Ayurveda teaches digestion is the most influential bodily process on our health. Digestion includes what we eat, what we assimilate, and what we eliminate. If we are not assimilating our foods properly, our tissues can be depleted, infiltrated with toxins, and disease can ensue.
Digestion is the epicenter of our immune system, and primary door way through which all nutrients and pathogens enter. Healing the intestinal tract is imperative for anyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle. Proper functioning digestion influences all states of health, contributes to disease, and can be a powerful catalyst in disease reversal.
How Do You Know If Your Digestion Is Working Optimally?
Ayurveda has a saying ‘don’t flush the evidence.’ There is a great deal we can learn about the function of our body simply by observing our bowel movement.
When digestion is functioning optimally, there is no pain or discomfort, gas, bloating, abdominal distention, belching, or burning. You should have at least one, well formed (banana shaped), bowel movement each day that is 6-12 inches in length. It should come out effortlessly.
Healthy craving for foods that truly nourish the body also indicate strong digestion. Strong craving for sugars indicate bacterial imbalance, systemic toxins and imbalanced digestion. Thin bowel movements indicate a lack of fiber and/or inflammation. Light colored stool indicates inadequate liver/gallbladder function. Formless bowel movements that stick to the side of the toilet indicate a lack of digestive enzymes, poor fat assimilation and systemic toxicity. Take our digestive quiz to identify your digestive tendency.
What Can You Do To Improve Digestion?
The best thing you can do to help heal your digestion is cleanse the body. When we cleanse our body we allow our digestive tracts to rest. In this resting phase the digestive system is able to heal. When we are continually breaking down foods that we consume we deprive our body of the ability to heal itself.
That said, there are several ways to let the digestive system rest and choosing which one is best for you depends on several factors such as current toxicity levels, digestive strength, and current lifestyle responsibilities. Working with a trained cleanse expert can help you develop an ideal program for you that addresses your unique concerns.
At Hamsa, we utilize juice cleansing, soup fasting methods, and healing herbs that help repair the intestinal lining so that your digestion begins working optimally again. Book a consultation or cleanse program with Monica Yearwood, Hamsa’s Cleanse Expert and Ayurvedic Practitioner for your personalized program.
Including probiotic rich and alive foods are also important for digestive health. However, introducing these foods to quickly or if there is a bacterial or yeast imbalance can cause discomfort (gas, bloating, emotional irritability). In which case, using natural antiobiotics such as coconut oil, peppermint oil, or garlic can help balance gut bacteria. Blood alteratives such as burdock root, dandelion root or manjistha can also help to destroy pathogenic bacteria while repopulating the gut.
Learn about ‘The Belly Warmer’ — a delicious morning drink for healing the GI Tract. Make the recipe.
Using intestinal healers such as marshmallow root, licorice root and ghee can reduce inflammation in the gut and improve nutrient assimilation. And avoiding trigger foods that cause inflammation such as coffee, alcohol and processed foods can greatly improve digestive strength and quality of life.
Other helpful blog entries for digestive health!
Recipe ‘The Belly Warmer’ — a morning beverage for digestive health. Learn how to make it here.
Meditation ‘Manipura’ — The City of Jewels & origin of our central fire. Learn the meditation here.
Quiz ‘Determine Your Digestive Type’ Take the quiz here.