Did you know that digestion is more than pooping? Ha, what a way to start a conversation huh! It’s true though!
You might want to grab a cup of Peppermint tea while you read this. It will help you digest it.
Over the years I’ve coached people on various aspects of their health.
One of the questions I would always ask was “How’s your digestion?” And inevitably, the answer was always “I poop okay.”
I’d shake my head, make a mental note to ask a better question, and explain that digestion is so much more than pooping.
Don’t get me wrong, pooping is great and way better than being constipated. Not going for days at a time means the sewer system is backed up and needs a good flushing.
When I studied Iridology I learned that if you looked into someone’s eyes (it’s very intense looking deeply into someone’s eyes) when you were doing their eye reading, and couldn’t decide which system was the most important to work on, the best option was to always start with their digestive system.
Many different traditions say disease starts in the gut.
A bad diet, stress, what you think and your emotional state can all lead to imbalance.
If you look in your medicine cabinet (not your herbal apothecary) would you find a bunch of over-the-counter remedies for heartburn, gas, constipation, hemorrhoids, acid reflux…?
As a culture, we’ve decided that burping, heartburn, bad breath, sour stomach, constipation, leaky gut, irritable bowel, depression, anxiety, food sensitivities, allergies, irregular periods, and diarrhea (the list of digestive complaints is endless) are normal.
Well, I’m here to tell you all those things are clues that your digestive system is on the fritz.
Even things like acne, rosacea, and rashes can be a signal that you aren’t assimilating or eliminating properly.
A healthy digestive process mirrors your relationship with the world.
Ideally, you take in exactly what you need without overconsuming and easily let go of what you don’t need.
Simple, but not easy.
I was in a yoga class once and the instructor had us hold out our arms with our palms up toward the sky as we received, and then turn our palms down toward the earth as we released. Back and forth. Receive, release, receive, release…
I loved that idea. It is true of life and our digestive systems.
Digestion is a core pillar of your health.
It is one of the foundational systems upon which the rest of your health relies.
And, I’m not just talking about the things you put in and the stuff that comes out. Although that’s super important. Your emotional state has a big impact on your physical health.
There’s a deep connection between thoughts and emotions and your digestion.
You’ve heard the phrase “You’ll worry yourself sick” or what about when you get a “gut feeling” or when you have “butterflies in your stomach” or something that was “gut-wrenching”?
There’s a reason why we use these expressions so often, it’s because the digestive system is really sensitive to emotion. Feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, and sadness, are all known to trigger symptoms in the digestive system.
How does that happen?
It’s actually a signal from your gut to your brain. This “gut-brain” connection is powered by its own special nervous system and it’s called the second brain. It’s actually quite amazing.
Our emotions don’t just happen within our minds. They literally inhabit our bodies.
I know when I’m stressed for whatever reason, my digestion gets wonky. Even if I’m eating healthy foods which oftentimes I’m not when I’m stressed, I get more bloated, more constipated, and more uncomfortable in my body. And my sleep suffers because my digestive system is on overload.
It’s also easier to get sick when your digestion isn’t up to snuff because a large part of your immune system is in the gut via the microbiome and lymph.
Everything in your body is connected.
Many of the foundational herbs for your Herbal Home Apothecary are perfect to help you with Mind, Body, and Spirit.
Chamomile can help if you often find yourself triggered and depleted by small stresses. These seemingly small pressures can add up over time and create chronic health issues. Chamomile can help whether it’s bad digestion, poor sleep, constant agitation, and anxiety.
If you live in a persistent state of fear Chamomile reminds you to relax and
allow yourself a bit of inner peace and give yourself BIG LOVE.
She can help you release stored tension from the stomach and solar plexus.
Chamomile rules the digestive system, the emotional body, and the nervous system.
Valerian helps you to widen your lens on any situation that is giving you anxiety or stress. Remember to go easy on yourself and don’t push too hard. It wreaks havoc on your digestion and the rest of the body.
Try Valerian if you’re overly analytical, judgemental, or in high-trigger mode. Step back and evaluate.
There is a way to be kinder and still be true to yourself.
Valerian reminds you that it’s okay to take a nap, especially if you think naps are too lazy for you to indulge in! Napping allows you to relax if only for 10-20 minutes.
Valerian deeply relaxes the body and mind to help you experience deep states of sleep, better digestion, rest, and a greater mystical reality.
In Hindu mythology, Tulsi is considered to be the living gateway between heaven and earth and is believed to be a manifestation of the divine within.
Tulsi helps the body adapt to stress, soothe the digestive tract, increase longevity, boost immunity…
Also called Holy Basil, Tulsi suggests that you are at your strongest when you let Spirit help with the daily ups and downs of life.
What if you’re perfect just the way you are? What if you don’t need to be more spiritual, more kind, more anything?
You’re already a sacred being.
Tulsi says, stop looking outside yourself for the answers. Listen to your intuition. Live and create your life from a place of wonder rather than from doubt and confusion. Celebrate you just the way you are.
Herbs work in a way that over-the-counter drugs and pharmaceuticals never can.
Herbs work on the whole of you. Each one has its own unique gift to offer. When healing is needed at the deepest level look to the plants. It may take time, but you’re worth it.