Healthy Digestion and Homeopathy
There is a common saying that “you are what you eat”. However, it goes beyond this, with
what you can digest, absorb and eliminate also having powerful effects on your overall
health. Healthy digestion and nutrient absorption allows your body to function and repair
itself, while elimination prevents the build-up of toxic waste.
Common Digestive Complaints
Digestive complaints that we commonly see in practice include general indigestion,
heartburn (reflux), abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, constipation, gas and bloating. These may
occur individually, or be symptoms of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or
an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Serious illnesses, including the IBD subtype Crohn’s
disease, require an integrative treatment approach, but homeopathy can significantly
improve health and quality of life.
Simple Steps to Better Digestion
A healthy diet is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Vegetables, fruits,
wholegrains, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, fermented dairy, and (unless you are vegetarian)
lean meat such as fish or poultry should all be incorporated except in the cases of allergies
or intolerances. Adequate water intake must be ensured to prevent dehydration and
constipation. Food should be eaten consciously and chewed thoroughly, in order to properly
stimulate gastric acid and digestive enzymes.
Our gut bacteria also play a significant role in digestive and overall health. You may be
familiar with advertisements for probiotics, but dietary changes can be equally or even more
effective. For example, shifting to a more plant-based diet is linked with a reduction in
harmful, inflammatory species, and an increase in protective species. This can not only lead
to improved digestive function, but better health in other aspects such as the cardiovascular
system too. Fermented foods, which both contain and support protective species, may
reduce inflammation and promote healing of the digestive tract.
There are hundreds of homeopathic remedies that may help with digestion, but the right
remedy for you depends on your individual symptom picture. Often odd-sounding symptoms
and general temperament will point in the direction of the best remedy.
Homeopathic remedy selection is very complex, we need to match the holistic picture of the individual with right remedy. Self treatment is always dangerous. Symptoms always need a doctor;s review to rule out major health issues.
Using indigestion as an example, here are four homeopathic remedies that may be prescribed, and how they differ:
– Nux vomica is commonly prescribed when indigestion is the result of coffee, too
much partying or long hours of intellectually taxing work. Digestion is slow and there
is high acidity. The typical Nux vomica patient is thin, active, irritable, and has a fiery
– Pulsatilla is often given when fruit, pastries or fatty foods cause indigestion. It is
predominately a female remedy, in particular where there is a gentle personality and
the patient cries easily or has changeable symptoms. Health problems in Pulsatilla
patients typically appear around puberty.
– Lycopodium is indicated in slowly-developing ailments, where functions such as
digestion weaken and fail. Heartburn can last for hours, and a Lycopodium patient
can feel full from the smallest meal. Indigestion is brought on by cabbage, beans and
other fermentable foods.
– Finally, Carbo vegetabilis is often prescribed to debilitated patients who have not fully
recovered from a previous illness, and have very sluggish digestion and circulation.
Indigestion in this case features “contractive pain” radiating to the chest, and
symptoms can be triggered by any food, in particular fats.
If digestive difficulties are interfering with your ability to live your best life, feel free to book a
consultation here to see which remedy is right for you.
1: Hechtman, L, 2014, Clinical Naturopathic Medicine, Elsevier.