Natural Remedies for Health

Remedies for Health

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The Gastrointestinal System

There are many causes of abdominal disorders. Common abdominal disorders are a result of psychosomatic factors, such as nervousness, stress, tension and strain. Most other problems are due to the body's defective digestion and absorption of food. These can be due to either hormonal imbalances or bad eating habits.

Ordinarily, children fall prey to abdominal diseases because of malnutrition, inadequate food or improper food. This can start in the womb itself. Most mothers want their children to be round and chubby and so may "force feed" them with the wrong diet. The children's system, however, cannot take this burden and digestive problems can result.
Examples of bad eating habits are as follows:

  • Eating fruit with or immediately after meals. Fruit require nearly a quarter of the time taken for digestion when compared to other types of food, such as fresh vegetables or meat. This disrupts the digestive system and gives it more work.
  • Eating fruit with sugar. Sugar makes fruit ferment, resulting in the production of gas and heartburn.
  • Drinking water during meals or immediately after meals. The digestive juices become diluted and slow down the digestive process.
  • Boiling vegetables in too much water or cooking or frying vegetables (except tomatoes). This results in the loss of essential nutrients.

Vitamin K and most types of vitamin Bs are synthesised by bacteria in the intestines. These are similar to the ones present in yoghurt. The growth of these bacteria depends on diet.

Garlic, fibre foods, carrots, cabbages, and all vegetables with cellulose increase the growth of these organisms. Eating natural home-made yoghurt regularly helps destroy putrefactive bacteria in the intestines and improves the digestive process. Fresh fruit and vegetables help maintain the acid-alkali balance of your body. For gastritis, ulcers, colitis and gastroenteritis, as a result of excess heat in the body, increase the intake of soothing okra, fruit and yam. For digestive weakness, increase the intake of hot foods, such as ginger, fennel and aniseed.

By developing good eating habits and following certain simple rules, such as eating the right type of food for adequate nutrients, eating at regular intervals, avoiding excessive spicy and fried foods, eating in moderation, not going to bed immediately after eating, many gastrointestinal disorders can be prevented or even treated. Eating young and fresh vegetables grown without chemical fertilisers supply more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients than those in stored or canned foods.

Selecting the right type of food is considered an art, and with some interest, effort and patience, it can be easily developed. Certain types of foods and herbs prevent many disorders of the body, and, when taken in the right combination, are key ingredients in a healthy lifestyle. For a healthy digestive system, the food we take should primarily include:

  • Bitters as all bitter foods and herbs increase the appetite and aid in the digestive process.
  • Hepatics as they strengthen and activate the liver.
  • Laxatives as they ease bowel movements.
  • Relaxants as they help relax the tissues.
  • Carminatives as they increase the peristaltic motion and prevent the production of excess gas.
  • Astringents as they firm the tissues of the system.
  • Antispasmodics as they prevent spasms or colic.
  • Anti-microbials as they prevent infections.
  • Sialogogues as they stimulate the production of saliva, thereby helping in the digestive process.
  • Emetics as they induce vomiting to eliminate toxins from food.
  • Anthelmintics as they prevent any parasitic worms.
  • Demulcents as they prevent any possible inflammations in the digestive tract.