I have Celiac disease and the gut damage that comes with years of it going undiagnosed. There is a very common set of symptoms ravaging the “industrialized” nations including nutritional deficiencies; chronic diarrhea or constipation; skin rashes like acne, eczema and psoriasis (this is the body’s way of trying to remove toxins any way possible because the liver is overloaded); a low-functioning immune system; headaches; brain fog and memory loss; fatigue; and even ADD and ADHD. All of these have been linked to something called “leaky gut”.
Leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is the result of damage to the intestinal lining where the cells lining the gut wall actually start to separate, no longer forming a tight juncture, and allow particles that have not finished being broken down into their useable forms to make their way through the intestinal lining and into the body. This creates an immune system reaction, releasing stress hormones and decreasing the body’s ability to digest, incorporate nutrients, reproduce, and more. The body is attacking what it feels is an intruder, leading to increased inflammation (an immune system response) and keeping the body in a parasympathetic nervous system cycle. Basically, leaky gut throws the whole body out of whack every single time you eat, leading to chronic health issues and autoimmune conditions.
Treating leaky gut involves removing things like food triggers and environmental toxins and allowing the body to heal. This is a long process. I tend to recommend the gut healing protocol from the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. If you think you might have leaky gut or food sensitivities, I recommend starting there as it is outside the scope of this magazine.
As a part of my gut healing protocol, I enjoy a gut healing tea every day between breakfast and lunch as well as before bed. I tend to add or remove things as my health needs change, but here is the recipe for my basic gut healing tea and some extras you can add as needed. I focus on anti-inflammatory, soothing, and tonifying herbs to help bring the gut back to a healthy place and to try to tighten those junctures between the microvilli so the food stops escaping before it is properly digested.
This post has been moved to my business blog, Natural Herbal Living, as this blog will be shut down soon. You can get the full recipe there!
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