an article by Susun S. Weed
1: Collect Information
the mix of hormones in your blood changes during
your premenopausal years, you may notice the effects
on your gastrointestinal tract both directly - estrogen
is a gastrointestinal stimulant and varying levels
may swing you from loose stools to dry ones - and
indirectly, as the hormonal load places ever heavier
demands on the liver.Hormones have a strong effect
on the motility of the intestinal tract. When your
levels of estrogen and progesterone change (as they
do throughout menopause, during pregnancy, and before
menstruation and birth), your bowel patterns change,
liver is, among other things, a recycling center.
It breaks down hormones circulating in the blood
when they are no longer needed and makes their "parts"
available for the production of more hormones. During
the menopausal years some hormones (such as LH and
FSH) are produced in such enormous quantities that
your liver may struggle to keep up with its recycling
work, and have little energy left over for digestive
duties. Help yourself with these Wise Woman Ways.
2: Engage the Energy
· Bless your food out loud before you eat;
say grace; thank the plants and animals who nourish
you; breathe in and feel grateful.
My mother's favorite way of preventing digestive
distress and ensuring regularity is to eat at regular
times and go to the toilet at regular times. You'd
be surprised how effective this is.
First thing in the morning, get yourself a cup of
hot water (or herbal tea) and bring it back to bed.
Sip it slowly, and gnaw gently on your bottom lip.
Then lie on your back and bring your knees up, feet
flat on the bed; place your palms on your belly
and breathe deeply. Gently begin to rub your belly
(in spirals): up on the right, across the middle,
and down on the left. Soon you will feel the movement
gathering momentum. Sit up slowly and head for the
3: Nourish & Tonify
· Yellow dock root vinegar or tincture is
a wonderful ally for menopausal women with digestive
distress. Daily doses of 1 teaspoon/5 ml vinegar
or 5-10 drops of tincture eliminate constipation,
indigestion, and gas. Yellow dock is especially
recommended for the woman whose menopausal menses
are getting heavier.
Dandelion is everyone's favorite ally for a happy
digestive system and a strong liver. It relieves
indigestion, constipation, gas, even gallstone pain.
How to use it? Have a glass of dandelion blossom
wine. Eat the omega-3-rich leaves in salads. Enjoy
the phytoestrogenic roots as a vinegar or tincture
(a dose is 1-2 teaspoons/5-10 ml vinegar or 10-20
drops tincture taken with meals) or as a coffee
Any rhythmical exercise, especially walking, relieves
digestive gas and improves intestinal peristalsis
(the movement of feces). Oriental wisdom says the
liver loves movement.
Motherwort, fenugreek, vitex, or black cohosh tinctures,
taken daily, strengthen digestion and ease menopausal
digestive woes. Or try a cup of garden sage tea.
If constipation occurs due to a lessening of the
moistening, lubricating cells in the colon, slippery
foods such as slippery elm bark powder, oats, seaweed,
flax seed, and seeds from wild Plantago (or cultivated
psyllium) are wonderful allies. Adding a teaspoon/5
ml of any, or better yet, all of them to a cup/250
ml of rolled oats and cooking until thick in 3 cups/750
ml of water is a delicious way to prepare this remedy.
My favorite remedy to relieve digestive and gas
pain is plain yogurt. Sometimes even a tiny mouthful
will bring instant relief. Acidophilus capsules
work, too. I use both when dealing with chronic
constipation or severe diarrhea.
White flour products slow the digestive tract; so
does too much grain-fed meat. Whole grain products,
well-cooked beans, wild meats, and cooked greens
speed it up.
Add more liquids and soft foods to your diet - applesauce,
yogurt, nourishing soups, herbal infusions - to
help relieve constipation. Chew your food slowly
and savor it. Drink lavishly between meals.
Menopausal women will want to avoid the use of bran
as a laxative, as it interferes with calcium absorption.
Instead try prunes, prune juice, rhubarb with maple
syrup, or figs.
Ginger tea with honey is a warming, easing drink
when your tummy is upset. Ahhh. Try the fresh root
grated and steeped in boiling water, or put a tablespoon
of the powdered stuff from your spice cupboard in
a cup of hot water and enjoy.
Crushed hemp seed (Cannabis sativa) tea - rich in
essential fatty acids - is a specific against menopausal
Herbal laxatives such as aloes, cascara sagrada,
rhubarb root, and senna are addictive and destructive
to normal peristalsis. Except in rare cases (such
as relief of constipation for a ninety-year-old
woman confined to a bed), I do not advise their
5a: Use Supplements
and digestive distress are common side effects from
taking iron supplements. A spoonful of molasses
with 10-25 drops of yellow dock root tincture in
a glass of warm water is a better way to increase
iron, and improve elimination.
6: Break & Enter
and colonics are last-resort techniques. They do
not promote health and may strip the guts of important
flora. Regular use of enemas is highly habit-forming.
For the sake of your health, avoid them.
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Disclaimer: This content is not intended
to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions
made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose,
treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or
symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided
by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare
practitioner with a specific formula for you. All
material on this website/email is provided for general
information purposes only and should not be considered
medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable
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care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second
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Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.ashtreepublishing.com
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and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international
reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings,
and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges
conventional medical approaches with humor, insight,
and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine.
Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic
lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.
Susun is one
of America's best-known authorities on herbal medicine
and natural approaches to women's health. Her four
best-selling books are recommended by expert herbalists
and well-known physicians and are used and cherished
by millions of women around the world. Learn more
article is © copyright Susun
S. Weed 2004 - Republished here with kind permission.