I am currently on industrial strength antibiotics to deal with an armpit cyst. I know. Glamorous, right?! I am supposed to take 2000mg per day – but I can’t fit that in, so for the past week (and for the next week as well) I am taking 1500mg per day instead. The cyst is responding to the antibiotics, though it isn’t completely gone, but my gut and I are not feeling very happy with all those bacteria killers flying about my system.
I decided to have a look around on line for some ideas to help my gut feel better during and after this course of treatment. It appears I stumbled onto something, because there is a large amount of information out there for people who are troubled with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Disease, Colitis and all sorts of other stuff. I have distilled the information into just four things we can use to give our gut some help.
The first thing is dandelion. Yes, the dandelion which throws gardeners into a froth and often brings out the homicidal tendencies in them… oh… just me then? Actually, all parts of the dandelion are excellent digestive aids. You can use the root, the leaves, the stalks (though be careful with them) and the flowers. You can use them in teas, tinctures, vinegars, honey, oil or even just in a salad. If you take some before meals you can stop heartburn. If you take it after meals it can help with gall bladder pain and improve digestion. Taking dandelion morning and night can alleviate gut pain and even tone your liver.
Next is something called Slippery Elm. Sounds rather disgusting if you ask me, but apparently it is fabulous for assisting a digestive tract in crisis. It is actually the bark from the slippery elm tree which is used to make the remedies (available in health food shops I understand) and it can help to restore balance to an irritated system (IBS/IBD) or a system under attack from Lupus or Crohn’s. Even people undergoing chemotherapy with deeply distressed guts have found improvements with taking Slippery Elm. Something to consider if you are in deep discomfort. Apparently it acts as a counter to food poisoning, can quell acid refluxes and even helps with diarrhoea or constipation.
Next are the aromatic seeds. These are caraway, coriander, cumin, dill and fennel seeds – I have several of these hiding at the back of my pantry cupboard. Take 1 teaspoon of any of these seeds, put in a cup with boiling water and leave it to steep. Drink it while it is still warm, sweetened or not, depending on your taste, and there you have it. It is great for alleviating gas pains and for speeding up digestion. It can also help to counteract the digestion effects of heavy painkillers.
Finally, an ever present item in my house is yogurt. Plain and unsweetened is best, or you can make your own with real (unpasteurised) milk. It is of great use to people with colitis and can also help gut pain, gas pain, stomach pain, nausea and even bad breath. Also, if you have Bioactive yogurt, then you can help to recolonise the good bacteria in your gut once any antibiotics have done their stuff. Yes… bioactive yogurt features high on my shopping list this week!
I hope, if you are in the same boat as me, with a distressed digestive tract, that these remedies might offer some relief to you.