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Indigestion

  • Dyspepsia



  • Definition

    Failure of proper digestion and absorption of food in the alimentary tract, and the consequences thereof.


    Causes

    May be caused by lack of Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) in the stomach, needed to digest food, or may be caused by emotional factors. May be caused by disorders of the stomach or of the small and/or large intestine, but can be a disorder in itself. Chewing with the mouth open, talking while chewing, swallowing too much air by gulping down food, and washing down needed enzymes for digestion by drinking liquids during a meal result in indigestion. They cause a fermentation of food in the colon that produces hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Carbohydrates are the main food source responsible for gas because of the bacteria they contain. It is important to find out which foods your body cannot digest and stay away from foods that cause this reaction. Stress and a lack of digestive enzymes can also cause intestinal problems. Of the estimated 30 million people in the United States who suffer from chronic digestive disturbances, most will have one or more of the following causes: wrong food combinations, not chewing food properly, overeating, anxiety and/or nervousness, swallowing air while eating, an intolerance toward sugars, fats, or starches.


    Symptoms

    Abdominal pain or discomfort, gas, heartburn, a bad taste in the mouth, foul breath, coated tongue, headache, sometimes difficult breathing and/or palpitations, a bloated feeling, sour belching, nausea, vomiting, a heavy uneasy feeling in the stomach after eating, and a burning sensation after eating.

    Stomach Acid Self-Test: Determine if hydrochloric acid is needed by taking a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. If this makes your heartburn go away, then you need more stomach acid. Sip apple cider vinegar mixed with water with meals. If it makes your symptoms worse, then you have too much HCL and shouldn't take enzymes that contain HCL.

    Indigestion sufferers gobble up antacid tablets by the ton every day in the United States. An occasional antacid tablet to relieve stomach upset is harmless, but to take antacid tablets constantly, week after week, is asking for trouble. Doctors have found that phosphorus depletion can result from frequent antacids not of a dietary nature. These cannot be absorbed. Bones are the "storehouse" for phosphorus, but when this mineral is inadequately supplied, the bones are in danger of becoming soft or brittle. Many over-the-counter antacids, liquid or tablet, contain either or both, magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide. Neither can be digested by human stomachs. The fully absorbable magnesium mineral which occurs naturally in various foods and plants is so valuable to human nutrition. These 2 hydroxides can bind gastrointestinal absorption of phosphorus resulting in a state of debility characterized by weakness, anorexia or loss of appetite, and a feeling of being ill (malaise). Mother Nature, the true alchemist, can provide the treasures of her plant kingdom to neutralize acidity gently, safely, and effectively.


    Treatment

    Chinese Formulas
    Ayurvedic Formulas


    Nutrients

    Aloe vera juice, 1/4 cup on an empty stomach in the morning and at night, will relieve heartburn and gastrointestinal symptoms. Proteolytic enzymes, 2 tablets with meals and 1 tablet with snacks, is important to relieve gas and bloating. Acidophilus, 1/2 hr. before meals, is necessary for normal digestion. Garlic capsules, 2 capsules with meals, aids in digestion and destroys unwanted bacteria in the bowel. Vitamin B complex, 100 mg. with meals, the B-vitamins are essential for normal digestion. Alfalfa (tablets or liquid), taken as directed on the label, supplies needed vitamin K and trace minerals. Pancreatin, 3 after meals, is a helpful digestive enzyme.


