Essential oils and gut health
Have you ever realized that your sense of smell can provide healing effects? A fragrance can be great medicine or a synthetic good-smelling substance with toxic effects on your body, mostly on your hormones.
If you keep reading, you will learn how essential oils are a very powerful tool in your personal natural pharmacy to support your gut health.
You may typically think of using essential oils for their marvelous fragrance, or as a spa relaxing treatment. As you know, they have been designed by divine nature, and these plant essences have been used as medicine for thousands of years.
As a traditionally trained physician, I never learned anything at med school regarding properties of essential oils for medicinal purposes.
I would like to start by saying that I was a regular consumer of synthetic fragrances, until I learned new information that has helped me find my hormonal balance.
First, it’s important to distinguish between essential oils and fragrance oils. Fragrance oils are synthetic oils based on petrochemicals and do not share the therapeutic qualities of natural high-grade essential oils. They are essentially cheap copies of the real thing. These synthetic oils have added parabens and phthalates, which act like estrogen hormones in your body.
Also, a quick disclaimer. If you are having health problems, you should consult your healthcare professional. This article outlines historical uses of essential oils for digestive issues, and shouldn’t be considered medical advice.
Essential oils for your gut
One of the most popular oils for improving digestion is peppermint. It relaxes the smooth muscles of your intestines and has long been used to help relieve gas pressure. But it also helps to calm down reflux, it is a great alternative instead of taking antacids over the counter, when you have heartburn. You might want to try a drop or two of peppermint oil in a bit of warm water, and drink it as a soothing tea.
If you prefer the topical route, add a couple drops of peppermint essential oil to a teaspoon of olive or coconut oil and rub it on your abdomen in a slow and gentle clockwise motion. This is really great for kids’ tummy upsets.
Since it relaxes those digesting muscles, many people find that peppermint and other essential oils tone down IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
This is a frustrating condition that alternates combinations of constipation and diarrhea. Peppermint and other essential oils have been found helpful for IBS, like cumin, coriander, and lemon balm oils.
Overall, peppermint has a balancing effect on your bowel flora, the bacteria and other microbes that coexist with you, inside your intestinal tract. And that’s a community you’ll want to keep happy, as it’s very necessary for optimal health.
Like peppermint, clove oil also relaxes the intestinal smooth muscle. In addition, it calms inflammation in the gut lining and reduces intestinal spasms. It has often been used to relieve nausea, bloating, and diarrhea.
Clove essential oil has antiviral and antifungal properties and can be used to eliminate Candida yeast overgrowth and parasite eggs.
If you just need a little help getting things started, cardamom, ginger, and tarragon essential oils all stimulate the production of the gastric juices.Appropriate amounts of stomach acids and bile can discourage reflux while balancing bowel motility. This can be really helpful if you have a tendency toward constipation.
If you are pregnant and you are having morning sickness. Instead of eating saltine crackers to quell the nausea, try taking a whiff of lemon essential oil, it could make a remarkable difference.
Essential oils can also be helpful for maintaining good gut health in indirect ways. It is well known that antibiotics kill our beneficial bacteria along with the pathogens they are meant for.
This is a terrible situation as far as your gut is concerned. There are a number of essential oils that can get the job done even though they are not technically antibiotics.
Tea tree oil (or Melaleuca) is commonly used as a topical antiseptic. Some people prefer to dilute this strong smelling oil but it can also be used full strength on cuts and scrapes. It can also be applied to the skin behind the ear (not inside the ear canal) if you suspect an ear infection.
Lavender essential oil is probably the most popular scent used in aromatherapy. And it is also a great antiseptic. Good for cuts, scrapes, and burns, it can be used alone, but is often combined with tea tree oil or aloe vera gel.
If you found this information helpful, please share it with your friends and family. You can also follow us on Social Media or, book your discovery call and maybe we can work together to bring your health to the next level, with your personalized lifestyle plan.
GMOs and gut health
Do you believe GMOs are good for you? You may not even want to know. I understand if you are confused about this topic because it is difficult to find truth in a large ocean of contradictory information. I will do my best to explain in simple words for you.
GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms have genes from another species transplanted into their DNA. This is done to increase production or yield or add some other previously nonexistent quality to the organism.
These experimental organisms have so far been mostly plants, but animals are also being modified.
