Let’s get real for a minute. We’ve all had tummy troubles before. Maybe you’ve had persistent bloating or a rumble in your tummy after you’ve had a few too many (tacos or margaritas).
Whether it’s something you ate, didn’t eat, or can’t really pinpoint – your digestion + gut health is influenced by so many things. The reality is many things in your living environment can affect your digestive health. In addition to those margaritas and tacos, stress, activity level, medications and chronic illnesses can cause digestive problems like gas, bloating and diarrhea. By making modifications to your diet and incorporating herbs and supplements can help you quiet the rumbling in your tummy.
The first step to knowing what herbs to consider is getting a better understanding of your digestive problem.
How long does it take to digest food?
First things first — let’s have a little science lesson. Many people assume that having a bowel movement after a meal means that the food you just consumed was digested. That’s far from reality. Food takes a really long time to make its way through the 30 feet of the digestive tract inside our bodies. It takes about six to eight hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine, and can take another 36 hours to pass through the colon. Depending on the person, it takes anywhere from two to five days for that taco to turn into waste.
For some people, that process can take even longer. This can make you feel bloated and gassy, causing you to burp more than usual and, in some cases, feel nauseous. Aside from the terrible feeling in your stomach, slow digestion can affect your energy levels, mood and your sleep cycle.
Many things that make life easier — and tastier — can slow down your digestion. Heavily processed foods, fatty and fried foods, alcohol, caffeine and dairy products are harder for the body to digest, making the digestion process much slower.
We know, changing your diet is easier said than done. A baby step to a healthier gut is adding herbs to her diet. Herbs have natural curative agents that can decrease bloating, improve liver function and decrease (or increase) appetite depending on the herb used. When you’re experiencing slow digestion, incorporating pantry staples like ginger, cumin, fennel, and cardamom into your food can help get you back to neutral.
An even bigger step is creating a digestion treatment plan that incorporates digestive aids.
Gut Check from WTHN is a digestion aid you should consider adding to your digestion treatment plan. Using many pantry staples, Gut Check helps you kick your metabolism into high gear. It is packed with ingredients like:
- Organic Chinese yam, which contains allantoin, a natural compound that can accelerate healthy tissue growth
- Organic cardamom seed, which can help protect against bad gut bacteria and prevent ulcers
- Organic mint leaves, which have been found to alleviate symptoms of digestive conditions
These elements have been found to increase digestive enzymes, reduce bloating and gas, and boost metabolism.
Emerging from a food coma
Maybe persistent digestive problems aren’t your problem. Perhaps you really did just have a few too many margaritas and tacos. Many people experience occasional digestive stomach upset due to overeating or drinking.
When you eat too much, you force your body to more work than it’s used to. The stomach leaps into action, releasing more enzymes — and acid — to breakdown the food. That acid can build up inside of your stomach, causing heartburn, bloating and gas.
Similarly, when you drink alcohol, your stomach produces more acid than usual, which irritates the lining of the stomach causing stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. That’s why we often become close friends with our toilet bowls after a night of bar hopping. Over time, heavy drinking can cause serious health issues like ulcers and gastritis.
The occasional night of debauchery doesn’t require a regular digestive treatment plan. Still, you can benefit from taking herbs that are specifically designed to help you recover from your food coma or your night of partying. Elements like ginseng, peppermint and turmeric have long been used to settle stomach upset from drinking and eating a little too much. Oops I Did It Again can also help.
Oops I Did It Again is packed with ingredients that may help you feel less tired and achy and more clear-headed. Some of the key herbs include:
- Organic kudzu, a Japanese root believed to help strengthen your digestive and circulatory systems and help calm your body.
- Organic medicated leaven, which has been found to help relieve stomach pain, diarrhea and the bubble guts
- Organic peppermint leaf, which has long been used to treat gas, bloating and indigestion, as well as relieving headaches and migraines.
- Among other ingredients.
Looking for an herbal detox
Maybe you’re not looking for a long-term digestive aid or a quick fix for a night out. Maybe what you’re looking for is a full body refresh. If you’re generally healthy, doing a detox cleanse a couple of times a year is a great way to get rid of excess waste that tends to build up inside all of us.
Many cultures have used body detoxes for centuries as a way to boost energy, strengthen the immune system and help with weight loss. Traditional Chinese medicine uses herbs like ginger, dandelion root, magnolia berry and artichokes to help flush toxins out of the body.
But here’s the thing, not all detoxes are created equal. Some detoxes can be very harmful, stripping out good bacteria from your body without replacing it. Some detoxes require you to drink kind of yucky concoctions for several days, which do not contain adequate protein and can cause severe digestive discomfort.
Clean Slate does neither. Taken for a few days between meals, this formula helps remove built-up toxins. Some who have taken Clean Slate report having clearer skin, more energy and a night of more restful sleep. It’s stuffed with cleansing herbs like:
- Organic dandelion root, which is a highly nutritious plant that contains potent antioxidants that may fight inflammation and promote a healthy liver.
- Organic amla fruit (AKA Indian gooseberry) plays an essential role in Ayurvedic medicine and is high in vitamin C, amino acids and minerals.
- Organic eclipta leaf, also an important herb in Ayurvedic medicine, it is used to detoxify the liver.
Whether you’re looking for a daily routine, a quick fix or a total body refresh, consuming herbs is a natural way to relieve discomfort. We recommend you speak with your doctor about the herbs you take to optimize your health.