Diverticulitis; Flaxseed Oil, Licorice

HERB 201

Digestion

“Much of the digestive system illness in our society is due simply to abuse. Today’s average diet contains a preponderance of overly processes foods and has a high content of chemical additives. The gastrointestinal tract is subject to direct chemical irritation from alcohol, carbonated drinks, and tobacco . . . ”

“ . . . The healing process must incorporate lifestyle changes to eliminate dietary indiscretions and chemical abuses as well as reduce stress. Herbal medicine can bring about dramatic improvements in even profound digestive system problems, but the potential to maintain these benefits long term lies in the hands of the person seeking treatment . . . ”

Quotes from pg. 258 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Herbal Remedies For Digestion

“Remember that any description of specific remedies for a particular condition reflects the accrued wisdom and experience gained through generations of herbal history. However, these remedies will not replace a balanced prescription that takes into account system support in addition to all of the herbal actions indicated . . . ” Quote from pg. 269 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Diverticulitis

“A diverticulum is a small, saclike pouch or herniation of the colonic mucosa that bulges outward through a weak spot in the colon wall; these are collectively known as diverticula . . . When diverticula become inflamed, the disorder is called diverticulitis . . . The characteristic signs and symptoms include pain and tenderness associated with constipation that alternates with diarrhea . . .”

“ . . . Differential diagnosis is very important to rule out carcinoma of the colon. Diverticulitis is common in industrialized countries where low-fiber diets are the norm, but rare in countries where people eat high-fiber diets rich in vegetables. Fiber . . . is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that the body cannot digest. Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water . . . Both kinds of fiber help prevent constipation and make stools soft and easy to pass . . . ”

“ Straining due to constipation increases pressure in the colon, which causes weak spots to bulge out and become diverticula. Diverticulitis occurs when diverticula become infected or inflamed. An attack can develop suddenly and without warning. The most common symptom is tenderness around the left side of the lower abdomen. If infection is the cause, fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, and constipation may also be present . . .

“Dioscorea villosa (wild yam) is a very useful [herb] . . . It is a good antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory herb, but also has a specific impact upon this condition. Care must be taken not to induce constipation through overuse of astringent herbs . . . Diverticular disease appears to be associated with a low-fiber diet, and there is little doubt that most patients gain some relief from symptoms when a high-fiber diet is adopted. The underlying bowel abnormality will remain, but it will be much less likely to cause the same degree of dysfunction . . . ”

Quotes from pg. 280- 281 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Flaxseed Oil

“Flaxseed oil, also known as flax or linseed oil, is made from the seeds of Linum usitatissimum. Flax is a very rich source of ALA, containing approximately 40% to 60% of this essential fatty acid. Linoleic acid and oleic are also present, but in smaller amounts . . . Flaxseed oil may have anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, and antiproliferative activities . . .”

Quote from pg. 57 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Licorice

“Licorice is a traditional herbal remedy with an ancient history and worldwide usage. Moder research has demonstrated that the herb has effects upon the endocrine system and the liver, among other organs . . . Licorice has a wide range of application for bronchial problems, including catarrh, bronchitis, and coughs in general. The herb is used in orthodox medicine as a treatment for peptic ulcers, and is similarly used in herbal medicine for gastritis and ulcers . . . ”

Quote from pg. 554 - 555 of: Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

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