Let's talk about the colon some more! Last month we discussed how important it is to maintain our bodies and keep them running top notch. Our colon helps us in more than just the obvious ways. Last month my article discussed the importance of cleansing and particularly cleansing the colon. If you missed the article you can find it posted on my website under my “Blog” tab, along with several recommendations of products and cleansing protocols.
Something to consider... If, more than 2000 years ago, the father of medicine, Hippocrates stated that “all disease begins in the gut”, then shouldn't we consider the idea that health and wellness would begin there too? Our body is so completely amazing and performs so many wonderful processes without our instruction or even knowledge. The colon is no exception. Many processes begin the moment we put food in our mouth and begin chewing. Remember when your mother said “Chew your food”? Well, it turns out that mother was onto something. When we begin to masticate our food the body sends signals to produce the necessary digestive enzymes. If we are eating raw and unprocessed then we don't have to call upon our body to produce what's missing, reducing the load on our taxed system by bringing enzymes in with our food. Unfortunately this is not the case if we are living in America, consuming the average Standard American Diet (S.A.D.). Our busy lives have us gulping down processed food full of dead and artificial everything and to make matters worse, as we age, our body naturally begins to produce fewer and fewer digestive enzymes on it's own. Colon cleansing and supplementing our diets with proper enzymes can provide a much needed head start down the road to digestive health and hopefully stave off many modern diseases and ailments.
These days, everyone is familiar with the importance of probiotics. They are a crucial piece of our colon health and we are understanding the importance of the delicate microbiome or gut flora. Our gut is like a delicate ecosystem that is being thrown into helter skelter daily by environmental factors, food and medicines. Without question we all need quality probiotics!
However, equally important, if not more is our body's need and use of enzymes. It's been fascinating to discover what role these enzymes actually play in our body. Their role is quite vast and I can't possibly cover the entire topic here but let's just say that not in only the process of digestion but also every physiological process in our body requires the action of enzymes. For starters, there are three basic types of enzymes: Digestive; Metabolic; and Food Based. To completely simplify the complex science of it, nothing can take place without them. They are the driving force, catalysts or construction workers, necessary for our body to build raw materials, circulate nutrients, eliminate unwanted chemicals, and a myriad of other functions! Simply said without enzymes, nothing would work.
To make this easy to understand, here are just some of the activities in our body requiring enzymes:
- Energy production
- Absorption of oxygen
- Fighting infections and healing wounds
- Reducing inflammation
- Getting nutrients into your cells
- Carrying away toxic wastes
- Breaking down fats in your blood, regulating cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- Dissolving blood clots
- Proper hormone regulation
- Slowing the aging process
- Protease: Digesting protein
- Amylase: Digesting carbohydrates
- Lipase: Digesting fats
- Cellulase: Breaking down fiber
- Maltase: Converting complex sugars from grains into glucose
- Lactase: Digesting milk sugar (lactose) in dairy products
- Phytase: Helps with overall digestion, especially in producing the B vitamins
- Sucrase: Digesting most sugars
If you are considering doing a colon cleanse, (which I really hope you are!) then you may want to consider using Young Living's “Detoxzyme.” It is a vegetarian-based blend of enzymes infused with essential oils and contains Bee Pollen which helps support the body's natural production of enzymes. It provides the enzymes needed to digest milk, meats and nuts, and supports the body while it eliminates toxic chemicals and waste. One thing that makes it special is that it's infused with essential oils of Cumin, Anise Seed and Fennel to help with the detoxification, digestion and the cleansing process. The essential oil Cumin is well recognized as a powerful detoxifying agent and when take at bedtime will assist your body during the detoxification process and lessen the herxheimer effects (ill feelings and symptoms) as toxins are being processed by the liver.
I haven't covered much in my articles about the basics of essential oils, but several readers have come to a class or two and it's been so much fun to meet and share with you. This topic is so fascinating to learn about. Obviously, I can't cover it all here but one of the reasons the oils are so effective is, when they have been processed properly and are “therapeutic” grade like Young Living's, then they contain very concentrated compounds with the life force preserved. Their medicinal properties are similar to what we would find in the herbs, but so much more potent because the essential oils are the life force of the plant extracted from a fresh state. When distilled properly, they are super powerful agents that can work harmoniously with our bodies to bring balance and support. But just like enzymes, too much heat or pressure and you just have a liquid (oil) that smells like... lavender, peppermint, thyme, etc. but has no therapeutic value remaining. (Be careful, that's the majority of what's at the store, for sale.) Another special quality of essential oils is that they are adaptogenic, meaning that they adapt to the need and are balancing. The same oil that would be recommended for constipation would also be effective for diarrhea because they work to restore balance to the gastrointestinal system as well as others.
Since so many health practitioners today agree with Hippocrates' discovery, made over 2000 years ago, that “All disease begins in the gut”, I believe it's vital that we nourish and support our digestive tract! Disease has been on the rise for too long in this great nation to ignore it any longer. I believe that understanding the important job of enzymes, and how we can support our body, will help us connect the dots even more. If you missed last month's article about colon cleansing, please visit my website, or email me and I will send you a copy. I desire that everyone live life to the fullest.
I also have recipes on my website to help get you go-ing, pun intended. Look under the tab titled “All About Cleansing.” There are some wonderful essential oils to support colon health and balance before, during and after cleansing. Here's a few for you to research if you're interested: (I'll discuss them more in depth in next month's issue.) Ginger, Fennel, Tarragon, Anise Seed, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Rosemary and a big favorite Young Living Blend, DiGize. Keep in mind, I only recommend Young Living Essential Oils. They are among the very few that are safe for ingestion or application.
Please contact me if you have any questions. Don't forget, drink lots of water and add some raw foods with fiber. To join me for a class, please visit my website for a full listing of times and locations.
As always, I wish you well!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been approved by the FDA and I encourage you to do your own research, or speak with a healthcare professional you trust.
Two excellent articles for a more in depth study on enzymes: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/21/enzymes-special-report.aspx