Efficient digestion is essential to good health and herbal medicine offers a range of remedies for digestive complaints, from mouth ulcers and indigestion to more complex conditions.
Warming spices such as ginger and cinnamon stimulate the digestion, helping
the body absorb nutrients. Herbs with a ‘slimy’ quality, such as marshmallow and
slippery elm, soothe irritation within the digestive tract, easing symptoms of acid
reflux, heartburn, nausea, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome and
diverticulitis. A tea of fennel, ginger or chamomile will ease pain, spasm and
trapped wind while bitter herbs such as dandelion and burdock both stimulate
the digestion and support the liver, an organ crucial to the digestive process.
For more complex and long term conditions the help of a qualified medical
herbalist such as Denise Owens should be sought, so that a herbal prescription
specific to the individual can be made and dietary or lifestyle advice given. For
symptomatic relief a tea of chamomile, peppermint or meadowsweet can be
taken to reduce inflammation and spasm.
Rosemary Dean uses Kinesiology to help digestive problems. Rosemary
explains, “The small intestine absorbs nutrients from our food to feed our body.
The waste matter is transported through the large intestine for elimination. The
ileo-caecal valve correction (ICV) that I do brings about massive improvements in
people’s health.” The Ileo-caecal valve is also known as the “Great Mimicker”.
When it is out of balance, it can create symptoms in the body seemingly
unrelated to the digestive system:
- Joint pain, shoulders/hips including frozen shoulder
- Muscular aches & pains
- Pinched nerves including sciatic type pain down the leg
- Headaches, especially near the base of the skull on the left side
- Inflamed, painful or congested sinuses
- Asthma-like symptoms, breathlessness, tightening of chest etc
- cramps, diarrhea and constipation which are often seen in IBS and other digestive disorders.
Rosemary says, “The ICV is the most common correction I do and I love helping people improve their digestion.”
Yoga offers techniques that when practised regularly, have a beneficial effect
on the body, mind and emotions. Particular asanas, or postures, can strengthen
the abdominal muscles and stimulate the function of digestive organs. Breathing
techniques such as Bhramari and Ujjayi have a soothing effect on the nervous
system and mind, helping to relieve tension and anxiety which can adversely
affect our digestions. Relaxation practices and meditation can teach us how our
mind operates, the source of anxieties and stresses and how to effectively deal
with these. Yoga techniques are best learned from a yoga teacher such as Jane
Russell who can guide you through the stages and answer any questions.