A few weeks ago I wrote about my pain on my left side and how an X-ray revealed a completely blocked up bowel. Missed that one? Read it here…
So, when I think of bowel health, I think of it in two ways:
1. It needs fiber to get things moving out.
2. It needs lubrication!
When we think of anything that needs stuff moved through it, it needs lubrication. Like an oil or something slimy. I imagine my bowel kinda like an empty hose but instead of moving water through it, I am moving big lumps through it (trying to be lady-like here!). As much as things like fiber can help bind things together, if the outer lining is not slimy or there is not enough water… well it is going to be quite challenging to get it through. Imagine trying to stuff a hairy tennis ball down a hose—with a little bit of oil, it will go through much easier.
I have naturally increased my water consumption in the last few weeks but I decided to support my bowels with something extra… slimy stuff!
In herbal medicine they refer to herbs or plants that create a sliminess as demulcents. Their job is to lubricate things and by doing this they reduce inflammation. There are quite a few demulcents we can use. The key ones are cornsilk, liquorice, marshmallow, slippery elm and ribwort. There are also Kiwi herbs which I am learning more about that have a similar action so will certainly explore those for my New Zealand followers too! (Fisher 2009)
The other consideration I have made is that our gut is incredibly sensitive and it is very easy for the gut lining to become inflamed. Things like being on the contraceptive pill, painkillers and various drugs can really damage it. I had been on the pill for 7 years, so figured this could explain why it was needing some repair work.
My strategy going forward
My thinking is that it is likely that my gut lining is damaged or not very strong. I want to help soothe the gut lining first before even attempting to run any roughage through it.
This is what I have been doing:
1. Drinking aloe vera juice before every meal. I only have about a shot glass of this.
2. I make up a special slippery elm powder drink. This is a combination of different things to make it taste good.
Here is the recipe:
- 1 teaspoon of slippery elm powder
- 3 tablespoons of whey protein powder
- 1 cup of liquorice or marshmallow tea
- Splash of vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon of Teechino (the gluten free one) with water
Make a cup of liquorice or marshmallow tea. When it has seeped through and has cooled slightly, pour it into a blender. Add the slipper elm powder and whey protein powder, plus the vanilla essence. Blend well.
You have now made a version of “milk”.
Make a Teechino coffee in a plunger. Pour your “coffee” into a mug, add some “milk” and sweetener if needed. I use real maple syrup or coconut sugar on days when I need some extra sweetness. This is super delicious and super good for us!
3. I have added back krill oil into my diet. I have read some interesting things about the difference between krill oil and fish oil and will be sharing those with you soon too.
The key difference is that krill oil is easier for our bodies to absorb and digest. It is more expensive but I figure if fish oil is only going to sit in my stomach and not actually get down to where it needs to be, then it is a waste of money anyways!
I will approach the next stage of healing my gut with some kind of fiber blend.
For now, the combination of things seems to be working and the pain is gradually subsiding.
I will keep you all posted and would love to hear any ideas or for those of you experimenting alongside me on this… please try my slippery elm drink and let me know what you think!
It is super yummy! Just like coffee but with super powerful healing properties