Better Digestion... Better Hair!

The stress – body Connection.

There is a direct relationship between the stress we experience and our intestines. This direct relationship is personified in the ‘tenth cranial nerve’ or ‘vagus nerve’. Thus, in other words, there is a direct communication line between our head and our abdomen. This means that our abdominal organs are immediately aware when our central nervous system goes into overdrive. Our whole body then presents itself as if we are in danger. In prehistoric times it meant that we went on to “fight or flee”. A side effect of the ‘fight or flee’ response is that the digestive system goes ‘out of order’. It would be inappropriate to have to go to the toilet urgently when you are attacked by a mammoth. Very smart of our body.

But since many modern people suffer from chronic stress, the effect on their digestion is correspondingly. An important way to treat problems in the abdomen is logically wise: the art of relaxing. A proper and lived breathing, sufficient outside air, movement, use of soothing herbs, ….

Bitter herbs

In this blog however, I want to focus on the use of bitters and their positive effect on digestion. “Bitter” is not the most popular taste, but it is the bitter vegetables and herbs that contribute to our digestion. Most bitters support our liver to optimally perform its function as a detoxifier of our body. In addition, the bitters stimulate our bile to gal-production which is indispensable for a good fat digestion and which at the same time ensures that the excretion in our intestines runs “smeared”. “Bitter” is a taste that you have to get used to. “Sweet mouths” will have a hard time in the beginning, but as you eat more often “bitter”, you will also be able to appreciate the taste more. Train yourself to regularly put bitter vegetables on the menu. As a herbalist, bitter herbs are my cup of tea: Artichoke, Wormwood, Gentian, Burdock, Dandelion Root, Angelica, Mugwort, Lemon Peel, … You can use all of these herbs in a tea. But hey … not everyone can cope with so much bitterness. If you want to use the tea on a regular basis (in a cure), it requires a lot of perseverance. A more practical way to use these bitters is in the form of a tincture (extract). This means that the plant has been allowed to draw in alcohol. The plant has therefore transferred its active substances into the alcohol. That way you can use the bitters easier and it makes it easier to dose. A cure (for 3 weeks, 3 times a day 30 drops in some water) with tincture of Artichoke can bring a lot of relief in case of digestive problems.

Swedish Herbs

A better known herbal bitter is “Swedish herbs”. The typical herbal bitter recipe already existed in Roman times and was used in many regions. Depending on the region and the time, variants were created. A Swedish doctor, Claus Samst, wrote down his family recipe in a manuscript and described 46 ailments that could be treated with the recipe. This created the idea that it was a Swedish herbal recipe. But actually it must have originated somewhere around the Mediterranean. Thanks to the enthusiasm of herbal queen ‘Maria Treben’, the recipe became popular again. The idea that you can solve so many ailments with a herbal bitter is not weird. After all, a lot of health problems start in the digestive system. When your body is out of balance, working on the intestinal flora is a good start to get your body in order again. New studies also show that the ‘vagus nerve’ works in two directions. Our abdomen responds to our nervous system, but our nervous system reacts equally well to our abdomen. It has been shown that there is a link between the bacteria in our intestinal flora and the production of neurotransmitters. The scientists are not quite there yet, but there are enough indications to assume that we better take good care of our belly, if we want to feel good.

How To Use Bitter Herbs
How can we apply all this knowledge to hair problems? It is evident that if we are struggling with digestive problems, our body finds it difficult to absorb the necessary vitamins and minerals. A shortage of essential vitamins shows in the condition of our hair.
Take good care of yourself and it will reflect in your hair!

Greetings, Annelies Dhooghe, Guest Blogger on Take You Time and Herbalist