This is not the same as hybridizing. Hybrids are created through breeding. Genetic modification is actual transfer of DNA material from one species into another in order to achieve some desired characteristic.
In order to achieve insertion of foreign DNA into the recipient plant or animal DNA, either a virus or bacteria must be used as a sort of carrier.
As bizarre as the genetic transfer may seem, perhaps the bigger problem is the use of these viral and bacterial carriers. We’ll come back to that in a minute.
One of the targeted characteristics of GMOs is called Roundup Ready. This means that the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) can be sprayed on the crop without killing it. Evidently, the weeds must be developing a tolerance to this herbicide, because more and more of it is being used every year. Much of this glyphosate is absorbed into the plant and ends up in our food, therefore in our bloodstream and our cells.
Glyphosate acts like a highly targeted antibiotic in the guts of animals and people. Unfortunately, it targets only our beneficial bacteria—the microbes that help with digestion, detoxification, hormonal balance, immune system and more. It has no effect on pathogenic bacteria like E. Coli and botulism.
This progressively throws off the delicate balance of friendlies and unfriendlies in the gut flora, which will become a big problem sooner or later. This can be the root cause of multiple allergies, autoimmune and degenerative diseases.
To test whether the effect seen in bees could also be relevant to humans exposed to glyphosate, Pere Puigbò, a senior researcher at the University of Turku in Finland, and his colleagues tested how many species of bacteria present in an average human gut are susceptible to damage by exposure to glyphosate.
They found that 54% of around 101 species of bacteria commonly found in our guts could be damaged or killed if exposed to glyphosate in high enough quantities.
Another characteristic that has been added to GM corn and cotton is Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)a pesticide that occurs naturally as a soil microbe. It has been sprayed on crops for decades by organic farmers to deter insect damage.
Now the middleman has been eliminated by inserting the pesticide directly into the plant. It wasn’t supposed to affect animals, only insects. It kills pests by creating holes in the cell walls in their digestive tracts. It is not a surprise that’s also happens to cows that are fed GM corn, and all mammals, including humans.
These experimental food technologies are destroying the integrity of the cell membranes, this naturally leads to leaky gut, which in turn leads to allergies and chronic inflammation. This sustained inflammatory state is what drives chronic diseases, aging and cancer.
Believe it or not, it gets more interesting. When we eat plants, we digest, absorb and biotransform the plant compounds beneficial for our cells to make energy.
Under normal circumstances, the DNA from that plant doesn’t impose itself on us like some sort of invader. Instead, we extract the nutrients from the plant to use them for our own body processes.
Bt is a bacteria that has been forcefully inserted into plants. Somehow this bacterial DNA is separating itself from the plant material, and it is going inside our cellular DNA.
It appears that Bt can survive and integrate itself in our own gut Microbiome, essentially turning us into pesticide factories. Basically, the Bt can continually injure the gut lining because instead of flushing out of the system within a few hours, what it’s supposed to do, it’s moving in and raising a very destructive family of superbugs.
Similar to this scenario, those bacterial and viral genetic carriers mentioned above have been discovered in the digestive tracts of bees. It’s normal for bacteria to exchange genetic material with one another. It’s part of the way they communicate.
But these microbes appear to be cross-breeding with the bees’ natural bacteria and creating new varieties.The gut biomes of bees and humans are closely related.
It has been theorized that maybe the same thing is happening in human digestive tracts as well. And that it could be a part of the cause of the explosive increase in food allergies in recent years.
To top it all up, Glyphosate is a chemical analog of the amino acid glycine. This is one of the amino acids needed to make collagen. Collagen is one of the most important components of your bones. This “altered amino” can integrate into your bones as well and cause bone fragility or osteoporosis.
The reality is we don’t know the extent of the damage that has already been done, or what is still to be discovered. Sometimes the wisest move is to assume the worst, and do your best to avoid GMOs as much as possible.
When government agencies approve GMOs, they rely on quick studies involving short-lived laboratory animals. These cannot determine the long-term consequences when people eat genetically engineered foods over a lifetime. Some scientists have observed changes in the metabolism of animals fed genetically engineered foods. These alterations may indicate a risk to human health—the research has not been done.
