This week we will be starting with the gut/brain connection, and how brain inflammation can CAUSE digestion problems. For the following weeks we will go into specifics about digestion talking about stomach acid, it’s role in many gut dysfunctional patterns, alkaline water and digestion, stress and digestion and pathogens.
Lets dive in……
Have you ever heard of the Gut/Brain Connection?
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The gut is actually called the “second brain”, some scientists are giving it a name called the enteric nervous system. This system has more than 100 nerve cells from the esophagus to the rectum!
Unlike the brain which has MANY different functions in our body, the gut nervous system has one main function: DIGESTION.
From swallowing, to the release of enzymes and stomach acid that break down food, to blood flow circulation that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination…
And what’s really important is that it communicates with the master regulator the Brain and vice versa.
“The ENS may trigger big emotional shifts experienced by people coping with irritable bowel syndrome and functional bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes.
“Approximately 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is located in your gut. Serotonin helps regulate mood, sleep, and learning and can influence your happiness and self=esteem. Serotonin also plays a critical role in digestion by helping to secrete enzymes that help you digest food.”These new findings may explain why a higher-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop depression and anxiety. That’s important, because up to 30 to 40 percent of the population has functional bowel problems at some point.”
So, from this research we know that the gut function can cause brain problems, but what about the reverse direction? How does brain inflammation problems affect the digestive tract?
I’m SO glad you asked.
The brain or central nervous system(CNS), controls digestion as well. For instance, the vagus nerve which exits through the back of the skull bones, is a part of our parasympathetic nervous system which controls REST and DIGESTION.
Improper functioning of this nerve will impair digestion.
Another part of the brain called the hypothalamus, controls secretion of gastric juices, thirst, appetite and weight control, and balances body fluids (among other functions).
This gland is located within one of the cranial bones called the sphenoid.
Disruption in the movement of this bone and you will have digestion problems stemming mainly into the stomach, which is HUGE for the beginning stages of digestion. Inhibit the stomach acid, and you got a laundry list of problems.
These are just two examples of how brain inflammation coming from cranial tension can affect digestion.
There can also be dysfunction within the peripheral nervous system into your spine which can inhibit digestion as well….
For instance, your mid back area controls the stomach function, while the low back controls the function of your intestinal tract…
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I can’t tell you how many patients i’ve seen that had so much cranial tension either as a baby from birth, car accidents/whiplash, hitting their head, concussions, clenching/grinding their teeth that also had digestion problems as a result.
Or low back/Sacral issues that result in constipation and improper mobility within the intestines.
This is why I ALWAYS start with craniopathy chiropractic care in my office for every nutrition patient. If you have brain/nervous system inflammation, it doesn’t matter how well you eat or how many supplements you take, it’s not going to matter.
Heal the brain, and you most likely will heal a good portion of the digestion issues.
Once that is healed you can see the underlying nutritional deficiencies and stress problems that may be at play..
OIL OF THE WEEK
With so many digestive health benefits, DigestZen quickly received the nickname of the “tummy tamer” blend. DigestZen is infused with Ginger, Fennel, Coriander, Tarragon, Anise, Caraway, and Peppermint essential oils, which combine together to help ease occasional stomach discomfort, maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract, and aid in digestion.* This powerful blend can be used aromatically, topically, and internally, and is great for at-home or on-the-go use. For those prone to motion sickness, DigestZen can also be used to diminish feelings of queasiness and occasional stomach upset.* DigestZen provides a safe and natural way to assist in digestive health whenever you may need it.*
Where to Buy DigestZen
DigestZen is one of doTERRA’s most popular essential oil blends due to its profound effect on easing occasional stomach discomforts.* To purchase a bottle of DigestZen, visit the DigestZen Digestive Blend product page. Like all of doTERRA’s blends, DigestZen is made up of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils. CPTG® essential oils are oils that have gone through the CPTG protocol, which contains a series of strict tests that assess each batch of oil’s purity and potency. If the essential oils pass these tests, then they are potent, high quality, and pure essential oils that can be used as single essential oils, in essential oil blends, or in essential oil products. When you purchase from doTERRA, you can feel confident that the oils you receive are high-quality and effective oils that are ready to meet you and your family’s needs.
