The nitty-gritty. The stuff nobody likes to talk about. According to “consumer-health.com,” American’s spend over 700 million dollars on LAXATIVES every year. We also use them more than any other country. What the crap? Sorry, couldn’t help it. What is the deal here? Bad digestion and constipation are probably the greatest offenders of bad health in our country. We are just a big tube in our middle. Starting with our mouth, stomach, intestines, colon, and out. When we are children and relatively healthy, this tube works quite well. It even puts up with the massive amounts of abuse that we put it through in the form of junk foods, medical drugs, stress, chemicals, etc. But somewhere along the chain, the tube starts breaking down. It stops working so well. You can’t digest your food so well. You can’t eliminate waste so well. You start getting poisoned from the inside out. We should be going to the bathroom at least once A DAY. If not, the body is storing stuff. So again, I will list a few causes and then some simple solutions you may take to fix this issue.
CAUSES: The main causes here are food, stress, toxins, and lack of activity. We overeat because we are malnourished. GLUTEN and PASTEURIZED DAIRY are probably two of the worst. Other offenders would include fried foods, quick prep grains, anything packaged, fast food, bad food combinations, eating late, etc. All of these will congest your system over time. Overeating of even healthy food will do the same. Toxins and drugs are everywhere. They are in our food. They are in our water. They are in our skin products and shampoos. These are irritants. It’s like stubbing your toe in the same place every day for years. Eventually it gets irritated. STRESS is huge as well. We need to be relaxed while we are digesting our food. If you are under stress at work, home, or life in general; you will not be digesting optimally. Living in loud, polluted environments or spending too much time around EMF’s will do it as well. If you are not sleeping well, your digestion will also suffer. Eating late at night means that you are attempting to digest AND heal/eliminate at the same time and really clogs things up after a while. Sitting at an office all day will do the trick as well, as inactivity stagnates your lymph, blood, and doesn’t allow circulation to do its job very well.
Ok, so these are the causes. It is mainly our poor lifestyle and mental/emotional habits. Do we really need to stress out about buying that new sports car or flat screen TV? Let’s look at some basic ways to start fixing this problem. As in the rest of the series, I will list things from basic/easy to difficult.
EASY/FOUNDATIONAL: FIX THE LIFESTYLE. This is the key here. All the cleansing in the world will not help you if you are continuing with your bad habits. Cut out the processed foods (especially gluten/pasteurized dairy). Opt for fresh fruits and veggies, good fats, fresh meats/eggs. Be careful with the raw vegetables. They contain enzymes and healthy vitamins but can be very bad for someone trying to overcome constipation and digestive difficulties. A raw salad every now and then or some spinach is probably fine. Just don’t be munching carrots and kale all day. A juicer and a blender can save you here. This provides good raw nutrition without the fiber having to be broken down by your system. Fresh fruits, lightly cooked veggies, and the occasional raw roughage will help keep things moving. Also, make sure to get plenty of GOOD FAT. This lubricates your system and helps with hormone production. If you are eating grains and nuts, soak them and prepare them properly as not to cause much digestive distress. MOVE. Get some form of mild exercise most days. Walking, biking, hiking, kayaking, bodyweight, etc. Eliminate stress and toxins as much as possible. Move to a quieter location, switch cleaning products, cut back on OTC drugs, etc.
MODERATE #1: HERBS. Herbs are God’s medicine. These will help really get things moving if they have been slow for a while. I don’t know much about herbal formulas but I know of a few that are very good. These are not “laxatives” per se. They are not meant to purge your system and be done with it. They help strengthen and tonify your entire system and can be used safely for extended periods of time until you no longer feel the benefit. Dr. Schulze and Barefoot herbalist both make good formulas for this. Just make sure you get it from a clean, reputable source. Better yet, find a recipe for this and create it yourself. it is much cheaper and the know-how is empowering.
MODERATE #2 ENEMAS/COFFEE ENEMAS. These will really help get things moving. They help eliminate sluggish waste so that your body can start setting things right. Coffee enemas will help cleanse your liver at the same time.
LONG-TERM: MENTAL/EMOTIONAL WORK: This one is tough. Yet it is possible that your digestive difficulties will not be resolved with the above solutions only. Let’s take a quick look here. Digestion/assimilation/elimination. This system has to do with the emotions of accepting and letting go. Can you accept the things that have happened or are happening in your life? Do you walk around pretending like something didn’t happen to you and not facing up to it? Or are you acknowledging it but not “digesting” it? Maybe you are digesting it and accept it, but you can’t LET IT GO. These different aspects will affect different parts of the digestion/elimination system. Deal with issues/traumas from your past and work on accepting what is happening in your present and coming in your future. If you don’t like something about your life, CHANGE IT!
EXTREME: COLONICS. I personally don’t have any experience with colonics. You hear some good things and some bad things. This is probably ok in extreme circumstances every once in a while. This will definitely “clean” the pipes temporarily. But there is more junk stored in the human body than just in the colon/intestines. Also, this is a very “unusual” process for the body to go through. Definitely not found in nature. Dealing with the above issues will usually restore balance to the system with time. I would not do these on a regular basis.
Wow, ok. So these are the basics. Doing the aforementioned will most likely fix any problems you may be dealing with. However, I also realize that there are times when you are in a BIND. Maybe you went on vacation and slipped with the diet for a week eating pizza, bread, ice cream, etc. Now you are home and completely screwed up inside. You just want relief now and not later. What do you do? Well; eat clean light food, sleep a lot, etc. There are certain herbs/remedies that can be taken occasionally as constipation treatments. Senna Leaf is one of these. Epsom salts is another. Enemas can help move things along as well. But try not to rely on the quick treatments. Remember that the KEY is lifestyle. With a good lifestyle the body will fix itself. Just look at where your life is out of balance or “unnatural” and you will find your “cure.”