Producers of genetically engineered crops argue that their technology will solve world hunger. The reality is starkly the opposite. After nearly two decades, genetically engineered crops have failed to make any meaningful di erence for hungry people. Instead, GMO crops drive out locally adapted crop varieties that are suited to particular soils and climates, undermining sustainability and resilience of local farms around the world and contributing to hunger globally.
If you found this information useful, please share it with your family and friends. You can also follow us on social media or book your discovery call and maybe we can review your stool sample and guide you into a positive journey aiming for clean eating to optimize your gut microbiome.
For further information, click the link below courtesy of the environmental working Group. Environmental Working Group:
Gut health and weight loss
Do you have trouble losing extra weight even though you’re exercising more and eating healthy foods? Why does that simplistic formula fail most of us time and time again?
Well, properly assessing the current state of your health is relevant before engaging in an active weight loss program. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, although fasting can be good for you at some point, you may not tolerate it under other circumstances like dehydration.
With the support of our SosaLifeCoach community, your personal values and preferences are very important determinant factors that influence your weight-loss success.
A hard-core exercise program may not be the answer; when the hormones are imbalanced, intense exercise can make things really worse.
These scenarios are somewhat extremes, most people need something that falls somewhere in between.
The weight-loss process is complex and it happens differently in all of us. Weight gain is a multifactorial imbalance of interconnected factors like: microbes, hormones, psychology and genes are considered, at the SosaLifecoach Community, when coaching clients about weight loss.
In order to help you understand better the interconnectedness of these 4 factors we are going to bring back some basic biology concepts.
You have evolved from unicellular microorganisms all the way into the complex interconnected networks you are today. Your bodies contain simpler and invisible forms of life that are in balance and collaboration with the immune system to keep you healthy and strong.
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a bacterial community to keep you healthy. You have a village of microorganisms living inside you. It’s a cooperative relationship and you benefit from each other for survival. This community is called your Microbiome, and it lives in your intestinal tract.
When this community is in balance, it helps you with digestion and absorption of nutrients so you can create energy for your body to use. It helps to keep your hormones balanced, so that you feel appropriately hungry or satisfied.
When this balance is unstable, there is overgrowth of unfavorable microorganisms and inflammatory chaos ensues. How does the microbiome get out of balance?
The overuse of antibiotics may be the biggest cause. Even if you don’t take antibiotics, you likely get them indirectly through the food you eat. Up to 80% of the antibiotics sold in the US are fed to livestock for various reasons.
Antibiotics kill bacteria, and they don’t discriminate. So you lose the helpful ones, too.
The unfavorable bacteria we call “bad” earn that label because they are adept at repopulating, they are often resistant to antibiotics. The good bacteria should be at 85% and the rest are.
When people gain weight, their balance of type of bacteria is abnormal. The composition of the microbiome of a person with healthy weight is different compared to a person who is overweight. There are certain bacteria found in people with healthy weight and when it is given to someone with excess weight, along with the rest of the lifestyle changes, then the weight loss process happens.
They cause an overgrowth, then they produce toxins that activate the immune system and that leads to inflammation.
Inflammation causes weight gain all by itself; because it disrupts the hormonal system. Weight gain is due to insulin resistance, which increases cortisol. This hormone is released in the presence of sustained stress and it causes high blood pressure, brain fog and perpetuates the weight gain for as long as it is at very high levels.
High cortisol levels can affect metabolism, mood, sleep and skin breakouts, particularly those hunger pangs you get even though your brain knows that you’ve had plenty enough to eat.
So, we have just transitioned from hormones into Psychology. The fact that your body is in a state of survival, you crave pleasure. Sugar causes a release of Serotonin and it is very often used from emotional soothing. History of trauma and abuse may increase the risk of emotional eating, which in turn will increase the risk of weight gain.
Finally, your genetic make-up is the one processing the foods you eat. So, how your process fats, proteins and mostly carbohydrates, determines how much you can eat before you start piling up the extra pounds.
You can have that information through your Nutrigenomics report. You will be able to understand what you should eat regularly and what food items you should avoid, under what circumstances, and the reason why.
If you found this information useful, share it with your family and friends. You can also follow us on Social Media or book your discovery call and maybe we can work together for some enlightened clarity, to get your body weight under control one smart step at a time.
