Digestion Problems

Most digestion problems stem from too much stress on the digestive system.  Digestion requires calmness and digestive enzymes to aid in the breakdown of food to help us properly absorb nutrients in the small intestine. Having a quiet mind and feeling calm is one of the best ways to support healthy digestion. Enzymes are necessary for every chemical action and reaction in the body. Our organs, tissues, and cells are all run on metabolic enzymes. Minerals, vitamins, and hormones need enzymes to be present so they can properly do their job. In 1966, a Scottish medical journal proclaimed, “Each of us, as with all living organisms, could be regarded as an orderly, integrated succession of enzyme reactions”.

There are Two Categories of Enzymes

  1. Metabolic Enzymes, which are necessary for: immune system health, managing the body’s processes, repairing the body, cellular energy, and stimulation of the brain.
  2. Digestive Enzymes, which aid in the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. There are four categories of food enzymes.  Within each category there are numerous enzymes.  
  • Lipase breaks down fat
  • Protease breaks down protein
  • Cellulase assists in breaking down cellulose
  • Amylase breaks down starch

 Digestion Problems

Bloating, gas, belching, irritable bowel, inflamed bowel, colitis and Crohn's disease can be healed by eliminating toxins internally and in your external environment, balancing stress, eating whole foods, taking herbal remedies, replenishing  healthy bacteria and connecting with your passion. 

Allergies, asthma, lupus, chemical sensitivities and many other immune system conditions can stem from digestion problems; without healthy digestion our immune system cannot function optimally!

If you are suffering from brain fog and moodiness it could be due to weak digestion, because the brain requires healthy digestion for the assimilation of proteins and fats.

The brain requires a lot of fat for optimal performance and without healthy digestion we can have difficulty with digestion of fats and proteins.  According to Nora Gedagauda who wrote Primal Body-Primal Mind  the brain is made up of more than 50% fat —up to 70-80% of dry weight. In fact, the body’s highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids are in the brain.

Healing digestion problems

Since childhood I suffered from digestive problems producing IBS, constipation, lots of fatigue, season allergies and asthma, and why this is why I began learning about my health!

When I discovered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in 1992 it taught me how to help myself become stronger; the first thing I needed to do was heal my digestive system and cleanse my liver.

 I became a holistic nutritionist, herbalist and bodywork therapist because I found food, herbs and balancing stress does matter. I founded both Simple Remedies Herbal Solutions (2003), which I sold in 2009, and Way of Life Matters (2009-present) because I know the way we live our life does affect our digestive, immune and hormonal systems and our mental/emotional health.

 While I owned Simple Remedies Herbal Solutions, I, with the help of others, made formulas from the many bulk herbs we had. One of those formulas was a blend of herbs for digestion to sooth, aid and heal, allowing the digestive system to become stronger.

Liver herbs also aids in digestion of fats and proteins because bitter flavor foods and herbs help the stomach lining secrete hydrochloric acid (HCL) which is essential for the absorption of fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates.  

Taking a good herbal blend such as my Digestion Blend along with a Digestion Healing Diet can help you live a life without discomfort - it did for me.

Natural Solutions for Digestion Problems

It took almost two years for my digestive system to recover from:

  • too many pharmaceuticals from childhood allergies and asthma.
  • a teenage knee injury from the age of 16-26.
  • taking Ibuprofen for pain and inflammation. 
  • IBS and constipation.

For two years I had to make sure my food was easily assimilated and would not cause:


I needed to focus on foods and herbs which would:

Nourish my kidney essence or microbiome by building my nutrient reserves with whole complex foods and herbs;

Strengthen my spleen/stomach / pancreas (Earth Element).  I used pungent, bitter, sour and salty flavour foods and herbs. I made sure some of my food was lightly cooked to assure easy digestion but still rich in enzymes and those other heat sensitive nutrients (vitamins/antioxidant/amino acids/essential fatty acids);

Increase HCL secretion from the stomach lining and aid in the digestion of fats and proteins.  I used warming bitters such as turmeric root and fenugreek and other bitter and salty flavour from full spectrum salt – I prefer Himalayan salt;

Help build and nourish my blood. I ate foods which are easy to digest, like:

