Clarity of mind and good energy
Regular bowel movements
Clear glowing skin
Iridology (the study of the iris) can confirm diagnosis of digestive imbalance and provide an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of each individual’s constitution.
Digestive insufficiency is usually established through bad habits; consuming fried and processed foods, eating when not hungry and eating large meals can all put strain on the digestive system. Happily good digestion can be re-established with the addition of some good habits!
- Eat steamed vegetables, baked fish, soups, casseroles and home-made curries.
- Use warming spices in your cooking such as cumin, turmeric and coriander; these also help to stimulate the digestive secretions.
- Drink fresh ginger tea between meals.
- Avoid dairy, wheat and red meats whilst re-establishing digestive strength.
- Eat lightly in the evening and no later than 7pm.
- Remember – mental and emotional upset has a direct impact on the digestion, do not eat if you are upset or angry, only when you have good appetite!
- Seek help if you need support to instigate these changes.
Herbs can be a valuable aid in healing the digestive system. They can stimulate digestive enzymes, encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria, and repair inflamed intestinal mucosa. For example, Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) stimulates the liver to produce bile and improves liver function. It also aids detoxification of the digestive system and acts as a gentle laxative.
At the Herbal Clinic a detailed understanding of the individual’s circumstances is gained through in-depth consultation. Fresh herbal preparations are combined in well-structured formulations, in which the actions of the different herbs support one another to create a powerful healing effect. It is this combination of prescribed herbs and lifestyle that achieve lasting improved health.
Meilyr James BSc (Hons) DBTh DAcu AcuC DIr MGNI.
Registered Medical Herbalist, Iridologist and Acupuncturist.
The Herbal Clinic in Swansea provides natural healthcare with the use of organic herbs, acupuncture and iridology.