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With these natural means you get your digestion going
If digestion is not working properly, many causes can be considered. Because our intestines can react very sensitively to even the smallest changes. A lack of exercise or poor nutrition, for example, can quickly lead to intestinal sluggishness, and a virus infection often gets the digestive rhythm completely out of rhythm.
However, there are a variety of herbs, spices and other medicinal plants that are naturally stimulating and thereby relieve unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, constipation or a bloated stomach. The natural digestion process can often be effectively supported by small changes in eating and living habits.
Digestion and naturopathy
Digestion is of particular importance in naturopathy. Physical and mental health and a stable immune system are linked to a well-functioning digestion. Indigestion, on the other hand, can have many unpleasant symptoms such as Heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea are associated.
Basically, digestion can be improved by increasing fluid intake,
Stimulate fiber, flaxseed, psyllium husk, wheat germ and pickled prunes, although the latter should be treated with caution given their laxative effect. However, indigestion is often the cause, which in turn should be addressed.
For example, bacterial overgrowth of the intestinal flora (dysbiosis) often occurs, which can lead to permeability of the intestinal mucosa (leaky gut syndrome) and thus to food intolerance, especially lactose intolerance.
The other way round, a contaminated intestinal flora can only lead to problems, e.g. by undigested food residues cannot be broken down due to the lack of bacteria. Decay gases with flatulence are a possible consequence here.
Since large parts of the immune system are localized in the intestine, persistent indigestion is also associated with the development of general immune deficiency, allergies, autoimmune diseases, skin diseases and even cancer. In the naturopathic saying "Death sits in the intestine" these presumed relationships are formulated briefly and drastically.
Bitter substances get your digestion going
Digestion does not begin with the breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth. In fact, not only “eats” the eye, but also the nose and tongue make decisions. The sensory impressions that we take in when we look at the smell and taste of the food stimulate the gastric juice production at an early stage by stimulating the vagus nerve. Above all, bitter flavors that spread on our tongue have a stimulating effect.
Appropriate herb mixtures (prepared as granules) therefore only need to be chewed for about a minute to support digestion shortly before eating. It is not necessary (but also not harmful) to swallow the bitter porridge. Bitter schnapps, on the other hand, are usually served after the meal as a stimulus.
Healthy support through salads and vegetables
With the consumption of certain salads and raw food, everyone can stimulate their digestion in a tasty way. Therefore, digestion salads should also start the meal before the warm walk. The same applies here: the more bitter, the more effective.
Among the field and garden salads, endive salad and chicory in particular meet this criterion. Endive leaves contain substances that stimulate the pancreas and bile flow through the activation of hormones in the gastric mucosa. The latter can also be done to a high degree by the chicory, so that it is recommended for those with lazy liver and bile function. Other natural digestive aids include artichokes and Brussels sprouts.
Suitable wild salads are above all the dandelion, which is known to stimulate the liver and gall bladder in particular, and the nettle, which also stimulates the pancreas to produce digestive juices. Both can be eaten raw as a salad, served as a vegetable side dish or prepared as soup.
Digestive aids from the spice rack
Almost every kitchen cupboard has one or the other spice, which is effective as a home remedy for bloating or digestive problems
can be used. Spices can be incorporated into the menu every day. Anise, cloves, ginger and cardamom increase the appetite and the production of digestive juices. They can be used in baking, in soups, sauces and in the manufacture of beverages.
Fennel, caraway, coriander and garlic are particularly characterized by their flatulence-preventing effect. The digestive effects of basil, thyme, juniper, rosemary, lovage, oregano and marjoram are generally less well known.
Stimulating healing teas
Many proven tea drugs are known from which beneficial healing teas can be made. To avoid feeling full, the gastric emptying can be accelerated with peppermint. The muscle tone of the stomach and intestines is stimulated by preparations made from horehound, angelica root, bitter clover, sage, turmeric, lemon balm, yarrow or cinnamon bark and the organs are stimulated to exercise more.
The bitter medicinal plants ensure adequate production and secretion of gastric acid, bile juice and pancreatic enzymes. Aloe, gentian, wormwood and rhubarb root can be drunk as a tea or in a well-known recipe according to Maria Treben with other medicinal plants as a little bittersweet.
For a large cup you need:
- A quarter liter of water
- 20 grams of chamomile flowers
- 20 grams of peppermint
- 10 grams of yarrow
- 10 grams of gentian root
Bring the water to a boil. Mix the other ingredients and pour the boiling water over two teaspoons. Now cover the cup and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then strain the tea and drink it unsweetened and in small sips after eating.
Apples keep the gut healthy
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" - studies repeatedly come to the conclusion that the old English proverb applies and apples are particularly valuable for health. The “nutrient bombs”, for example, have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, in diabetes or cardiovascular diseases. But that's not all: Because the “miracle cure” apple can also regulate digestion.
It is believed that this effect is due to the indigestible dietary fiber found in apples. These so-called “pectins” have a digestive effect and support the health of the intestine. Experts regularly recommend eating two apples for a healthy intestine. However, the fruit should not be peeled for consumption because the majority of the nutrients are in or directly under the skin.
A delicious variant is a curd cheese with apples. Eaten for breakfast or in the evening, this helps to get the digestion going naturally.Recipe for a portion of apple curd:
- 125 grams of low-fat curd
- An organic apple
- A teaspoon of flaxseed
- A teaspoon of honey
Put the curd in a bowl. Wash the apple thoroughly and grate (peeled) into the qaurk. Then add the flax seeds and honey and mix the ingredients together.
Stimulate digestion by eating properly
In addition to the selection of ingredients, eating habits also determine the extent to which the body ignites its digestive power. As a habit, the mandatory drink with food should rather be a thing of the past. This is because the liquid mixes with the digestive juices that are formed and thus loses its power to break down the food.
In contrast, eating in a calm, low-stimulus environment is beneficial. Devotional chewing and tasting of the food, also known as “fletching”, can support the performance of the herbs, spices and salads to optimally stimulate digestion right from the start of the meal. (jvs, nr)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Jeanette Viñals Stein, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Michael Trauner: Nutrition and Digestion, Facultas; Edition: 12 (September 11, 2017)
- John Henry Clarke: Diseases of the Digestive Organs, Ahlbrecht Verlag, 1st edition, 2013
- Norton J. Greenberger: Dyspepsia, MSD Manual, (accessed August 29, 2019), MSD
- Volker Schmiedel et al .: Guide to naturopathy, Urban & Fischer Verlag, 2003