    Herbs

  • TB
    • Agrimony
    • Alder
    • Angelica
    • Anise
    • Arrowhead, broad-leaved
    • Asafoetida
    • Ash, American mountain
    • Avens, water or purple
    • Balm, lemon
    • Balmony
    • Basil
    • Bayberry bark
    • Bay leaves
    • Beech
    • Betony, wood
    • Birch
    • Bitterroot
    • Blackroot
    • Blessed thistle
    • Bloodroot
    • Boneset
    • Buckbean
    • Burnet
    • Calamus
    • Capsicum
    • Caraway
    • Cardamom
    • Carrot, wild
    • Cascara amarga
    • Cascara sagrada
    • Catnip
    • Cayenne
    • Celandine
    • Celery
    • Centaury
    • Chamomile
    • Cherry, wild or black
    • Chickory, root
    • Chives
    • Cinquefoil
    • Cohosh, black
    • Coltsfoot
    • Comfrey (do not use over long periods of time)
    • Costmary
    • Cow-parsnip
    • Cranesbill
    • Dandelion
    • Dill
    • Dogwood, flowering
    • Echinacea
    • Elecampane
    • Elm slippery
    • Fennel
    • Fenugreek
    • Feverfew
    • Flag, sweet (calamus)
    • Flaxseed
    • Fringe tree
    • Garlic
    • Gentian, blue, root
    • Ginger, wild
    • Ginseng, dwarf
    • Goldenrod
    • Goldenseal root
    • Gold thread
    • Gravel root
    • Gum plant
    • Hops
    • Horehound
    • Horsemint
    • Horseradish
    • Hyssop
    • Indian hemp, black
    • Ironweed
    • Juniper berries
    • Labrador tea
    • Leverwood
    • Licorice
    • Linden (American basswood)
    • Liverleaf (sharp-lobed hepatica)
    • Lobelia
    • Magnolia, cucumber
    • Mallow, high
    • Marjoram
    • Meadowsweet
    • Milkweed
    • Mint teas
    • Mint, wild
    • Nutmeg
    • Oat fiber
    • Onion
    • Orange, bitter
    • Orange, mandarin peel
    • Oregano
    • Origanum
    • Osha
    • Papaya
    • Parsley
    • Pau d'arco
    • Pennyroyal, American
    • Persimmon
    • Peruvian bark
    • Peppermint
    • Pineapple-weed
    • Pleurisy root
    • Poplar
    • Prickly-ash, northern
    • Primrose, evening
    • Ragwort
    • Red root
    • Rosemary
    • Sage
    • Salify
    • Sanicle
    • Sarsaparilla
    • Savory
    • Skullcap
    • Solomon's seal
    • Sourweed (sorrel-tree)
    • Soybean
    • Spearmint
    • Star grass
    • Stillingia
    • Stonecrop, ditch
    • Strawberry, common or Virginia
    • Tamarack (black larch)
    • Tansy
    • Tarragon, wild or Russian
    • Thistle, milk
    • Thyme
    • Tuliptree
    • Valerian
    • Vervain, blue
    • Virginia snakeroot
    • Wafer ash
    • Walnut, black
    • Watercress
    • Willow
    • Yam, wild
    • Yarrow sweet
    • Yellow dock
    • Yerba buena


    Recommendations

    If upper gastrointestinal gas pancreatin or lower gastrointestinal gas trace minerals are needed, antacids are useless. When having problems with excess gas, use the juice of one fresh lemon in one quart of lukewarm water as an enema to balance the pH of the body. Acidophilus is good because a shortage of "friendly" bacteria is often the problem.

    Consume balanced meals with fibrous foods, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grain foods.

    Avoid refined carbohydrates (sugar), such as bakery products, macaroni, dairy products, caffeine, citrus juice, tomatoes, pepper, carbonated beverages, potato chips, junk foods, fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, red meat, beans, and snacks. Decrease salt intake. Processed food, junk food, and all dairy products cause excess of mucus formation, which results in inadequate digestion of protein. Limit intake of peanuts, lentils, and soybeans. They contain an enzyme inhibitor.

    Food combinations are important. Protein and starches are a poor combination, as are vegetables and fruits. Do not drink milk with meals. Sugars should never be consumed with proteins and starches. Sip one tbsp. pure apple cider vinegar in a glass of water with meals to aid digestion.

    Charcoal tablets are excellent for absorbing gas, but they interfere with other medication and nutrients. Do not take over long periods of time.


    Suggestions

    Drink the juice of a lemon in a cup of water first thing in the morning. This is a good healer and blood purifier. Hypoglycemics (low blood sugar) and people who have had abdominal surgery should take pancreatin to help digest foods. After meals, use pancreatin if a stuffed feeling or a rumbling and gurgling from bloating and gas occurs.

    Rice and barley broth relieve gas, bloating, and heartburn. Use 5 parts water to one part grain, and boil for 10 minutes. Put the lid on and simmer for 55 minutes more. Strain, cool, and sip throughout the day.

    Exercise, such as brisk walking and stretching enhance the digestive process.

    The elderly typically lack HCL and pancreatin.

    Chew food thoroughly; do not gulp it down in a hurry.

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