Natural Cures Not Medicine: 11/21/13

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9 Signs of a Leaky Gut (and how to Heal it)

Dr. Amy

The gut is the gateway to health. If your gut is healthy, chances are that you’re in good health. However, there’s a condition called leaky gut that can lead to a host of health problems.

What is a leaky gut?
The gut is naturally permeable to very small molecules in order to absorb these vital nutrients. In fact, regulating intestinal permeability is one of the basic functions of the cells that line the intestinal wall. In sensitive people, gluten can cause the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break apart tight junctions in the intestinal lining. Other factors — such as infections, toxins, stress and age — can also cause these tight junctions to break apart. Once these tight junctions get broken apart, you have a leaky gut. When your gut is leaky, things like toxins, microbes, undigested food particles, and more can escape from your intestines and travel throughout your body via your bloodstream. Your immune system marks these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them. The immune response to these invaders can appear in the form of any of the nine signs you have a leaky gut, which are listed below.

What causes leaky gut?
The main culprits are foods, infections, and toxins. Gluten is the number one cause of leaky gut. Other inflammatory foods like dairy or toxic foods, such sugar and excessive alcohol, are suspected as well. The most common infectious causes are candida overgrowth, intestinal parasites, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Toxins come in the form of medications, including NSAIDS like Motrin and Advil, steroids, antibiotics, and acid-reducing drugs. They can also present in the form of  environmental toxins like mercury, pesticides and BPA from plastics. Stress and age also contribute to a leaky gut. If you suffer from any of the following conditions, it’s likely that you have a leaky gut.

9 Signs You Have a Leaky Gut

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

2. Seasonal allergies or asthma.

3. Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.

5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.

6. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD.

7. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.

8. Diagnosis of candida overgrowth.

9. Food allergies or food intolerances.

How do you heal a leaky gut?
In my practice, I have all of my patients follow The Myers Way comprehensive elimination diet, which removes the toxic and inflammatory foods for a certain period of time. In addition, I have them follow a 4R program to heal their gut. The 4R program is as follows.

1. Remove.
Remove the bad. The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract, such as inflammatory and toxic foods, and intestinal infections.

2. Replace.
Replace the good. Add back the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption, such as digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bile acids.

3. Reinoculate.
It’s critical to restore beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria.

4. Repair.
It’s essential to provide the nutrients necessary to help the gut repair itself. One of my favorite supplements is L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the lining of the gut wall. If you still have symptoms after following the above recommendations, I would recommend finding a Functional Medicine physician in your area to work with you and to order a comprehensive stool test.


The cinnamon in holiday cooking reduces blood sugar and can cure the common cold

(NaturalNews) Cinnamon is a frequent addition to holiday meals such as pumpkin pie and mulled cider. Cinnamon can also be used to lower blood sugar, treat the common cold and thin blood. In fact, the drug Coumadin is derived from a synthetic form of cinnamon. Used in Chinese medicine, cinnamon is derived from the bark of a tree native to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The oil from the tree bark contains the active ingredient, cinnamonaldehyde. Cinnamon oil is calming to the nervous system.

Healing uses of cinnamon
Cinnamon can be used to treat heart disease, as it is known to reduce cholesterol. And ongoing research on the use of cinnamon continually shows that it reduces blood sugar. Cinnamon acts as an antifungal and can treat yeast infections and thrush. It can also treat Helicobacter pylori bacterial infections, which lead to ulcers. Cinnamon can be used as a gargle to treat sore throats.

Cinnamon use in Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Egypt and Rome
In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon has been used for over five thousand years to cure colds, improve digestion and treat nausea, diarrhea and painful menses. It can also be used to improve the health of those who have chronically cold feet and hot upper bodies, a condition known in Chinese medicine as "kwai."

Cinnamon was used by the Egyptians to embalm mummies and also to preserve meat. Ancient Romans used cinnamon for coughs and colds and also burned it to clear the air. Romans also used cinnamon for offerings at shrines. Pliny the Elder in the first century A.D. wrote that cinnamon was 15 times more valuable than silver. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, cinnamon is utilized to treat diabetes, indigestion and those with kapha temperaments. Cinnamon is an ingredient in chai tea and, as such, aids digestion of fruit and dairy.

Warning for use of cinnamon
Pregnant women should avoid the use of cinnamon, as it can cause blood thinning that is not beneficial while pregnant. Also, it's recommended that anyone on blood-thinning medication or on diabetic medicine consult with their medical advisers before adding cinnamon to their diet.


About the author:
Talya Dagan is a health advocate and health coach, trained in nutrition and gourmet health food cuisine, writing about natural remedies for disease and nutrition and herbal medicine.

Get Rid of Heart Burn Naturally!

Patricia Bratianu |

Do you experience a burning pain in your chest accompanied by a feeling of fullness or pressure? Do you get gassy or nauseated especially after eating or lying flat? You may have acid reflux disease. It is a very common affliction. Of course, you should get professional help immediately if you are having chest pain that has not been diagnosed. However if you have been diagnosed with acid reflux disease, also known as GERD or gastro-esophageal reflux disease, herbs may help to relieve your symptoms and promote healing of inflamed tissues.

What Causes Acid Reflux Disease or GERD?
Acid reflux is commonly due to a problem with a valve that protects the esophagus from stomach acid. When the digestive system is functioning properly, food travels down the esophagus to the stomach and does not back up into the esophagus because of the valve. When food reaches the stomach, strong acid digests the food.

The stomach has a special lining to protect it from the acid; however, since stomach acid normally does not go into the esophagus, the esophagus does not have the protective lining. If the valve is not working properly, food and stomach acid back up into the tender tissues of the esophagus, causing damage to the esophageal tissues which results in pain and other symptoms of GERD.

Herbs to Relieve GERD

I prefer using herbal teas over other types of herbal preparations for the treatment of acid reflux or GERD. By consuming the herbs in tea form, the herbs coat the irritated tissues and provide quick relief. In addition, teas afford the herbs the longest time to be in direct contact with irritated tissues. While I often recommend herbal tinctures, I do not recommend tinctures for the treatment of GERD, as the tiny amount of alcohol in tinctures may irritate the esophagus.

The hidden secrets of making herbal medicines…right at your fingertips!

Herbs Create a Protective Barrier

One of the best herbs used to treat acid reflux is marshmallow root. Marshmallow root forms a protective barrier between the stomach acid and the esophagus. Its anti-inflammatory properties provide quick relief to raw tissues.

Marshmallow root is best prepared as a cold infusion. Pour one quart of water over two tablespoonfuls of dried marshmallow root. Let it sit covered, overnight. Strain the herb out and compost it. Drink one cup of the infusion three times daily. If you experience an episode of pain, drink additional tea as needed for rapid symptom relief.

In a pinch, simply mix one teaspoon of powdered herb with a little honey and take that for rapid pain relief if you do not have an infusion prepared.

Marshmallow root, like the other herbal remedies for acid reflux, works best when consumed regularly as it will hasten healing and prevent future irritation to the delicate tissues of the esophagus.
Another herb which provides a protective barrier is aloe. You may purchase the juice or gel at health food stores. I prefer the gel. Simply follow instructions on the label. Aloe helps to relieve constipation if that is a concern.

Use Anti-inflammatory Herbs to Relieve Acid Reflux

Chamomile acts as a tonic for the digestive tract. If nausea is present, it helps to relieve it. Chamomile has potent anti-inflammatory effects. It has been used for centuries to relieve digestive symptoms. Chamomile is a relaxing herb. It helps to relieve spasms of the digestive system which frequently are a source of distress for people suffering from GERD.

Calendula is a terrific herb to use as it has many healing qualities which promote digestive health. It improves immune health, enabling the bodies’ own healing powers to restore wellness. Calendula offers a protective barrier to the tissues. It has mild astringent properties which tone the lining of the esophagus and prevent bleeding. Calendula prevents inflammation and pain.

Orange Peels for a Healthy Esophagus

Researchers have discovered that orange peel extract promotes transit of the food through the esophagus. It also provides a protective barrier from stomach acid to esophageal tissues. Researchers recommend that a standardized form of orange peel extract, standardized to 98.5 percent D-limonene, be consumed every other day for three weeks.

Orange peel extract has been the subject of several scientific studies. Researchers believe that orange peel extract helps the food travel through the esophagus more efficiently.  It may also coat the esophagus, preventing exposure to stomach acid if reflux does occur. Experts recommend consuming 1000 mg of orange peel extract every other day for 3 weeks to reduce acid reflux and aid healing of the esophagus.
I believe that adding one tablespoon of fresh or one teaspoon of dried orange peel tea cup of hot water and drinking it four times daily offers the same benefits. Be sure to use organic oranges only.  Drink the orange tea between meals.

Have a Cup of Herb Tea for Relief

Here is an herbal tea which is very helpful for treating acid reflux. Use it in addition to the marshmallow infusion.

Combine three teaspoons of chamomile, three teaspoons of dried orange peel and two of teaspoons calendula. Pour one quart of boiling water over the tea. Let it sit, covered, for twenty minutes. Strain the herbs out and compost them. Drink the tea warm or at room temperature throughout the day. If it is easier for you, combine the cooled tea with the marshmallow infusion. It will enhance the flavor of the marshmallow infusion. If calories and sugars are not a concern, sweeten with honey as desired as raw unprocessed honey offers healing benefits, too.

Herbal teas can be a very effective part of a treatment plan for GERD. Use them liberally in conjunction with other steps which you use to ease pain and prevent acid reflux from occurring.



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