Fight back by fixing your digestion, naturally

April 9, 2009

This topic has been on my mind a lot lately. People hesitate to tell you about their gas or constipation, but take look in any grocery store and you will see evidence that a huge percentage of people suffer from digestive troubles. Brands like Immodium or Pepto Bismol would be out of business otherwise.

Actually, I’m sure these brands are doing just fine. The economy can only be good for sales of antacids and heartburn meds! Here’s an ad from Pepto Bismol speaking to exactly that:

So, what are we to think? We are broken people should be grateful to medicine for allowing our lives to be comfortable? Or maybe, just maybe, something is off. Even the simplest creatures must eat food and digest it. Why should so many people be suffering from trying to do the same?

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I counted 15 different types of fiber supplements, 16 kinds of laxatives, 10 ways to get relief from gas, 17 anti-diarrheal medications and a whopping 36 antacid/heartburn relievers! In each category there was at least 1 product dedicated especially to children or infants.

Really? Even kids can’t poop properly?

Since our digestion is so tied to our energy levels I thought I’d point out that the store also carried 2 kinds of medicine to keep you awake (and countless sodas and coffees.) But, oh, take too much of those? Well then there was 5 kinds of sleep aids.

Something is wrong here.

I took a stroll through the rest of the store. All in all, a pretty nice store with a good selection albeit nothing organic. They had 15 kinds of dried beans. 13 different varieties of apples. They even had 8 types of fresh dark, leafy greens. But there definitely was not 36 varieties of any fiber-rich whole food.

I’m not saying I know anything about grocery store stocking but imagine a world with 36 types of kale on the shelf. Is that the same world that uses medications to aid digestion day in and day out?

My point is that is is possible to have a healthy, functioning digestive system and medications are not the answer. The Standard American Diet is to blame. Cleaning up your diet will take you much closer to happy digestion than any box of pills.

I was popping Tums and Pepto and running for Immodium fairly often prior to changing my eating habits. And heaven knows there is a time and a place for medicines like these! But I’d prefer not to consume more man-made chemicals than necessary. I’ll just be over here, eating some kale instead.

There are lots of ways to remedy a pissed-off digestive track. And it could take some time and trial and error. This is a big area I work with clients on. Everyone is different but please know that what you eat is the biggest factor in how well your digestion works. Other factors may include: physical activity, emotional and mental health.

Here is an idea for a natural remedy for diarrhea that even the cleanest eater might need during say, flu season.

Ume Plum Tea
1 cup water
1/2 umeboshi plum
1 heaping tsp. kuzu, diluted in 1/4 cup cold water
a few drops soy sauce

1. Bring water and plum to a boil. Simmer 3 minutes.
2. Add dilution of kuzu, stirring to break up lumps.
3. Bring back to a boil. Add soy sauce and let simmer 4 more minutes.
Drink while hot. Leaving out the kuzu, this drink is also good for nausea and heartburn.

This post is proudly part of The Kathleen Show’s Prevention, Not Prescripton Tuesdays and Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays.

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