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Digestive Distress, part one

Monday, March 05, 2018 3:47 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
Digestive Distress, Part One
by Susun Weed



Step 1. Collect information . . .


As the mix of hormones in your blood changes during your premenopausal years, you may notice the effects on your gastrointestinal tract both directly - estrogen is a gastrointestinal stimulant and varying levels may swing you from loose stools to dry ones - and indirectly, as the hormonal load places ever heavier demands on the liver.

Hormones have a strong effect on the motility of the intestinal tract. When your levels of estrogen and progesterone change (as they do throughout menopause, during pregnancy, and before menstruation and birth), your bowel patterns change, too.

Your liver is, among other things, a recycling center. It breaks down hormones circulating in the blood when they are no longer needed and makes their "parts" available for the production of more hormones. During the menopausal years some hormones (such as LH and FSH) are produced in such enormous quantities that your liver may struggle to keep up with its recycling work, and have little energy left over for digestive duties. Help yourself with these Wise Woman Ways.

Step 2. Engage the energy . . .

~ Bless your food out loud before you eat; say grace; thank the plants and animals who nourish you; breathe in and feel grateful.

~ My mother's favorite way of preventing digestive distress and ensuring regularity was to eat at regular times and go to the toilet at regular times. You'd be surprised how effective this is.

~ First thing in the morning, get yourself a cup of hot water (or herbal tea) and bring it back to bed. Sip it slowly, and gnaw gently on your bottom lip. Then lie on your back and bring your knees up, feet flat on the bed; place your palms on your belly and breathe deeply. Gently begin to rub your belly (in spirals): up on the right, across the middle, and down on the left. Soon you will feel the movement gathering momentum. Sit up slowly and head for the toilet.

Step 3. Nourish and tonify . . .


~ Yellow dock root vinegar or tincture is a wonderful ally for menopausal women with digestive distress. Daily doses of 1 teaspoon/5 ml vinegar or 5-10 drops of tincture eliminate constipation, indigestion, and gas. Yellow dock is especially recommended for the woman whose menopausal menses are getting heavier.

~ Dandelion is everyone's favorite ally for a happy digestive system and a strong liver. It relieves indigestion, constipation, gas, even gallstone pain. How to use it? Have a glass of dandelion blossom wine. Eat the omega-3-rich leaves in salads. Enjoy the phytoestrogenic roots as a vinegar or tincture (a dose is 1-2 teaspoons/5-10 ml vinegar or 10-20 drops tincture taken with meals) or as a coffee substitute.

~ Any rhythmical exercise, especially walking, relieves digestive gas and improves intestinal peristalsis (the movement of feces). Oriental wisdom says the liver loves movement.

~ Motherwort, fenugreek, vitex, or black cohosh tinctures, taken daily, strengthen digestion and ease menopausal digestive woes. Or try a cup of garden sage tea.

~ If constipation occurs due to a lessening of the moistening, lubricating cells in the colon, slippery foods such as slippery elm bark powder, oats, seaweed, flax seed, and seeds from wild Plantago (or cultivated psyllium) are wonderful allies. Adding a teaspoon/5 ml of any, or better yet, all of them to a cup/250 ml of rolled oats and cooking until thick in 3 cups/750 ml of water is a delicious way to prepare this remedy.

~ My favorite remedy to relieve digestive and gas pain is plain yogurt. Sometimes even a tiny mouthful will bring instant relief. Acidophilus capsules work, too. I use both when dealing with chronic constipation or severe diarrhea.


~ Part 2 ~

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