Constipation, diarrhea, and gas can be treated with herbs. Colon and bowel health is essential for maintaining a healthy body. The digestive system is like our bath room plumbing. It needs to run smoothly or things back up and cause problems. Often considered an embarrassing subject, many people suffer in silence and hesitate to ask for advice.
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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 colon health. Factory farms 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 harmful weed and insect killing sprays that are banned in the United States. Adding to the problem, every day consumers eat tons of processed foods that contain little or no fiber with tons of saturated fat.
Fixing a plate of raw veggies or fresh fruit seems like a lot of trouble when there's a fast food joint on every corner offering cheesy hamburgers and tasty fries for five bucks. Where can you even buy a plate of fresh, clean, organic veggies, ready to eat? Maybe for $25 in some upscale restaurant.
There are constant news reports about the food supply becoming contaminated. E coli bacteria contamination is occurring much too often for comfort. E Coli is especially dangerous on tender veggies like lettuce that are eaten in salads without cooking. Washing each leaf under running water and rinsing in vinegar solution is necessary to remove harmful bacteria. This extra work really helps to protect the colon and digestive system from infection.
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 filled with fresh salads, broccoli, greens, carrots, squash, beans, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables should be eaten every day. Drink lots of water between meals. The colon needs water to keep things soft and moving. If eating lots of bread, pasta, or cheese, try taking a teaspoon of Epsom salts with some juice. The Epsom salts draw water into the colon bringing moisture to the mass. Be sure to drink extra water when taking Epsom salts so the rest of your body doesn't become dehydrated.
A local grocery store sells regular celery stalks for around one dollar. Most organic items cost only 50 cents or so more than their toxic counterparts. Good food is not expensive if you plan carefully and fix it yourself. It is worth it to protect your digestive system from toxic chemicals. Some things are clean. Don't bother buying organic avocados which have a tough outer skin and are rarely sprayed with poisons. Some things are heavily sprayed in the fields. Some are almost never sprayed. For more information see the clean and dirty list of common vegetables and fruits.
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, mucus, dehydration, fatigue, nausea, depression, irritability, coated tongue, headaches, bad breath, body odor, and a sallow complexion.
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 seed teas are also excellent choices for colon health especially gas and indigestion. Milk thistle seed and dandelion extract enhance bile output and soften the stool. Many excellent laxative tea blends are sold at health food stores.
Bowel movements should be regular and effortless. Transit time should be less than 24 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 without cramping include chickweed leaves 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 so be careful.
Exercise more, eat fresh, healthy foods, eat less processed food, drink more water, find ways to get rid of stress -- and your digestive tract will reward you with good health.
* Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedies. Over-the-counter laxatives can be addictive and dangerous so use with caution.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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