What is the Digestive System?
The digestive system is a group of organs working together to convert food into energy and supply the body with the nutrients to maintain health and wellbeing. It begins in the mouth and ends at the anus.
During embryonic development, the same group of cells develop into the bowel and the nervous system almost simultaneously; this gives the two areas of the body a symbiotic and close relationship; tension within one system can be expressed as a symptom in the other – this sympathetic relationship can work both ways with toxins in the bowel causing depression and irritability in the nervous system, or nervousness and depression causing the irritable bowel symptoms.
How does is it work?
There are many “named” diseases associated with the digestive system Constipation, Colitis, Crohn’s, Diverticulitis and IBS to name but a few. There are some differences in symptoms, for instance, with colitis you have inflammation of the colon, (which can include ulcers) whereas in IBS there is no inflammation. However, what is common to all is pain at varying degrees. Personally, I am of the opinion that it doesn’t matter what name is given to a disease – At the end of the day it’s a dis-ease of the body and in this case related to the Digestive System.
If we think about the digestive system as our body’s sewage system, it makes more sense explaining why lots of us suffer, some so disabling our life is put on hold. We should be evacuating waste from the system on a regular basis, ideally after each meal but definitely once a day. Don’t be taken in by “if your usual pattern is once a week that’s fine – it isn’t!
Sewage System: Most of you will be on main drainage so your waste water from sinks, baths toilets etc just flows away to the nearest treatment plant where it is cleaned and recycled without you even thinking about it. We have a Cesspit at home as we have no main drainage. If it wasn’t emptied on a regular basis we would start to attract all kinds of toxic waste and rats……… We have come a long way since the Bubonic Plague which killed 1/4 of the population of London in 18 months. But it is worth thinking about when looking at our own innate, sewage system!
Your colon, (just like the drains that carry the waste away from your home) is a natural breeding ground for bacteria, both good and bad, the good guys help neutralise and dissipate waste preventing a toxic build up from developing. It isn’t only food that accumulates in the colon, there will be millions of dead cells and tissues which have been replaced. If not emptied on a regular basis fermentation and putrefaction will occur disrupting gut stability, which in turn leads to gut health problems.
When receiving a diagnosis relating to problems of the digestive system, you will hopefully have been advised about a change of diet, however there will also be a list of over the counter and prescription medications, available which will appeal to many time poor, men and women who need a “quick fix”. Whilst taking this route gets you back to work, running the house, doing the shopping, picking the kids up from school etc. It will not solve the problem long term.
There are many possible causes when we find ourselves being affected by digestive problems. Excess carbohydrates and sugars, which have been shown to promote the growth of yeast and bacteria. Eating to much red meat, white bread, dairy, processed foods, fibre-deficient and overcooked food, alcohol, tea, coffee, medications, (check the list of side effects) laxatives, smoking, environmental factors, stress, can all play a part.
If we look back at the Pioneers like Dr Norman W Walker, Dr Bernard Jensen and John Heinemann they will all confirm that diet plays a major role in the condition of the digestive system. Phillip Day who heads up the publishing and research organisation “Credence” sums it up beautifully with a simple sentence from his book A B C of disease when he states “ it is yet another physical manifestation of humans trying to put diesel into a gasoline-driven automobile”
So how can we help ourselves?
We simply need to look at changing to a lifestyle that is supporting your body instead of destroying it.
Change to a diet high in natural fibre. The easiest way to do this initially is to juice fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, with the aim of flooding the system with nutrients. This can be extremely effective during acute episodes, as well as complete rest until the symptoms ease.
Cabbage juice has been found to be particularly healing for the surfaces of the intestines and this is best blended with other juices to buffer its effects as it can be a little strong on its own.
The high fibre content in spinach makes it a remarkable intestinal tract scrubber. It cleans out the system by removing the accumulated wastes in the digestive tracts by its mildly laxative effect. More importantly, it also repairs, heals and nourishes the tracts and tones up their functions. Also excellent for constipation, colitis, poor digestion or stomach ulcers.
Eat a diet high in fibre, live, raw, fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible, the governments recommended five-a-day is is not nearly enough.
Drink 2 litres of mineral water each day to help flush out impurities. Introduce some pink himalayan salt which will attract water into the gastro-intestinal tract and re-hydrate faeces.
Rest, relaxation and counselling can help reduce any psychological factors.
Colonic Hydrotherapy will also help in cleansing the colon.
Bananas, are easily digested and by the time the waste matter enters the colon, it has collected a mucosal load which helps to soothe and calm the irritated bowel wall.
Bananas are highly nutritious and especially useful when the appetite is affected by the condition.
Probiotics have been used as an ulcerative colitis natural treatment. They are considered safe with no significant side effects. Probiotics introduce “good” bacteria into the intestines which help control the potentially “bad” bacteria. This improves the health of the lining of the bowel and helps to reduce inflammation. (Make sure you get a trusted supplier)
Essential Oils and herbs have been used for thousands of years in treating minor illness, disease, flavouring foods, perfumes etc. There is an ongoing interest in a plant based diet so adding essential oils to the mix makes perfect sense. The suggestions I make here for the oils, which can be taken internally, are for a specific brand only, like anything else a trusted supplier is key. Ginger, Fennel, and Coriander may help ease occasional stomach discomfort, including motion sickness and indigestion, while Peppermint, Tarragon, Anise, and Caraway may aid with digestion and help maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract. If using herbs my suggestion is to buy organic to get the full nutritional benefit possible.
If you are reading this and feeling as if it’s a mountain you couldn’t imagine climbing, and besides you have no desire to give up the foods you enjoy eating. I can promise you, taking tiny steps towards a lifetime change will pay dividends for you and your families overall health and wellbeing.
We have known for many years that diet plays such an important role in our health and wellbeing. During my research a few years ago I came across this little gem – Most of the information around the subject comes from the USA but here we have a prominent English Surgeon who wasn’t afraid to voice the truth – We are what we Eat!
Sir William Arbuthnot Lane a prominent english surgeon who lived from 1856 until at 87 years old when he was run over during the second world war in London1943, believed that all chronic disease stemmed from chronic intestinal stasis. De-registered by the General Medical Council early 1920’s because he advocated diet as a prevention of cancer.
Addressing the John Hopkins Hospital and Medical College he said;
“Gentlemen, I will never die of cancer. I am taking measures to prevent it… It is caused by poisons created in our bodies by the food we eat… What we should do, then, if we would avoid cancer, is to eat raw fruits and vegetables; first, that we may be better nourished; secondly, that we may more easily eliminate waste products… We have been studying germs when we should have been studying diet and drainage.. The world has been on the wrong track. The answer has been within ourselves all the time…. Drain the body of its poisons, feed it properly, and the miracle is done.
Nobody need have cancer who will take the trouble to avoid it.”
Carol Brace Natural Juice Therapist
doTERRA Wellness Advocate