The digestive system is very important to overall health. Besides constipation, there is another embarrassing complaint - diarrhea.
Diarrhea is caused by an imbalance in the digestive system; perhaps from overgrowth of bacteria or an ingested poison. It may be brought on by lack of fiber in the diet, an enzyme or vitamin A deficiency, intestinal parasites, colitis, a reaction to rancid nuts, eating unripe fruits, or food allergies. Symptoms include uncomfortably frequent, fluid, and excessive bowel movements.
Diarrhea is a way for the body to rapidly remove toxins but can cause severe dehydration and loss of nutrients. It may be best to let diarrhea run its course for a couple of days. Patients should drink plenty of water during bouts of diarrhea to guard against dehydration. Soothing herbs like chamomile, catnip, or fennel tea are excellent drinks to sip on throughout the healing process. Meals should be small and frequent.
There are many astringent herbs that help stop diarrhea. Astringents contain tannins that tighten and contract human tissue. The result is fluid retention that can quickly halt diarrhea and reduce any bleeding. Agrimony, bayberry, comfrey, yellowroot, peppermint, slippery elm, white oak, white willow, black walnut, green tea, red raspberry leaf, and mullein are all astringent and excellent for treating diarrhea, dysentery, and even cholera. Cinnamon and dried berries (blackberry, blueberry, and strawberry) are also astringent and can help. A good tea recipe is one teaspoon of powered cinnamon to one cup of boiling water. Steep ten minutes before drinking.
The key when treating diarrhea, dysentery, and cholera is to drink plenty of uncontaminated water, to avoid consuming any additional harmful microorganisms, to avoid sugar and fruit juices that feed parasites, to reduce absorption of toxins into the body, to transport toxins out of the body, and finally to heal the bowels with mucilaginous herbs.
Mucilaginous herbs soothe and heal damaged parts of the digestive tract. They also carry toxins out of the body without feeding harmful bacteria. Mucilaginous herbs include psyllium, slippery elm, and marshmallow. They should be consumed with large amounts of water. Okra pods, also considered a mucilaginous herb, should be thoroughly cooked and chewed well when treating diarrhea.
A recipe for slippery elm balls calls for a dough to be made of slippery elm powder and a little honey. Roll into bite sized pieces and dust with more slippery elm powder. Store in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator and eat often as a snack.
There are three important steps to remember. Drink plenty of uncontaminated water. Flush toxins by drinking lots of astringent tea. Heal by consuming mucilaginous herbs.
Other foods that are good when treating diarrhea include boiled rice, oatmeal, cooked whole grains, bananas, and steamed vegetables. Wine with meals can also help by killing harmful bacteria.
* When using tea to treat diarrhea never add sugar or milk as they feed bacteria. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.
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