If you’ve been feeling lethargic, suffer from constant bloating, have trouble sleeping, experience low mood or endure regular brain fog your gut may be out of balance. Our gut microbiome is incredibly important when it comes to our health. When it’s out of balance it can lead to a number of health issues. Recent studies have even shown that our gut health has an impact on our mental health. Known as the gut-brain axis, our gut has been dubbed the second brain.
What is the gut microbiome?
There are trillions of bacteria, fungi and viruses in our bodies. Collectively they are called the microbiome. Our gut microbiome refers to the microbes in our intestines that live in our intestinal tract.
What happens when our gut microbiome is out of balance?
A person with an out of balance gut microbiome may experience the following symptoms:
• Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, gas and acid reflux
• IBS or IBD
• Weight gain
• Trouble absorbing beneficial nutrients from their food
The good news is there are lots of medicinal herbs that can help to restore your gut health. Today we’re going to cover some of them.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger has been used in Asia for centuries to treat gut issues such as nausea, upset stomach and bloating. It is often recommended to pregnant women for morning sickness.
How to use it: To use ginger, make ginger tea or simply add it to your cooking. Take a shot of ginger juice if you really love the spicy flavor ginger provides.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric, known as the golden spice, has many medicinal benefits. It comes from the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) and contains a chemical called curcumin which is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It’s said to help reduce swelling, improve digestion, aid weight loss and detoxify the liver.
How to use it: You can add turmeric to your cooking, make turmeric golden lattes or take a daily turmeric supplement.
Burdock Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Burdock root is high in antioxidants helping to detoxify and cleanse the blood. It also contains high quantities of inulin compounds, a soluble prebiotic fiber that acts as food for the gut microbiome. It works by reducing inflammation in your gut whilst soothing the gut lining with it's mucilage properties which acts as a protective layer to help heal the gut lining. It also increases blood flow to the stomach which aids healing. You can use burdock root to help with inflammatory digestive issues, aid skin issues like psorasis and eczema, as well as for use to help support lymphatic and diuretic symptoms from fluid retention.
How to use it: Burdock root is available in capsule, as a extract tincture or a tea. You can also use the root in soups or stews.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Chamomile has been known for years as a digestive relaxant. It has a calming effect on the body and can soothe tense muscles. It’s often used to treat indigestion, flatulence, motion sickness, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. In children it’s used to treat croup, colic and fevers.
How to use it: Chamomile is most commonly made into a soothing tea.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
It is said that eating fennel after every meal helps aid digestion and reduce gas build up. Recent studies have shown that fennel can reduce inflammation of the bowels, while also decreasing gas inducing bacteria's. Another study suggested that fennel could help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
How to use fennel: Fennel is best used in cooking. It can be roasted, grilled, braised or sautéed.
There are many different herbs that help support the digestive system, but these are just a few of our favorites. So, if you are in need of some extra support in balancing or healing your gut health then these herbs will be a great addition to your regimen to balancing your gut microbiome and helping to support a healthy gut and lifestyle.
Leave a comment below and tell us if any of these are your favorite or if you have tried them. We would love to hear your feedback on these amazing plant allies for supporting a healthy gut.