Herbs For Indigestion
Herbs For Indigestion
In The clinic we use many herbs for ingestion. The label “indigestion” is used for a wide range of symptoms, all of which are due to a functional problem in the stomach caused by inappropriate eating habits. Indigestion (or dyspepsia) can be accompanied by pain, flatulence, heartburn and other symptoms. The causes of these symptoms can be categories:
1. Irregular Eating: The function of the body is characterised by rhythms, and in the stomach- and in fact the whole digestive system- is no exception to this. If meals are taken irregularly, these rhythms are disturbed and functional problems may result. Shift-workers for instance are prone to this.
2. Overeating And Eating Too Quickly: If too much food goes into the stomach, either at any one time or over the course of the day, the stomach will be over loaded and thus work with reduced efficiency. Overloading causes problems in the stomach that may affect the whole system. Obesity is the most common result. Also when food is eaten too quickly and not chewed thoroughly it causes problems; food will not be digested properly and may pass through the system undigested.
3. Eating The Wrong Foods: Many people are allergic or intolerant to certain foods, even though the symptoms might not be very obvious. Any food that causes a problem should be eliminated from the diet altogether. A typical example is food containing gluten, such as wheat bread. Another common allergen is cow’s milk.
4. Nervous Tension: The stomach like the whole digestive system is affected by stress and anxiety.
By taking all these factors into account and by changing one’s diet and lifestyle accordingly, indigestion can be treated. There are a number of herbs that will speed up the healing process, but obviously they will have to be chosen according to the cause. The most important remedy is Meadowsweet, which will settle the stomach and reduce any excess acidity.
The demulcents can be very useful, a good one begin Irish Moss, though the other digestive demulcents like Slippery Elm will also do.
If digestion is sluggish, bitters like Gentian, Golden Seal and Wormwood will help. If there is flatulence, the carminatives should be used. Good ones for the stomach are Aniseed, Balm, Cardamon, Fennel and Peppermint.
If there is nervous tension involved, the nervine relaxants are indicated, especially those that aid digestion, such as Chamomile, Hops, Lavender, Rosemary and Valerian.
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Source:The New Holistic Herbal: David Hoffmann.