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again because you a re 'busy' means more
wa ste recedes. This can become impacted
and the descending colon bulges out
with excess waste. A bulging colon can be
seen by iridologists and often it may be
causing pressure on surrounding organs.
Constipation ca n contribute to high blood
pressure with some people.
One woman I met with only passed bowel
motions every 10-12 days ! Her doctor
advised her that since this had been the
case for many years, this appeared normal
for her body! She came to see me not for
the bowel, but for her skin disorder. I gave
her herbs to help with the liver, kidneys,
bowels and her mind, but no la xatives.
She advised me she was eliminating every
day, and this really freaked her out! She
was not used to this frequency and felt
uncomfortable with the daily visits.
Unfortunately, she stopped the remedies
after three weeks. She refused to eat any
plant food except peas, carrots and lettuce,
preferring hamburgers and Coke every day
for lunch and sometimes dinner.
An elderly man was on warfarin and a
couple of other pharmaceutical drugs which
appeared to be interfering with his digestion
and bowel function. Again, I never gave
laxatives. From his case history, I gave him
appropriate live bacteria, created a formula
to help relax the digestion and improve liver
and gall bladder function and he returned
saying he wa s having daily elimination.
A case of dysbiosis whereby the man
was constantly eliminating and it beca me
quite loose and watery. His case was
chronic and had been left untreated for a
long time. Appropriate live bacteria for this
type of bowel disorder along with slippery
elm powder a nd herbal remedies helped
Ma ny herbs will help to heal the colon
wall but most are not available retail. Some
people need to take ongoing maintenance
remedies, but that is a small price to pay for
acquiring a healthier functioning GIT.
Sleep is very important. You must have at
least 7-8 hours every night of unbroken
sleep to help heal and regenerate your
body. The need to rela x the ner vous and
endocrine system is very important when
you are looking at the function of the GIT.
Practise meditation, yoga or Tai Chi.
Learn to chill out and rela x your mind.
Release your mind from stress and mental
chatter, along with daily worries and
the over stimulus that can occur during
work hours and using the computer at work
Sydney-based Lyn Craven is a practitioner
of naturopathy, nutrition, medical herbalism,
Bowen therapy, Reiki energy healing, meditation,
and is a corporate health presenter/consultant
with 17 years experience in natural therapies.
Lyn has recently created a Meditation CD
for anxiety, stress and self healing.
A healthy GIT has a pa rticular set of
bacteria living within it. Alterations
in the bacteria count or population can
influence our health. Bacteria in our
digestive tract produce many vitamins,
micronutrients and chemicals, contributing
to good health and well being. When these
bacteria are out of sync, chemicals that are
detrimental to health are produced in la rger
a mounts causing dysfunction. Probiotics
containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and
Bifidobacterium are usually recommended.
However, each set of symptoms or disorders
requires specific live bacteria formulas so it
is not that simple.
Often, there is bacterial overgrowth
in the gut resulting in increased amine
production, which, in turn, causes cognitive/
attention deficits, depression and fatigue.
The two main types of bacteria found in
the large intestine a re :
• Aerobic bacteria that need oxygen
to sur vive.
• Anaerobic bacteria that die in the presence
The most common aerobic bacteria in
healthy intestines are:
• Escherichia coli (E.coli) - approximately
90-95% of all the aerobic bacteria
• Enterococcus (second most common
averaging 5% in the gut.
Research indicates E. coli is often lower
in IBS, around 50% compared to the normal
90-95%. Some cases with IBS showed a
20% streptococcus overgrow th overriding
E.coli. Changes to anaerobes/bacteria (types
that die when oxygen is present) are often
indicated. There is usually a significa nt
decrease in Bactericides, with an increase
in the number of Bifidobacteria in faeces
of IBS patients. E.coli and bactericides
help production of an important a mino
acid tryptophan, which helps break down
proteins in your diet.
IBS sufferers often have lower levels
of neurotra nsmitter precursor a mino
acids, along with other organic acids that
contribute to energy production and muscle
metabolism. Serotonin is manufactured in the
gut as well as in the brain and the amino acid
tryptophan is essential to ensure a balance.
Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, an
importa nt brain neurotra nsmitter helping
the entire GIT motility and function, aside
from helping us feel emotionally stable
and happy. Tryptophan levels are known
to fluctuate significantly over the course of
the menstrual cycle, which could contribute
to bowel changes some women experience
during certain times of their cycle.
Ensure you have good quality fats/oils in
your diet. A little animal fat on chicken
or meat will be beneficial. Dietary fat
stimulates the release of bile from the
gallbladder, which, in turn, stimulates the
gastrocolic reflex. This, in turn, stimulates
peristalsis, which, in its own turn, stimulates
defecation. Olive oil and fla xseed are highly
nutritious with many other health benefits
that ought to be incorporated into your
diet on salads, vegetables or even on pre-
soaked grains (rice flakes, rolled oats, barley,
quinoa and ama ranth). However, some
research indicates that all grains are actually
contributing to the ma ny types of bowel
disorders people are experiencing. When
a sked, I only recommend those quoted
(unless the person is gluten intolerant) but
you may wish to abstain from all grains
to see if you experience any improvement.
They must all be pre-soaked overnight in
water, not milk!
Basically, if you have no fat in the diet
you may experience insufficient bile.
