Saturday, August 8, 2009

the naturopathic method

What kind of environmental activist would I be if I didn't indulge at least once in the digestive supplement movement?

I've actually tried supplements before, but in a more half-assed and unenthusiastic way. Various enzymes have all made me supremely nauseas in the past, so I turned away from the prospect of non-pharmaceuticals. Ten years later, now that the pressing symptom is, itself, nausea, and because my doctor isn't able to see me until the end of the month (after waiting for two months already), I'm revisiting the realm of botanical medicine. Below is the assemblage of my arsenal:

GINGER. Because the newest and most severe current symptom is nausea, I have been adding ginger chews to my astronomical intake of tea (which I have drastically decreased from eight to one or two mugs). Riyazi et al reported in 2007 that several compounds in the volatile oils of ginger root have antispasmotic effects. They are but one of several instances of this observation. So I will begin with 1-2 chews a day, which equates to ~1/2tbs ginger oil.

LICORICE. I have written before about the digestive benefits of licorice. The deglycyrrhizinated licorice chewable tablets (DGL, fructose free) I'm about to begin taking somewhat deviate from my original suspicion that glycyrrhetinic acid was the more prominent anti-inflammatory constituent. Glycyrrhizin is the sweetening component of licorice, which is helpful if you are using pure licorice root at low doses. However, what studies have targeted the anti-inflammatory benefits in humans (Meletis and Zabriskie 2008) of higher exposure of other chemicals in licorice root. Since these are more benign and helpful in higher quantity, and glycyrrhetinic acid becomes harmful (auditory and visual side effects) had to be eradicated. Licorice is typically a more colitis-esque approach, but I'm giving it a go.

PEPPERMINT OIL. The intestinal mucosal complements of peppermint are far from obfuscated. In fact I'm sure I've written about them, too... somewhere. Peptogest is my new favorite oil tablet because the uncontrolled release of teas and leaves does more harm than good. The timed release of concentrated peppermint (menthol, particularly) is essential to getting the chemical to the intestine without releasing in the stomach where it is a known irritant.

PROBIOTICS, HONEY and GARLIC. My final and key player in this offensive is Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50 Billion. I figure, if you're going to do probiotics, go full throttle. I've heard good things about this particular breed of gram-positives. There is a particular sugar in most honeys (fructooligosaccharides) that helps these little buggars to proliferate. This same sugar is found in garlic. So... honey garlic chicken, honey pancakes, garlic toast, honey garlic potatoes... my boyfriend's going to want to kiss me interminably.

Day 1. Here we go.

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