In my now 20 year old book, Herbal Medicine for Health and Well-Being (sterling 2004) I wrote that “Digestion is the key to health. The four day conference I just attended on The big Island of Hawaii strongly reinforced that understanding with the additional scientific studies of the past 20 years.
The pathways are now understood on how a healthy digestive tract is crucial in areas such as bone health, immune system regulation, and neurological conditions such as parkinson’s and dementia as well as the more obviously GI tract related issues ranging from heartburn, gastric reflux, IBS/crohn’s/colitis, gas and bloating, and oral health conditions.
The good news is we are not helpless in relationship to all of this. In addition to making healthy diet and lifestyle choices – did you know that daily consumption of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, beet kvass, and miso do more to restore a healthy microbiome than taking probiotics? There is now significant support through research and clinical trials showing how specific nutrients and herbs can and do turn these processes around.
If any part of this is speaking to you I hope that you will look beyond the approaches most commonly offered in our society of symptom suppression – the “fixes” that fix nothing:
- Acid blockers
- Antibiotics and other medications (which all disrupt the microbiome)
- Medications that “build stronger bones” yet do nothing to reduce the risk of fractures.
With the toxicity of living on this planet, for most of us, health interventions are not something to be done for a short period of time and then stopped. Our bodies have too much to deal with for that to be the case. Supporting the health of our bodies, for most, is an ongoing, dynamic process – meaning it changes from one moment in time to the next.
Can we engage in this process of supporting the dynamic balance of health in the body with joy? The need to give your health attention is not a failure on your part. Can it be seen as one of the many opportunities for learning and growing and engaging with life? I am ongoingly immersed in this process and always happy to share in yours.