Gut health for babies
You naturally want to give your baby every possible chance of the best health, life force and vitality. Gastrointestinal health is one of the basic pillars of human wellness. This article will give you some basic knowledge about how to help your baby’s gut health to have a strong foundation from the start.
Because you are the building block of your offspring, your own health issues should be addressed, before getting pregnant. This gives your baby several biological advantages that last a lifetime.
We must say some factors are difficult, or even impossible to control, others are fairly simple and straightforward. During pregnancy, it is important to eat healthy, nutritious food. Most people will agree with this statement, but the reality in front of you can be quite challenging.
What to Eat
Go for organic when possible, and avoid GMOs. We don’t yet know the long-term effects of these engineered organisms, but the short-term effects are not encouraging.
Eat lots of vegetables of different colors, particularly low starch vegetables and some fruit, for optimal vitamin and mineral levels.
Pregnancy is a well-known cause of constipation, caused by progesterone. Natural fiber and water can help keep things moving along. This is also determined by how your diet is affecting your gut function. This fiber is also the food that keeps the beneficial flora in your own digestive tract happy and productive, it is good food for your gut bacteria and we call this category of nutrients, prebiotics, as opposed to probiotics, which are the gut bacteria themselves.
For a long time, conventional wisdom has established that the womb is a sterile place, and that the baby is not exposed to any microbes until after birth.
But that view is now being challenged, it appears that beneficial bacteria can cross the placenta, and begin colonizing the baby’s own gut even before birth.
If possible, eat a small amount of fermented food every day. Not food that has been fermented in alcohol, but products like sauerkraut, kimchee, fermented seed pates, and live yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. Fermented foods are rich in bacteria, yeast, B vitamins and they can also improve your stomach acid, which is so much needed for digestion.
If your body becomes itchy after using fermented foods, discontinue use and book a call to see us. We will give you new food ideas to go around this problem.
With all the body changes that pregnancy brings, having a steady supply of beneficial inner organisms can improve your health on many fronts.
What about Supplements
Also, consider taking good quality digestive enzymes and probiotic supplements. Many of those weird pregnancy cravings are the result of nutritional deficiencies, and these special supplements will help your body absorb as many nutrients as possible from the food you eat.
Plus, keeping your own microflora in balance means you can also manufacture many important nutrients yourself.
Sometimes antibiotics are necessary, but if they aren’t, try to avoid them before and after the birth. You may want to talk to your doctor or midwife about this early on; because antibiotics are often given to mother and baby for prevention, as part of the birthing process. These drugs kill off your baby’s delicate protective microbial community, that is where everything starts, in the immune system.
Besides this, antibiotics administered in infancy and childhood have been definitively linked to allergies, asthma, more frequent infections, and even obesity, later on. This would appear to indicate that a healthy balance of microbes is more than desirable, it is essential for optimal health.
C-Section and Gut Flora
And this brings up another issue: C-section, although sometimes absolutely necessary and life-saving, it can also be elective. Sometimes they are scheduled around vacation times or other conveniences.
These days in the United State, as many as 1 in 3 births are by Caesarian; the numbers are even higher in some countries.
A natural vaginal birth, however, will inoculate the baby with a heavy duty dose of mother’s microflora. This will give them a healthy boost as they come into the world.
This is beginning to be better understood, and forward-thinking doctors are smearing the mouth, nose and face of the newborn with liquids produced within a mother’s vagina, after a C-section. The intention is to give the baby the same head start they would get with a non-surgical birth.
Assuming mom is healthy, breastfeeding is usually best for most babies. It’s pretty much impossible to duplicate mother’s milk in a formula.
Sometimes mom is healthy but she does not believe she can, because she is exhausted. Working in the belief system and family support may be a big determinant factor for success.
A baby’s system relies on the delicate balance of nutrients created especially for them in mom’s body. Specific antibodies, sugars, fats, proteins and even probiotics that are found in breast milk. They strongly appear to encourage the evolution of a healthy microbial community in the baby’s digestive tract.
Other benefits of breastfeeding is that you get a big flow of Oxytocin, which is involved in the ejection mechanism of the mother’s milk; it is also the hormone that allows bonding and emotional attachment.
Playing in a Natural Environment
Going forward, allow your child to get dirty, within reason. They put everything into their mouths because they are exploring and learning. Be mindful of plastic toys and metals in the mouth, though. They can leash compounds that are not good for our gut bacteria.
