Alternative Medicine/herbal remedies


Hi Sharon,
Can you give me the names of some herbs that stimulate the pancreas, etc. to produce digestive enzymes. I have a very weak digestive system and would like to stimulate it naturally. I am already using several bitter - dandelion, bitter melon and milk thistle at times. I take digestive enzymes but I would like my body to start producing it's own. I am on a strict no sugar, no salt, low starch vegetarian diet due to a massive amount of food sensitivities that I have developed. I started taking the vitamins that help with food allergies - A, C, A, niacin, pantothenic acid, D, ginger, bitters, digestive enzymes and HCL. Everything helps - my eczema stops flaring up with evry supplement and bitter that I consume. but I am not big on taking pills and don't want to eat a lot of raw foods.
So are there any good herbs to help my digestive organs wake up and do a better job.
I also consume ginseng, echinacea and astralagus daily for my immune system and some energy when I ride my bike.
I have scoured the internet and online books and I can't find any except for one article that suggest fenugreek. which I just started taking.
please help.

Hello Irina
You certainly have quite a pharmacy of supplements there.
The thing that stands out for me in your description of the problem is that you have an increasing number of allergies.  This indicates that the lining of your digestive system is compromised and a body of work is first needed to sort that out. Perhaps you have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) or some other digestive issue leading to intestinal hyperpermeability. There is a strong link between these and eczema.

The more allergies you develop the more nutritionally deficient your diet becomes.  Supplements cannot make up for this.  And without sorting this out it will be a constant battle.

An interesting piece of new research revealed that the microbes in our intestines actually "talk" to the pancreas - and are thus governing its production of enzymes!  So that is really where you need to begin.
A naturopathic practitioner should be able to order intestinal hyperpermeability test and a test for SIBO.

In the meantime supplemental digestive enzymes (with lipase, pancreatase, protease etc) are your best friend.

All the best

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Sharon Erdrich


Any health related question, particularly those related to an holistic approach, using nutrition, herbal medicine, aromatherapy and lifestyle options.


30 years as a registered nurse, Private health consultant and experienced educator of complementary medicine practitioners.

NZAMH, NZ Nursing Council., AIMA (Associate member), Naturopaths of NZ.

Kai Tiaki Journal. Healthy Options Magazine. See my website for downloadable articles.

Reg Nurse, Post Grad Cert Health Science (Nutrition), Dip Herbal Med, Dip Naturopathy, Dip Aromatherapy.

Awards and Honors
Best Research Paper, Top Naturopathic Student (2005)

Past/Present Clients
Varied, from all ages and with a range of health issues.

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