Taking care of your intestines

It is now known that the colon is our second brain, it contains an impressive number of neurons, more than 100 million. (Who would have believed it!) Recent studies have shown a correlation between Parkinson's disease and an alteration of the peripheral nervous system, particularly the digestive nervous system.


Anyone who has never had a stomach ache when stressed, anxious or nervous, raise your hand...


But that is not all. Many other disorders have their origin in the intestines. Allergies, asthma, repetitive infections, skin problems, overweight, autoimmune diseases... The intestines have a primordial role in the functioning of our body since they absorb and redistribute nutrients while preventing the penetration of toxic elements into our bloodstream.


For this to happen, the intestines must be able to break down food into molecules small enough to be absorbed through the intestinal wall. It is not only the way we eat, but also the mechanical and enzymatic functioning of the digestive system that comes into play.


If the enzymatic secretions are not done correctly, the food, not degraded, will ferment and putrefy in our intestines and thus disturb the intestinal ecosystem.


There are various reasons for this lack of enzyme production: insufficient chewing of food, stress, a lack of hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach, genetic causes and finally deficiencies in vitamins and minerals (which are enzyme cofactors).


What is the intestinal ecosystem?


It consists of 3 elements: The intestinal flora, the intestinal mucosa and the immune system, which act in synergy to maintain our health. The intestinal flora consists of 100,000 billion bacteria. Some are inherent to the body and essential to its proper functioning, while others are transient bacteria linked to partially toxic waste from our food. The intestinal mucosa is a barrier that is permeable enough to allow the passage of nutrients into our bloodstream but is impermeable to toxic elements (viruses, poorly digested food waste, parasites, etc.). The intestinal immune system is the most important in our body. Numerous immune cells are present along the mucous membrane and it is these cells that determine which substances can or cannot enter our organs.


If this intestinal ecosystem becomes unbalanced, hyperpermeability of the mucosa or dysbiosis can occur and lead to various problems. Many factors can cause this imbalance: The modern diet, which is not adapted to our digestive system: too much sugar, protein, saturated fatty acids, processed foods and not enough fibre.

  • Gluten
  • Insufficient chewing
  • Stress
  • Insufficient enzyme secretion
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy
  • Intestinal infections


How to recognise the signs of intestinal disorders?

Depending on the type of dysbiosis, the symptoms may vary:

  • Fermentation dysbiosis: This is the consequence of an excess of carbohydrates in the diet and manifests itself by abdominal swelling, alternating constipation/diarrhoea and sugar cravings. There is discomfort in the right colon.
  • Putrefactive dysbiosis: This is the case for those who eat little fibre and a lot of animal products and therefore saturated fats. This leads to an overload of waste and toxins in the intestines. This dysbiosis causes odorous flatulence and bad breath. The discomfort is then located in the left colon.
  • Fungal dysbiosis: Typical of a diet rich in processed foods, this causes irregular transit, cystitis, mycosis, skin allergies, respiratory problems, etc.

Intestinal hyperpermeability, on the other hand, leads to broader symptoms that are more difficult to associate immediately with the intestines, such as:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Fatigue, malaise and unexplained fevers
  • Food intolerance
  • Skin rashes
  • Sensations of intoxication
  • Impaired concentration and memory
  • Low tolerance to physical exercise
  • Skin diseases
  • Repeated infections


What to do?

As I mentioned earlier, the first thing to do is to eat in a way that is adapted to our digestive system. That is to say, a living, unprocessed diet, containing sufficient but reasonable quantities of everything. You also need to get to know your body and what it tolerates. If you notice discomfort or pain after meals, note what you have eaten in order to know if you have intolerances to certain foods.

Regular bowel maintenance will help to avoid more serious problems. It is possible to follow a 24-hour diet every week, eating only fruit, raw vegetables and water.

The same diet is useful once a year for a period of 7 days. A 3-day mono-diet can be preferred at each change of season. This consists of eating only one type of food such as apples, grapes, rice, etc. during this period. During these 3 days, your body will not assimilate anything but will eliminate all the accumulated toxins in order to completely restore your intestinal flora. If you find yourself having to take medication, remember to protect your liver during this treatment and to drain and regenerate it afterwards. How to drain and regenerate your liver. In this way, you will avoid too great an impact on your intestines, but it will still be necessary to clean your intestinal flora and reseed it, since toxic substances will have penetrated your intestines and thus altered the bacterial quality of the latter.


How to clean your intestinal flora?

In addition to a diet (if you do not feel able to start, this is understandable, but be careful, you will still have to reduce your food intake if you want a result) you can also use some supplements:

  •  Activated charcoal:

Activated charcoal absorbs and adsorbs all bacterial toxins in the intestine, whether heavy metals, xenobiotics and other substances brought in by food and drug treatments. It is preferable to take it in powder form for greater effectiveness and it should be taken at a distance (about 2 hours) from any medication or other supplements.

  • Psyllium and flax :

These are mechanical laxatives which have the particularity of forming a gel on contact with water. It is this mucilaginous substance that will allow the evacuation of stagnant faeces, even old ones, and therefore the toxins with it.

  • Walnut bud:

It acts on the imbalances of the intestinal flora by cleaning and regenerating it. It is particularly effective when taking antibiotics.

  • Essential oils:

Some essential oils can help to disinfect the intestinal flora: tarragon, basil, oregano, cinnamon, clove, bay leaf, cumin.... These are essential oils to be used with caution (refer to a qualified therapist: consultation). There is a specific essential oil complex at Salvia nutrition.

How to rebalance your intestinal flora?

Prebiotics are carbohydrates that cannot be digested by our body and are used by the intestinal flora as a culture medium. These are fructo-oligosaccharides and gluco-oligosaccharides. They nourish and are therefore necessary for the growth of probiotics in the intestine.


Some foods contain them:

  • Artichoke
  • Banana
  • Garlic
  • Leek
  • Onions
  • Salsify
  • Asparagus
  • Rye seed, barley
  • Chicory root, elecampane, dandelion
  • Tomatoes.


Probiotics help balance your intestinal flora. Probiotics are living micro-organisms (bacteria and yeast) that are found in the intestines and ensure a healthy bacterial population. They are essential to the digestive and immune system.

They are found in all fermented foods:

  • Cheese, milk, yoghurt
  • Kefir, Kombucha
  • Soy derivatives: tempeh, miso, natto, shoyu, tamari
  • Lacto-fermented foods such as sauerkraut
  • Winery beer also contains yeast, which is a source of probiotics, unlike regular beer where it is removed.

So now you have all the tips you need to keep your gut in shape!