  • soups made with bone and/or potassium broths
  • fresh vegetable juice with ginger (pungent) added first
  •  kefir, yogurt, whey (jersey or goat milk)
  • fermented foods, sauerkraut, rejuvelac, kombucha, soy sauce, tempeh 
  • super greens
  • congee or potato water
  •  stews

Help replenish healthy bacteria (gut biome) through fermented and cultured foods;

Anti-Candida Diet - Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates 

Help keep candida yeast over-growth, fungus and parasites at bay, by using bitter and sour herbs and foods.  I also avoided refined foods such as flour and sugar which feed candida yeast;

Help with liver stress from many years of:

  • life’s stressors from childhood and teenage years
  • too many pharmaceuticals
  • too much alcohol and recreational drugs in my teen/young adult years
  • using chemical-laced products on my body with chemicals
  • using chemical-laced products in my house with chemicals
  • being a cosmetologist for 16 years

Replenish my nutrient reserves with super greens, bone broth, potassium broth, fresh vegetable juice, sole, fermented and cultured foods and sprouted foods.  Himalayan sole also helps the stomach lining secrete HCL;

Nourish my adrenal glands with  super greens and adaptogens; and,

Clear toxins from my liver, nourish my kidney essence (constitution) and strengthen my stomach/spleen/pancreas. I drank bitters to aid in the secretion of HCL and help clear toxins and strengthen my ability to digest fats and proteins. Clearing toxins also supports and strengthens  the immune system. 

Healing  Solutions for Digestion Problems

Some of us will always have to keep on top of our health; I am one of those people who will continuously have to be aware of how I treat my body so I do not suffer from digestion problems. I am thankful for those who have taught me and I am grateful for taking the time to learn about my health; feeling awful and on medication was not the way for me to live a full, energetic, happy life. 

Now I listen to my body and check in with myself for guidance so I can keep my balance in life.

Home assessments are a great way to see what is going on with your health.
Such as knowing your transit time and if you are secreting enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) for proper digestion. 
For transit time eat white sesame seeds and time how long before you see them in your stool.
Drink 1/2 cup beet juice and see if your urine turns pink or red. The more red the less secretion of HCL.


My symptoms of stress:

I know when there is too much stress in my life; my knee, due to my knee injury, becomes weak, and according to TCM the liver governs the ligaments. I also know when I am under too much stress when my vision becomes blurry; the liver also governs the eyes and the thyroid gland. 

If I begin to feel fatigue from too much stress, I increase my adaptogens and Vitamin B rich foods and super foods. I like to take a larger dose of Super Green Energy Blend to ensure I am receiving all I need for true energy. I also take desiccated liver for my blood; it has done wonders in my overall energy levels. Most of all I move more slowly, allowing myself to rest and recover.

Digestion is strongest between 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Liver does its repair between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.

Super Greens are rich in B vitamins, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzyme activators and have help build nutrient reserves. 

Super Foods are highly nutrient rich foods and plants necessary for good health. Super Foods are rich in  adaptogens, B vitamins, Anti-Oxidants and much more, and mostly they help build nutrient reserves, so we can have good circulation, strong digestion and natural energy. 

Adaptogens support adrenal health by helping us recover from too much stress. Adaptogens help build the body's energy reserves. 
Some adaptogens are:

  • Super greens because they are highly rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and enzyme activators
  • Herbal teas
  • Herbs and food which sooth and heal when there is a flare up - inflammation
  1. Slippery Elm Bark
  2. Marshmallow Root
  3. Cabbage juice
  4. Congee

Chinese Medicine for Digestion Problems

Great Chinese remedies for helping to heal and strengthen digestion problems.  Remedies to  help stop pain and other digestive discomfort.  I have used them all but prefer the professional curing pills or Plum Flower which you can pick up at the health food store.

  • Earth- Harmonizing by Golden Flower (professional product)
  • Quiet Digestion by Health Concerns (professional product)
  • Curing Pills by Plum Flower
  • Po Chai Pills / Bao Ji Wan – Patient

Metagenics Ultra Clear Plus
really assisted healing my digestion problems

One supplement that I used to heal my gut was Metagenics Ultra Clear Plus. This product is amazing and since my gut has healed I no longer need to take it unless I have a setback. This can happen when there is more than I can handle, such as moving, family health issues or death, fire behind our house in the mountains – over-whelming situations can’t always be balanced at the time but there are many ways to address imbalances later.

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