In the initial part of their lives, they are expanding their microbial repertoire: the more biodiversity, the better the immune tolerance. This means that their immune system does not go rogue against themselves, it is good for autoimmune disease prevention. You are training their little immune systems to learn to handle new situations and adapt.
Avoid Killing Good Bacteria
When it’s wash time, avoid the antibacterial soap and sanitizer, and just use regular soap and water. It works just as well without the risk of destroying your child’s immune system.
It is probably impossible to make your child’s life and health perfect in every way. But we suggest doing the best you can, considering your circumstances, be self-compassionate, and take it from there.Tweak when needed, stay flexible, and enjoy your child. They grow up so fast!
If you found this information useful, share it with your friends. We invite you to follow us on Social Media or book your discovery call and maybe we could work together to achieve optimal gut health, for you and your family.
The role of digestive enzymes
There is nothing worse in this world than having “bad digestion”. You may have probably experienced bad breath, the discomfort of heartburn, belly pain. And you don’t feel sexy when you are bloated, burping or it might have been difficult to be around you due to serious foul smelling flatulence.
As long your gastrointestinal tract is functioning properly, it is designed by nature to digest and absorb the food you eat. When this function is disturbed, then you may often suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms, which are an alarm message of dysfunction, so something needs to be done to restore balance.
The traditional approach to this imbalance is to take medication to treat the symptom, for a temporary relief, that is needed again after it wears-off. In many instances, the problem is not expected to be cured, they offer just symptomatic relief.
With a Functional Medicine approach, we go back to understand your body physiology. We figure-out what is going-on, so that you can go back to your life. Because the reality is that living with digestive discomfort is living a life of misery, and nobody deserves that.
Digestion actually starts before you even pick up your fork. I bet you have noticed that smelling something delicious can make your mouth get full of saliva and stomach growl? That’s your body realizing that food is on the way, and starting to pump out digestive juices to get ready for it.
This is key because, in order to be able to absorb nutrients, your food has to be broken down into microscopic particles. Anything that’s not totally broken down starts composting somewhere in your small intestinal tract, leading to toxic gases, bloating and belly discomfort.
Before you start taking pills, let’s look at how the digestive process works, or at least, how it’s supposed to.
And as woo woo as it may sound, it’s important to get into a positive mindset before you begin eating. It is a good idea to appreciate your food from a visual and smelling perspective. Being calm and in a state of gratefulness are also very important. Gratitude for the cook, the farmer, the grocery store, a higher power and feeling thankful allows your digestion to work better.
Once the food is in your mouth, we suggest you chew your food thoroughly, some experts suggest 30 times. Yes, just like your grandma probably told you when you were little. This mechanical step when prolonged, it stimulates the production of saliva, which contains the first round of digestive enzymes.
Your stomach produces acid that activates digestive enzymes, they assist breaking down proteins and carbohydrates. This acid also signals your gallbladder to release bile, which begins breaking down fats into fatty acids your body can use.
After this mixture is processed for a while, your pancreas takes over. It releases enzymes that further break down the food and neutralizes the acid in the small intestines. If all has gone well, by the time it gets to your small intestine, all your food has been broken down into tiny particles, which can be absorbed into your bloodstream.
When this process doesn’t flow properly, that’s when you get those symptoms we talked about earlier. All of the different digestive actions are necessary for this complex processor to work. If you remove or inhibit one piece, and the rest of the process suffers.
There are a few factors that may affect enzyme production, grains like gluten and alcohol may cause a decrease in the enzymes, which in turn one of the biggest causes of enzyme deficiency is Leaky Gut or intestinal permeability. This is the reason why enzyme therapy is a crucial part of healing leaky gut.
Digestive enzymes are helpful when taken on an empty stomach. In these circumstances, they help repair the gut. When they are taken with food and stomach acid, then they perform food break down.
In our SosaLifeCoach community, we understand that your needs for digestive enzymes will be dynamically evaluated, according to your physical concerns, your DNA stool test profile and your gastrointestinal risk according to your genomic profile.
If you found this information useful, share it with your friends and family. You can also follow us on Social Media. You may also wanna get to the bottom of your digestive issues, then consider booking a discovery call and maybe we will be able to work together to give you new insights and effective solutions.
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