7. Eat whole, natural foods without additives, colorings and preservatives.
People who react to foods, react much more to processed foods. Also
processed foods tend to have and excess of fat, sugar and salt which are not
needed by the body and must be stored as fat or excreted. Energy and nutrition
are much more readily available from whole, vital foods.
8. Eat foods you aren't allergic to. If your body reacts strongly to a
food, don't eat it. It may at least cause digestive discomfort, gas, nausea,
diarrhea or constipation and at worst create other symptoms such as fatigue,
headaches, skin rashes, and joint pains.
9. Eating can be a spiritual practice. Eating allows us to partake of
the universal source of energy and sustenance. Each bite can be experienced as
communion with Spirit. The more consciously we eat and prepare food, the more
sacred our nourishment will become.
Following these principles will give you a good start toward digestive
happiness. We have found that treating digestive problems depends on a
willingness to change your eating patterns coupled with effective natural
treatments. Naturopathy, homeopathy, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and herbal
medicine can each be of great benefit to digestion. Below we have listed some
of the more common digestive problems and some home treatments.If your
digestive problems are severe or persistent, we recommend that you see your
naturopathic physician or other qualified health practitioner for diagnosis and
Acid Indigestion, Gastritis and Heartburn. When the body is
trying to digest protein it secretes hydrochloric acid. If too much is
produced and it gets into the esophagus or irritates the stomach lining,
burning pain and a full feeling occurs, often with sour belching. In order to
beat this version of the burps, you need to do two things, reduce the acid and
protect the mucous membranes. This is normally done by introducing an alkaline
subtance into the stomach like bicarbonate of soda, the basis of alka-seltzer
and tums. This will work in the short term, but is not likely to be curative.
Another approach is to coat the stomach with a neutral substance. This is the
reason for taking Maalox or Pepto-bismol. A more natural approach would be to
use the teas of slippery elm or licorice root, or to take these in capsules.
Some of the carminitive herbs like peppermint or fennel, may help to reduce the
belching. In order to cure this condition when it is chronic, Ayurvedic
medicine will decrease the fire principle or Pitta in the body by decreasing
foods which are too sour, too spicey or red and yellow in color and emphasizing
blander foods and green vegetables. Homeopathy may be used to stimulate the
body to decrease acid production by giving remedies in small doses according to
the law of similars. Remedies like Nux vomica, Arsenicum album, Phosphorous and
Carbo vegetabilis are often helpful when correctly prescribed by a homeopath.
Acupuncture and chinese herbs may also create a beneficial reduction in acidity
while increasing protective mucous formation.
Nausea and Vomiting. These symptoms occur usually when the food
or drink that is ingested is spoiled or poisonous in some way, but they may
occur from problems with balance, motion sickness or hormonal changes. If what
you have eaten has made you sick, it may be just as well to let the normal
vomiting reflex get it out of your body. Vomiting can be helpful in relieving
the feelings of nausea. You can induce vomiting with the gag reflex by sticking
your index finger towards the back of your throat or vigorously rubbing the
back of your tongue, or you can take an ounce of syrup of ipecac. If you want
to reduce nausea herbally, the best remedy is to boil fresh slices of ginger
root and drink a cup or two of the tea. The acupressure point Stomach 36 may
also be helpful in decreasing nausea. Homeopathically, the best first-aid
remedy for nausea and vomiting is homeopathic ipecac. Other remedies that may
be helpful homeopathically are cocculus, petroleum, tabacum, especially for
motion sickness and sepia for morning sickness in pregnancy. Persistent nausea
and vomiting should be treated by a competent health practitioner. Be sure to
replace fluids and electrolytes if vomiting is severe.