When I was studying herbal medicine in university at Bastyr, my teachers taught me that in traditional western herbalism, the human organism is likened to a tree whose roots are the digestive system.
In this way, the health of the entire organism is utterly dependent on the health of the digestive apparatus- from the mouth all the way down to the colon. In our modern world of genetically modified, processed, artificial, pesticide ridden foods, along with the overuse of antibiotics, over the counter antacids and anti-inflammatories, as well as the serious impacts of food intolerances and allergies, that the state of human digestive health is to say the least, not so great.
What a lot of the modern research is showing that a bulk of our common degenerative diseases are due to inflammation. Inflammation has become the enemy, similarly to the common belief that germs were the major enemy. But what many fail to do is ask the bigger question, which is “why are people inflamed?”
The answer to this lies in the gut, and the systemic response of the immune system due to things like leaky gut syndrome and food intolerance.
The key thing here is: the gut issue isn’t just a gut issue– it becomes a systemic issue. Everything from depression, brain fog, and anxiety, joint pain and inflammation, to serious autoimmune conditions like lupus and fibromyalgia, all may have their root in the digestive system.
So we can see how vitally important it is to have strong therapeutic strategies up your sleeve for holistic treatment of the GI. It’s usually the first place I start with almost every client.