Late summer is the time to heal and strengthen the stomach and pancreas according to the Traditional Chinese way of thinking. Spiritually, it is when we are beginning to harvest the fruits of our labors; to digest and understand the changes and learnings we have brought to fruition during the year, that we may make them a permanent part of our understandings.
Physically, the Stomach continues the digestion that begins with mechanical digestion from chewing and releasing saliva in the mouth. In the stomach, more digestive enzymes are added and the food is now broken down into a ball of chime, awaiting its entry into the small intestine, where most nutrients are absorbed.
The Pancreas is important in converting the food we eat into fuel for our body. it really has two functions: the first function is as an endocrine gland that regulates our blood sugar by releasing insulin and glycogen. The second function is to produce enzymes that are important to digestion such as: trypsin, chymotrypsin, amylase and lipase that break down proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Foods that support Stomach Health:
- Chicken or beef broth is soothing to the entire digestive tract, increases alkalinity and encourages the growth of healthy bacteria.
- Yogurt & Kefir is cooling and soothing to the digestive tract and increases the diversity of flora and fauna. Use cultured yogurt or kefir for best results.
- Lemons stimulate the movement of lymph, improve liver and digestive functions, and cleanse the digestive tract. Drink ½ lemon in a glass of water several times per day. Organic lemons are best.
- Cultured foods: check out www.culturesforhealth.com for ways to make cultured foods that can improve your digestive tract.
- Dandelions. Eat them in salad or taken in capsules, dandelion is helpful to increase the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach; which improves digestion and lessens gas, the underlying cause of many stomach pains.
- Cayenne & Ginger (aka Cool Cayenne): Ginger cools the action of cayenne’s burn to relieve stomach ulcers. Take 2 or 3 capsules two or three times daily. Cayenne seals off ulcerated skin so it can heal. It is also suggested to take oregano or thyme to kill the underlying bacteria, along with kefir or yogurt to replenish the healthy flora and fauna.
Foods that support Pancreatic Health:
- Garlic, turmeric, onions, red grapes, blueberries, kefir, yogurt, and raspberries are high in antioxidants that strengthen the pancreas.
- Mushrooms, cherries, asparagus, cinnamon, eggs, spinach, are all helpful to balance blood sugar, increase antioxidant activity and strengthen the pancreas.
- 1 Tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar (that has the mother) cleanses the organs, alkalinizes the body and helps release toxins that inhibit effective functioning of the organs, inducing the pancreas.
- Drink at least 1 fresh squeezed organic lemon each day to cleanse toxins, lymphatic waste and minerals that can accumulate in the organs, including the Pancreas.
Essential Oils for Stomach Health:
- Cardamom Oil: stimulates digestion and helps stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, bile and digestive acids. It is wonderful for colitis, constipation, acid reflux or diverticulitis. It is a tonic, which strengthens the entire digestive tract. It can also be used with affirmations to release worry and anxiety, two negative emotions that keep us from really digesting our life.
- Caraway Oil: Is also a tonic for the digestive tract and helps bring it to balance. It is wonderful for colitis, constipation and diverticulitis. It is also helpful to those who are under stress, emotional crises, or have stuck emotions that they feel unable to process. Caraway gently stimulates the movement of these energies. It is gentle for children, too. Place 1 drop in a few ounces of water for an adult or child to sip. A drop or two in olive oil and rubbed on the belly clockwise is helpful. As a tonic, it can be taken over a period of time to aid in maintaining balance during times of stress. Exercise is also highly suggested.
- Clove Oil: Inflammation in the intestinal lining can cause discomfort and pain. Clove relaxes the smooth muscle lining and calms spasms, nausea, diarrhea, bloating and gas. It contains antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that help eliminate pathogens that may trigger digestive upset.
- Fennel: is a digestive stimulant and has anti-spasmodic effects. It is even more potent when combined with tarragon. Place 2 drops of each in ½ teaspoon olive oil and rub clockwise on the belly for relief.
- Ginger: Is an essential oil for digestive wellness. It is very effective against ulcers. When combined with peppermint, it is a fabulous inhalation treatment for nausea and irritable bowel syndrome. Equal parts ginger and peppermint used in a diffuser or inhaler will calm nausea. Place 1 drop of peppermint and 1 drop of ginger in water and drink 1-4 glasses per day to calm irritable bowel. Dietary changes are helpful.
- Oregano: This powerhouse oil is antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic for e-coli and other harmful bacteria. Take one drop in a capsule or a few ounces of water several times daily over a period of 3-4 weeks to help bring proper balance to the digestive tract. See our article on healing Candida for more information.
- Peppermint: helps relax digestive muscles and allows digestive gas to pass. It helps with nausea, diarrhea and is helpful to those with irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral, so it can also fight off infection or invaders in the digestive tract. Take 1 drop of peppermint in a capsule and take with water so that it does not get released until it reaches the digestive tract for this purpose. For nausea and irritable bowel syndrome, place a drop or two in a glass of water and drink it. For children, you can put 1 or 2 drops in a ½ teaspoon of olive oil and rub it clockwise on the belly.
- Tarragon was traditionally used to eliminate digestive worms. It also stimulates the production of bile and helps eliminate toxins from the body.
Essential oils for Pancreatic Health:
- 3 drops of Marjoram and Lemon essential oils in 1 teaspoon of olive oil rubbed over the pancreas helps normalize pancreatic functions when used daily over time.
- 2 drops basil and 2 drops cinnamon in ½ teaspoon olive oil rubbed over the pancreas helps relieve inflammation in the pancreas.
- 2 drops of cypress in ½ teaspoon olive oil rubbed over the pancreas helps move out toxins and increase functioning.
To use these oils, mix them and rub them clockwise on the pancreas and then cover with a warmed towel or flax seed pillow for 10-15 minutes morning and night.
Written by Char Milliman on September 6, 2016.