DigestZen Uses and Benefits
- If you are looking for a healthy and natural way to assist your digestive system, the DigestZen essential oil blend is an ideal option.* DigestZen contains a blend of essential oils that will naturally aid the body in the digestion of food.* To easily obtain these digestion benefits, add one drop of DigestZen oil to 4 fluid ounces of liquid, and drink.*
- The unpredictability and discomfort of occasional stomach upsets can often put a damper on the day. When issues like these arise, apply one to two drops of DigestZen to the desired areas of your skin. DigestZen will also work to soothe occasional stomach upset when taken internally, and can get you feeling ready to take on the day again.*
- Bloating and gas can make your stomach feel tight and full, often leaving you feeling sluggish and unappealing. If you’re experiencing these difficulties, use DigestZen oil.* DigestZen will help reduce bloating and gas so that you can feel your best at any time of the day.*
- Does flying or driving long distances make you a little nervous? Next time you’re planning on traveling for an extended period of time, rub DigestZen oil on your stomach before you take your trip. The sweet, minty smell of DigestZen will provide a calming aroma. You can also add a few drops of DigestZen to water and take it internally to keep stomach jitters at bay.*
- Holidays, vacations, birthdays, and family get-togethers often have something in common: food. And lots of it. Make sure to have DigestZen on hand for these occasions. The DigestZen essential oil blend can be used during these events to promote digestion when eating heavier meals.*
- Whether trying the cuisines of Italy or enjoying the tastes of India, introducing foreign food to the body has the potential to disrupt the stomach’s normal digestion. When you are traveling or exploring new foods, use DigestZen to soothe occasional stomach upset and to promote healthy digestion.*
- For a simple way to incorporate DigestZen into your regular routine, add DigestZen to your water or tea. This will help your body maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract.*
- The DigestZen essential oil blend can ease feelings of queasiness.* If you’re experiencing queasiness, take DigestZen to dismiss these feelings.*
- One of the most relaxing ways to use DigestZen oil is by applying it to the stomach and massaging. An abdominal massage will bring soothing comfort to your stomach and the aroma will provide you with calming feelings. DigestZen can also be applied to a child’s stomach for soothing comfort. Before using DigestZen for a massage, combine it with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to help increase the DigestZen oil distribution and minimize any skin sensitivity.
The digestive and stomach soothing capabilities of DigestZen have made it one of the most popular essential oil blends. Today, the many benefits and uses of the DigestZen essential oil blend have expanded with doTERRA’s DigestZen Product line. This line of products contains a series of dietary supplements that assist the body with digestion, cleansing and filtering functions, metabolism, and more.*
DigestZen® Softgels: These dietary supplements encapsulate the DigestZen essential oil blend in small vegetarian softgels that are easy to consume. The DigestZen softgels provide all of the same stomach-soothing and digestive benefits as DigestZen and can be consumed daily or as needed.*
DigestTab®: These chewable tablets are designed for individuals with sensitive stomachs. DigestTab combines calcium carbonate and the DigestZen oil blend into one supplement that can be taken to provide relief from occasional stomach upset, indigestion, and heartburn.*
DigestZen TerraZyme®:A proprietary blend of whole-food enzymes, DigestZen, and supporting cofactors, DigestZen TerraZyme is a dietary supplement that helps strengthen the body’s production of enzymes, promote healthy digestion, and support metabolism of enzyme-deficient, processed foods. *
GX Assist®: Used as the first step in an essential oil digestive maintenance program, GX Assist uses CPTG essential oils and caprylic acid to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract before the use of PB Assist + (the next step of the maintenance program).* The combination of ingredients in GX Assist provides an unfriendly environment for potential digestive threats.*
PB Assist®+: The second step in the digestive maintenance program, PB Assist+ is a formula of pre-biotic fiber and probiotic microorganisms in a double-layer, time-release vegetable capsule.* This supplement encourages friendly bacterial growth, supports an optimal metabolism, promotes healthy function of the digestive and immune systems, and maintains a healthy intestinal microflora balance.*
Cleanse & Renew: This system includes a bottle of GX Assist and PB Assist +. The combination of these unique supplements will work together to cleanse the body and promote positive bacterial growth.*
Zendocrine® Detoxification Complex: A proprietary blend of whole-food extracts in a patented enzyme delivery system, the Zendocrine Detoxification Complex supports healthy cleansing and filtering functions of the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and skin.*
- Ginger Rhizome/Root
- Peppermint Plant
- Caraway Seed
- Coriander Seed
- Anise Seed
- Tarragon Plant
- Fennel Seed
Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.
Recipe of the week:
Homemade Bone Broth
Bone broth should be a staple food in any kitchen. Full of nutrients and wonderful minerals, bone broth contains a plethora of healing properties!
1 whole free-range chicken OR 2-3 pounds grass-fed or free-range bones (beef knuckle bones, marrow bones, meaty bones, chicken or turkey necks or carcass bones, breastbones, or any leftover bones)
2-4 chicken feet (optional)
Chicken gizzards (optional)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered such as Bragg’s brand)
Celtic Sea Salt to taste (don’t worry about over-salting your broth – this is highly unlikely if using unrefined salt. You will likely need to use 1-2 teaspoons in a 5 quart crockpot full of bones and water)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 large organic carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 organic celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4 quarts filtered water
1 bunch organic parsley
Fill a large stockpot or large crockpot with filtered water.
Add vinegar and all vegetables except parsley.
Add the bones OR the whole chicken.
Bring to a boil and remove any scum that floats to the surface.
Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.
If cooking a whole chicken, the meat should be fully cooked after about 2 hours. Remove the chicken from the pot, separate the meat from the bones and return all bones to the pot of stock. Chicken can be used for other cooking purposes.
If cooking bones only, allow to continue simmering for about 24 hours.
Add the fresh parsley about 10 minutes before removing the stock from the heat.
Allow to cool slightly and remove bones from the broth with a slotted spoon.
Strain the rest through a strainer to remove any bone fragments.
Store in the refrigerator.
Reheat as desired for a delicious cup of healing bone broth.