I have met t wo women who were strict
vegan or vegetarian who had no animal fat
and only ate skim milk and low fat dairy.
In both ca ses, they had chronic constipation
and both had had their gall bladder removed.
Oils lubricate the gall bladder and help it
How can natural therapies help?
You are better placed to draw upon the
effectiveness a nd safety of ma ny different
natural therapies for any of the above
mentioned disorders rather than using harsh
chemic al/synthetic a nti-infla mmatories or
la xatives, which often irritate an already
inflamed mucous membrane of the GIT.
Obviously, if any structural issues or ca ses
of polyps exist then you must seek medical
attention and possible surgery. You should
also seek a medical diagnosis if you see
any blood, especially dark blood, in your
stools. This needs to be investigated
Herbal and homoeopathic remedies can
be used to help with any of the following:
• Counteract inflammation
• Eliminate pa rasites/worms/toxins
• Heal the mucous membranes of entire
• Assist with healthy bile production
• Treat any liver/gall bladder issues that
could be contributing to bowel issues
• Re-educate natural peristalsis movement in
• Help normalise digestion to assist bowel
• Act as a toner/astringent action for
• Offer laxative action (several la xative herbs
offer varying degrees of cathartic action, so
it is important to select the correct type for
the relevant disorder/constitution)
• Ongoing maintenance without side effects
A wide array of formula s has been created
for specific GIT disorders.
Probiotics containing Lactobacillus
acidophilus and Bifidobacterium are pretty
general formula s. Other formulas may
contain any of the following:
• Lactobacillus plantarum -- often used for
inflammatory bowel problems
• Lactobacillus rhaminosus/acidophilus
casei/fermentum, Bifidobacterium lactis
bifidum/breve/longu m or Saccharomyces
cerevisiae (Boulardii), Streptococcus
Arabinogalacta ns along with Oligofructose
are also used in some formula s. Some
blends incorporate colostrum a nd inulin.
As you can see, it is important to select
the right formula for the disorder being
treated and this is why you are advised to
seek profe ssional advice.
It is important that these bacteria are
only taken for a certain period to re-populate
the GIT. When taken for too long you could
even create an imbalance.
Supplements and Enzymes
Various a mino acids such a s glutamine
(depending on your symptoms/disorder)
Correct digestive enzymes can help if
you have diminished stomach/pa ncreatic/
liver enzymes to help metabolise food. Avoid
those with Betaine HCL on the label.
Minerals and vitamins -- if deficiencies
are present or if the disorder requires higher
supplementation to assist in healing:
• Magnesium (helps with constipation)
• B6 (IBS)
• Vita min D (reduce cancer cell growth)
• Antioxidants such a s Vitamin E, selenium,
Zinc, Calcium, to name a few.
I recommend anyone with a ny GIT
health disorders to have slippery elm
powder in their cupboard. You can take
one dessertspoon each morning for about
7-10 days a nd then depending on symptoms
take on alternate days for a while. Add to a
pre-soaked cereal (I only recommend grains
quoted above), or mix with goat yogurt.
Grains must be soaked overnight with any
dried fruit or nuts. You can add cinnamon
for flavor, a few dried sultanas/raisins/
cranberries/apricots a nd, depending on your
disorder, ground (not whole) almonds or
walnuts. Never eat dried fruit that has not
been soaked. Cook through with water the
next day till creamy and thick and ser ve with
chopped banana. You will not need to add
any further liquid on this cereal. If you must
use a small amount of rice milk, mix the
slippery elm powder with this. Do not use
cow's milk on any of these grains.
Therapies such as acupuncture, Bowen
massage, a romatherapy and meditation can
assist with various bowel disorders.
Very warm to hot Epsom salt baths prior
to bed can help. This old remedy relaxes
all your muscles and your internal orga ns
including your mind (if you add 3-4 drops
of Vetiver essential oil). Use about 3-4 cups
of Epsom salts in a full bath. They are high
in magnesium which helps detoxify and aids
Long-standing disorders need to be
addressed and you need to seek help from
qualified naturopaths for these natural
remedies a nd GPs for any tests you may
require. Stool tests ca n be obtained to check
on GIT bacteria (if colonisation is required),
along with worms/para sites and other
Herbalists and naturopaths of old have
always quoted that the 'Stomach is the seat of
disease'. By improving your stomach health,
you will help bowel function. In turn, your
entire health will improve, allergies will sta rt
to resolve, skin disorders heal, proper weight
will be maintained more easily and many
other health disorders.
Avoid harsh pha rmaceutical la xatives.
The bowel will become lazy with their
overuse and you dry out and irritate the
Some people like to receive colonic
irrigations. I find that the best subjects are
usually more sedentary people with a la zy
bowel rather than those who are uptight and
have a tight stressed colon. Enemas may be
more applicable for the latter.
Never put off the urge to go to the toilet.
To keep doing this because you are 'busy'
mea ns the body gets lazy. The sphincter
muscle contracts and helps the descending
colon/rectum to release waste; failure to
acknowledge this 'message' mea ns waste
then recedes back up the rectum waiting
for the next 'message'. Failure to eliminate
'Bacteria in our digestive
tract produce many vitamins,
micronutrients and chemicals,
contributing to good health
and well being.'
'Never put off the urge
to go to the toilet.'
NATUROPATHY FROM PAGE 21
'Oils lubricate the
gall bladder and help
it work better.'
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