Payne Mountain Farms
Buy dried yellowroot and other wild herbs at Payne Mountain Farms.

Using herbs to treat the colon, bowels, and digestive system

Colon and bowel health is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Often considered an embarrassing subject, many people suffer in silence and hesitate to ask for advice. Constipation and gas, although common, are not normal. Colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, spastic colon, polyps, and colon cancers plague many people in today's society.

There are many things that contribute to poor bowel health. Conglomerated agricultural operations are growing and harvesting foods that lack basic nutrients and are saturated with pesticides, herbicides, and other poisons. We import wheat and other staples from foreign countries that continue to use even more harmful sprays. Adding to the problem, every day consumers eat tons of processed foods that contain little or no fiber.

Fast food establishments contribute to digestive problems. Why choose a plate of raw veggies or fresh fruit when there's a fast food joint on every corner offering cheesy hamburgers and tasty fries? Where can you even buy a plate of fresh, clean, organic veggies, ready to eat? There are also constant news reports about the food supply becoming contaminated. E coli bacteria contamination is occurring much too often for comfort.

Good diet is important

A good diet with lots of water and fiber is the best way to keep the colon and bowels healthy. Fresh veggies, legumes, fruit, and water should be consumed throughout the day. Not just one apple or a bowl of oatmeal every now and then, but plates piled high with broccoli, greens, carrots, squash, beans, and other vegetables should be eaten at every meal.

Organic produce is best and worth the extra cost. A local grocery store sells regular celery for around one dollar. Organic celery is double that price, but most organic items cost only 50 cents or so more. Don't let a few dollars keep your family from ingesting unacceptable amounts of poison chemicals.

Colon problems

Poor colon health results in the re-absorption of toxins into the human body. Symptoms include infrequent bowel movements (constipation), cramps, bloody stool, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, mucous, dehydration, fatigue, nausea, depression, irritability, coated tongue, headaches, bad breath, body odor, and sallow complexion.

Many herbs can help protect and heal the colon. Slippery elm and aloe juice reduce inflammation. Chamomile tea and green drinks with wheat grass soothe and help repair damage. Rosemary, peppermint, catnip, and fennel teas are also excellent choices for colon health. Milk thistle seed and dandelion extract enhance bile output and soften the stool. Many excellent laxative tea blends are sold at health food stores.

Constipation

Bowel movements should be regular and effortless. Transit time should be less than 24 to 36 hours depending on the individual person. The stool should float and be almost odorless. Decaying food ferments in the bowel, forms gases, and causes the colon to become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, yeasts, and molds. Herbs that gently help constipation include chickweed and plantain seeds. Ground flaxseed can also work wonders. When using any seed, fiber, or bulk laxative, remember to drink plenty of water or constipation could get worse. Other herbs for constipation include aloe, buckthorn, cascara sagrada, rhubarb, and senna but they may cause severe cramping in some cases. The best remedy for chronic constipation is a lifestyle change. Exercise more, eat fresh, healthy foods, eat less processed food, drink more water, find ways to get rid of stress -- and constipation should clear up on its own.

* Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedies.