The gut is the gateway to health.

flowers - Avondshoek Estate, Tzaneen, Gauteng Province, South Africa [2007 ©]

Most, if not all of our problems emanate from the gut. Diet can cure infections of the gut but will take a very long time if used on its own, therefore it is useful to go in with herbs, probiotics, fermented foods and amino acids to assist with the healing while changing the diet.

It is impossible to heal ourselves if we do not heal our gut. So many diseases can find their root in a degenerated gut. Autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, ADD and ADHD, autism, seasonal allergies, eczema and acne, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome to quote just a few.

The gastro-intestinal tract or digestive system plays 3 major roles. It is the largest organ of the body after the skin and acts as a barrier to the outside world that protects us from whatever there is that would like to bring us harm. Secondly, 95% of our neurotransmitters are produced in our gut and these keep our mood levels even and balanced. Anxiety and depression are most likely due to something going on in the gut, either an infection or an imbalance. Thirdly, 80-90% of our immune system is in our gut, and without a functional immune system any number of diseases have a passageway into our bodies. Our gut is made of tightly woven cells that create a barrier that is impermeable. On this barrier there are million of tiny finger like structures called villi that protrude into the intestines and absorb the nutrients needed by the body and move them into the blood stream.

Now we bombard our systems with foods we are sensitive to such as gluten or dairy, medicines we are on, antacids, painkillers, steroids, toxins we breathe in, drink or eat. We are stressed and even age plays a role here, but all these things disrupt the functioning of the gut. Given enough of these stresses and the tightly woven cells of our gut-lining break apart and then large particles of food that are not meant to get into our blood stream manage slip in. Gluten for instance, one of the most inflammatory foods, gets into our system and triggers autoimmune diseases such as ADD, Graves disease, migraines, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and many others.

The thing to do then is to seal up the breakages in the lining and bring the gut back intact.  Removing from the diet foods we are sensitive to, inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and toxic foods such as caffeine, sugar and alcohol is the first step. Secondly,  using herbs, remove infections, whether parasites, fungus infections such as candida or bacterial overgrowth that continuously attack the gut lining. Re-inoculate with probiotics to bring the colonies of good bacteria back into balance. Restore the correct pH within the gut using digestive enzymes. Most people have a pH that is too low, probably due to poor diet, which causes acid reflux and feelings of discomfort in the stomach. Antacids are then used to try and alleviate the problem when a bile-salts should be taken instead to increase the acid levels. Finally repair the gut with herbs and amino acids. L-glutamine rejuvenates the gut lining quicker than anything else. Slippery elm, marshmallow, vitamins A and C and Zinc are all excellent wound healers, and after all a tear in the gut lining is a wound.

Trust your body, give it the foods and liquids that are beneficial to it and it will know how to utilize these to bring you back to health and keep you healthy.

Balch, P.A.:2002. Prescription for herbal healing. Avery. New York, USA

Balch, P.A.:2006.Prescription for nutritional healing.  Avery. New York, USA

Marieb Elaine N:  Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology. Fourth Edition. The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc. California.

Dr Amy Myers

Moritz, A:2005.Timeless secrets of health and rejuvenation. Ener-Chi Wellness Press

Published Date: 23 Oct 2014