Three natural ways….constipation


  • New study could help end the battle between conventional and natural approaches to health
  • Why this Doctor believes in alternative medicine for stomach problems
  • Three natural ways to deal with IBS, bloating, flatulence or constipation

The news today is…


Apologies for the tabloid headline, but this one does deserve shouting about.

A study published on October 3rd in the British Journal of Pharmacology made for very pleasing reading.

Dr Diego Curro lead a research team who looked at treatments for stomach problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, functional constipation and ulcerative colitis.

These included alternative treatments such as probiotics, fibre and herbal medicines.

What they found… based on looking at multiple scientific studies… was that these alternative medicines CAN BE effective.

In fact, Dr Curro went as far to say that people with bowel problems should be told of traditional and alternative options.

I find this really interesting…

It shows that behind the mainstream stories about doctors vs quacks, scientists vs charlatans, conventional vs natural… the truth is far more complicated.

In a world where many medicines are failing us, or have serious side-effects that we’re only just discovering, doctors and scientists are taking a much more common sense approach to health.

Like we’ve always said at the People’s Doctor, they are beginning to acknowledge that there’s room for all approaches – and if a therapy has even the slightest chance of offering relief or a cure, then we should know about it, even if we don’t always know why these things work.

There is no “one size fits all” magic bullet pill….

Instead we need to seek out and find what works for each of us individually…

People have different bodies, different reactions, different histories and different mental attitudes… these all affect how treatments work.

It doesn’t always have to be a battle between drugs and herbs, between the GP and the naturopath.

When it comes to looking after your own health, you should know about all the possible options – and NOT discount any that might help, whether it’s an artificial pill, surgical procedure, wildflower or eastern meditation technique.

For instance, going back to the October study looking at stomach treatments, there are a variety of effective natural methods you can try.

Eat fibre – but make sure it’s the right kind!

The study found that soluble fibre was beneficial as a treatment for constipation. This is something we probably all know from common sense and knowledge that we were handed from our parents…

But while soluble fibre is fine for constipation, if you have irritable bowel syndrome, opting for too many wheat products can make the problem worse.

So – against all common wisdom – sometimes it’s better to stick to processed white bread or white flour foodstuffs.

For instance, a study at Reading University has shown that IBS sufferers are best eating sourdough bread because it helps with the balance of microbes in your gut.

The same double-standard applies to fruit. While upping your intake of fruit and veg is healthy, some can worsen IBS – for instance, cherries, prunes and plums. On the other hand, citrus fruits and berries will work well in your system.

Some people with IBS are tempted to switch to a raw diet, thinking it’s the healthiest option for your stomach.

But beware that raw food is also hard to digest, making your stomach work more and potentially worsening symptoms


Tackle your microbes

The recent study in the British Journal of Pharmacology also pointed to the benefits of probiotics.

I wrote a bit about these a while back in my email entitled Why This Famous Greek Philosopher Was Interested in Eating Mud.

There are millions of bacteria inside you, most of which keep your body functioning at their best. However, there are also pathogenic bacteria which can cause problems like IBS, bloating, flatulence or constipation.

So one remedy is to balance out the bacteria with probiotic yoghurts.

However, as I’ve pointed out in the past, the jury is still out on how well they work.

Our recommended approach is to try something called Propargile. This is a combination of clay, pollen and propolis (the stuff bees sterilise their hives with). The result is a three-pronged natural remedy for stomach pain, bloating and discomfort. You can read more about it here.

The final remedy mentioned in the recent study is another “old wives tale” classic that really works…

Herbal teas for your stomach

I don’t know about you, but my mother and grandmother swore by natural mint tea for stomach problems.

The ancient Romans would consume fresh mint after meals to help digestion – and bearing in mind they ate lying down, they probably needed it!

Peppermint is a strong anti-spasmodic, so it’s ideal for IBS. However if you don’t like peppermint, or you get heartburn from it, then try ginger.

I’ll leave you with a tip…

When you make peppermint tea (or any herbal tea for that matter) let the boiling water cool down a touch before you steep the herbs in it, as you will keep more of the active nutrients that way.

That’s it from me – don’t forget to take a look at this remedy for stomach problems.

Well worth trying out to see if it works for you.

Until next time.

Stay healthy!


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