Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine famously said, “all disease starts in the gut”, and with the variety of gut issues we are facing today it’s probably important to be educated on the different ways to help resolve them. As many practitioners believe the gut needs to be taken care of first before we can heal anything else, we wanted to give you an update on some of the newer, and lesser-known products that can help.
So if you have unresolved gut issues and would like to try something new, there will be at least one out of these four you haven’t tried before!
1. Bitter Melon
Bitter melon is known for being great for digestion, and for a number of reasons.
It curbs hunger, cravings, and reduces our impulse to overeat, which is one of the most taxing things for digestion. This is due to bitter melon’s ability to increase glucose metabolism and balance blood sugar, and an added bonus is it also aids weight loss.
Bitter melon also has high dietary fiber to help curb indigestion and constipation issues, plus its antimicrobial properties assist with overgrowth and liver detoxification.
As the name implies, the fruit is incredibly bitter, so it can be taken as a natural supplement to bypass this taste, or if you’re curious to try the fruit, you can often find it at an Asian grocer.
Additional benefits include assisting liver function by increasing fat emulsification, and it is also a natural cancer fighter because it boosts our immune system and increases our natural killer cells.
This oil can be taken internally or topically on the skin. Black seed oil is a strong antibacterial, and some studies have suggested it may be beneficial against particular strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria! This is incredible given that an imbalance of bacteria is the beginning of most gut issues, and is particularly helpful for those who have tried antibiotics without much success.
Additional benefits include, but are not limited to helping the liver, gut and skin, assisting weight loss, and banishing infections. For those wondering what it is, it's made from black cumin seeds found in Southwest Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa, and Nutrient Avenue. ;)
3. Swedish Bitters
Swedish bitters is amazing for the entire digestive system and especially the stomach! It’s a much better solution than digestive enzymes or stomach acid which can cause negative effects if used long term. Instead of adding digestive enzymes, Swedish Bitters activates the vagus nerve to produce your own enzymes and HCL naturally.
For this to work you need to taste the bitters, it’s not effective in capsule form because the bitter taste buds of the tongue are what initiate this process in the body. Sure, capsules still have beneficial effects on the rest of the GI tract, but if you want the full benefit, put a teaspoon of bitters in water and drink it 20 minutes before each meal.
An alternative to bitters is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), which is a less potent version. Swedish Bitters is a tincture, and is more medicinal, whereas ACV is great also because it can also be used in food - salad dressings, and broths for example.
4. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm is one of my favourite anti-inflammatories because it’s a soothing way to heal the gut. From the throat down to the large intestines it coats the GI tract with its mucilage to protect the entire digestive system!
You can put slippery elm in smoothies, cooking, soups, and other beverages.
But of course, there are many different things you can do try to heal your gut, but start with one and see how it affects you. As always, we’d love to know how you go, so leave a comment now.