What is Intestinal Health?
The intestines (or bowels) complete the process of digestion (breaking down the food we consume on a daily basis). Most chemical digestion and absorption of food occur in the small intestine - a long, coiled organ about one inch in diameter.
The intestinal glands (tiny organs found in the lining of the small intestines) release digestive enzymes and mucus to aid the digestive process. Nutrients are absorbed throughout the small intestine. Glucose, amino acids, water-soluble vitamins, and minerals are absorbed into the blood vessels that then carry the completely digested food throughout the body.
Enzymes from the pancreas and intestinal glands continue the breakdown of proteins and change starch into simple sugars and fats into fatty acids. The body digests and absorbs fat with the help of bile - a thick yellow green fluid released by the liver. Bile is stored in the gallbladder and released into the duodenum.
What Causes Intestinal Problems?
When food is not digested properly, it lies in a semi-digestive state in our intestines (bowels). A multitude of ‘good’ bacteria gather in the intestine to help digest the food further. A common by-product of this fermentation process is intestinal gas. Further gastro-intestinal disorders can result from irritation of the bowel, due to food intolerance or other irritants – and cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), impacted stool (constipation) and watery stool (diarrhea).
Help for Intestinal Problems
Many herbal and homeopathic remedies have been formulated with specific ingredients to promote abdominal health and support the digestive system. Matricaria recutita is a medicinal herb, used for centuries as a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic. Its calming properties make it an extremely effective treatment for digestion problems. Similarly, the homeopathic preparation Carbo Veg. is particularly effective for individuals suffering from indigestion, sporadic constipation and diarrhea, sour belching, wind and bloating.