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Digestion and Digestive Health

If you feel bloated or keep getting heartburn or wind after eating you could be suffering from indigestion.

According to Hippocrates, the great master of medicine, ‘all disease starts in the gut’ meaning that if your digestive system isn’t working well, you may be more prone to other health issues. If your digestive system is working as it should, however, you’ll feel lighter, your skin will glow and you will have a lot more energy.

Indigestion is a ‘catch-all’ term for many different symptoms. From bloating and belching after meals, to heartburn or acid reflux and general stomach discomfort, they can all create frustrating and painful symptoms.

There are many natural remedies that can help with different areas of digestion and keep things running smoothly:

Milk Thistle

Close up of a milk thistle flower

With its large purple flower heads, milk thistle is a member of the sunflower family. Native to the Mediterranean, it now grows wild in many other parts of Europe including the UK.

Does Milk Thistle help the liver?

It has a long tradition and solid reputation for helping liver problems, which is confirmed in some scientific papers published on the plant. A meta-analysis of data from 19 clinical trials found that silymarin (milk thistle) had a protective effect in people with liver cirrhosis. Milk thistle also helps to strengthen the liver by preventing the depletion of glutathione, an amino acid like compound, which is essential to the detox process and so can help provide relief of the symptoms associated with excess alcohol intake.

Uses of Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle is traditionally used to relief the symptoms of over indulgence, indigestion and upset stomachs.

Milk Thistle can be found in our Thisilyn range.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds and plant

Fenugreek is a clover-like herb native to the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, and Western Asia. It has a long history of traditional medicinal use for its antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. The seeds are frequently used, especially in Ayurvedic dishes, to warm and soothe the digestive system.

Uses of Fenugreek

Fenugreek appears to have a general anti-inflammatory action on the gut but also calms an upset stomach and relieves constipation. Nature’s Way Fenugreek is available in packs of 100 capsules and is suitable for vegans.

Probiotics

Close up of woman making a heart shape with her hands over her tummy to represent good digestion

Other issues can aggravate bloating (and flatulence) such as an imbalanced gut microbiome.

Probiotics help restore and maintain the beneficial gut bacteria that are essential for the smooth working of the digestive tract. ‘Friendly bacteria’ is another expression for the correct name ‘probiotics’. There are around 400 different microbial species in their billions that live in the digestive tract and more are being found all the time. Interestingly, we do know that at any one time, the friendly bacteria happily living in our bodies can weigh as much as six pounds in total!

What do probiotics do?

Friendly bacteria provide a wealth of benefits to our health including:

  • Helping the body to detoxify
  • Aiding digestion, enhancing absorption of nutrients and supporting the immune system
  • Helping to combat digestive issues such as bloating, flatulence, constipation and diarrhoea – these symptoms are often caused by imbalanced friendly bacteria
  • Helping to produce certain vitamins, specifically the B vitamins and vitamin K
  • Producing the enzyme lactase, which digests lactose found in dairy foods
  • Promoting urinary and genital health

You can find friendly bacteria in Nature’s Way Fortify Probiotic Gummies, containing 6 billion live Bacillus coagulans friendly bacteria per dose – one of nature’s toughest strains of bacteria which is able to pass through the stomach acid to reach the digestive tract where it can do its work.

Turmeric

Turmeric root and powder

With its yellow flowers, turmeric is a member of the ginger family. It is probably best known as the spice that gives curry blends their yellow colour, but due to its active ingredient curcumin, it also has some beneficial healing properties.

How does Turmeric work?

Being rich in curcumin, ground turmeric helps to protect the liver and lower cholesterol levels.  It works by helping to increase bile flow, thus preventing the fermentation of undigested fats in the intestine, which can lead to flatulence, bloating and cramps.

According to ayurvedic traditions, turmeric can also soothe the stomach and balance an upset digestion.

Turmeric can be found in Thisilyn Turmeric Xtra.

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