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Gastric distress is something people have been dealing with for millennia, am I right?
So what do we do about it?
I know what I do, and I know what the TV commercials tell us to do, but what did people do 100 years ago? I pulled out my Principles of Medical Treatment to investigate.
This sections had three main parts: acute indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation. These may seem pretty standard. Pop an antacid, take some Pepto-Bismol, take a laxative, there’s always a drug for whatever ails you.
But we don’t like drugs, do we?
Gastric Distress – The 1916 Way
My book offers simple and practical advice for treating gastric distress. Have the patient rest and remove the cause of the symptoms if possible. Let the digestive system rest with a simple diet, typically just water and broth until the patient feels they can handle food. Hunger and a clean tongue (as opposed to a coated tongue) are the markers for being able to assimilate food.
For diarrhea, an enema may be helpful for removing the irritant, and starches consumed should contain little cellulose. They also suggest drinking green tea or red wine could help. Huh. Wine seems like an interesting choice.
For constipation, they offer many options for enemas to help clean out the rectum, as well as consuming the old standard of prunes.
Overall, the suggestions are fairly basic and are things I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about today.
Gastric Distress – The modern, natural way
Like I said, the advice is simple and practical. While running to the pharmacy may make us feel better faster, we’ll be better off if we take care of our body, let it rest and recover, and remove what is causing the problem. Of course, if the problem is severe, you should go to the doctor.
Here are some more suggestions for natural relief from gastric distress:
- Probiotics: Taking probiotics helps balance your gut and helps prevent, as well as provides relief from, gastric distress.
- Essential oils: My favorite is using Digestive Blend – I rub a couple drops on my stomach whenever it is upset.
- Ginger: Whether you are taking ginger tea, oil, or freshly grated on some rice, ginger can be very helpful for soothing an upset tummy.
- Activated charcoal
- For constipation: Chia seeds. Make jam, gluten free breads, super smoothies, or puddings with them. When I eat them regularly, my digestive system moves very well. I actually have to be careful about how much I eat, or things move a bit too fast.
- Most importantly: apply heat, drink broth, rest, and stay hydrated!
If gastric distress is a common problem for you, consider what may be causing it. Are you under chronic stress? Is your diet poor? Could you been sensitive to something you eat a lot (like dairy or gluten)? An elimination diet or a lifestyle change may be just what you need to find relief.
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