Summer means less meal planning, more impromptu dinners in the park and room service menus while on vacation. It’s all so fun — until it’s not. Nobody’s visions of summer beach bliss includes being bloated and gassy.
Herbalist Adriana Ayales of Anima Mundi has three key products to help us solve our digestion woes. We’ve matched them with some basic reminders on the digestive system overall to help you pick what’s right for you!
3 Ways To Use Herbs For Better Digestion
01 stimulate Digestive Enzymes | According to John Hopkins Medicine, frequent digestive discomfort can often be a sign of digestive enzyme insufficiency. Just imagine what happens when food reaches your gut without being broken down properly! Enzymes like salivary amylase circulate as we chew our food, protease breaks down protein, and other enzymes (mostly produced in the pancreas, then secreted into the stomach and small intestine) break food down into pieces that are actually bioavailable for our body.
Studies also show that having an adequate amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach is key, not only for helping to break down food but for interacting with some enzymes and getting the next digestive steps primed.
Herbs of focus: Herbal tinctures like bitters can be a great way to stimulate the production of enzymes and HCl prior to eating a heavy meal.
Have you ever used bitters? Anima Mundi Amargo Digestive Bitters provides potent extraction of bitter herbs including dandelion, burdock, ginger, and milk thistle. Amargo is formulated to support an increase in enzymatic power.
We love to travel with bitters, even if it’s just across town to dinner at a friend’s. Try this pre-meal ‘mocktail’: squirt 1/2 tsp of Amargo bitters into a glass of sparkling water 15-30 minutes before eating to encourage digestive juices to get flowing.
02 support the Liver + Gallbladder | Often referred to as “accessory digestive organs”, the liver and gallbladder play an important role in the breakdown and utilization of our food. The liver has over 500 major tasks including detoxification, filtering the blood, and producing bile which emulsifies fats in digestion.
Our gallbladder is responsible for storing that bile and then sending it into the small intestines when needed. Ayales explains, “Without bile, we could not digest fatty meals, which leads to a sensation of having a slow and heavy digestion, bloating, and problems of intestinal transit at both ends of the digestive tract.”
Keeping these two organs happy and healthy will support optimal digestion—especially when you’re consuming additional fats and alcohol in the summer.
Herbs of focus: Anima Mundi Fat Belly Tonic is formulated with liver support in mind to counter bloating, gas, stagnation and a backed up metabolism. Green coffee bean, turmeric, garcinia and more help assist fat breakdown, boost healthy digestion, and boost metabolism.
Anima Mundi Belly Love Powder is formulated to support fat metabolism. Ayales selected a high concentration of antioxidants and herbs like cranberry, garcinia, mangosteen, ginger, and hibiscus to assist with healthy fat breakdown, reduce bloating, support balanced metabolism and fight inflammation.
Belly Love Powder is easy to dust into anything you enjoy every day from smoothies to juices. Sometimes we simply dissolve the powder in water to drink as a digestive tonic in the morning between meals.
03 support the Small And Large Intestines | This part of the digestive tract is what you may normally think about with gut health. Your small intestine functions in food breakdown mode, but is mainly focused on absorption. Your large intestine houses much of your microbiome where it’s job is to metabolize some of the remaining nutrients and eliminate waste. This is the longest transit time before elimination, around 12-24 hours, so you can imagine the potential for digestive trouble.
A well-balanced microbiome (ie. no candida overgrowth — remember, candida loves sugar and alcohol!) is particularly important to ensure this part of digestion goes smoothly. Plus, reducing inflammation and protecting against any troublesome pathogens can reduce the potential for disturbances along the way.
Herb of focus: Anima Mundi Pau D’Arco. This Latin American herb has a long and well-documented history of use by the indigenous peoples of the rainforest. It has received extensive scientific research for its ability to protect against candida overgrowth as an astringent, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral herb. Add 1 tsp to your favorite juice, smoothie or tea up to two times a day, at anytime that works best for you.
All three of Anima Mundi’s digestive supporting products are great picks. If you’re not sure where to start, we suggest trying the Amargo Digestive Bitters and adding it to your pre-dinner routine!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs. This story is brought to you in partnership with Anima Mundi. From time to time, TCM editors choose to partner with brands we believe in to bring our readers dedicated offers.