Bugs in the Bowel
Strange as it may seem, there are actually supposed to be certain sorts of beasties in your bowel. Intestinal bacteria of all sorts make their home in the colon, helping to break down wastes and contributing to the fermentation of undigested foodstuffs. They are not a problem so long as they stay in the colon and so long as one sort doesn’t outbreed another sort and create an imbalance.
The most common problem with bowel beasties is that the ‘unfriendly’ type, called Candida albicans, becomes dominant and kills off the ‘friendly’ type such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum. Candida albicans can also surge up into the small intestine, where it ferments food inappropriately and creates chemicals that can cause gut spasm. The wall of the small intestine may then become leaky and partially digested foodstuffs may escape into the bloodstream, where the immune system tries to destroy them. The immune system is then activated to react to those foodstuffs and the owner of that gut may become sensitive to certain foods.
Why should bacteria go on the rampage like this?
Well the simplest way to upset your bowel flora is to eat heaps of refined sugar and drink plenty of coffee and alcohol, all of which the unfriendly bacteria love to feed on. Another classic cause is constipation, where the wave-like peristaltic action that should propel food along the digestive tract is ineffective, and wastes sit around putrefying in the bowel. Then again, if production of the digestive juices by the stomach, liver and pancreas is weak, bacteria take the opportunity to get out of hand. If the immune system is working well it will keep the unfriendly invaders under control, but when the immune system is under par they have a chance to spread, unchecked.
What can you do to rebalance your bowel bugs?
Avoid refined sugar, coffee and alcohol
Resolve constipation by drinking plenty of water and using bulking agents such as linseed or psyllium husks, or mild laxatives such as complex of herbs in tablet form including Frangula.
Keep your digestive juices flowing by chewing your food thoroughly and not running about whilst eating. Boost digestive power by taking bitter herbs in tincture form, such as Centaury before meals.
Use concentrated whey, to re-establish a good environment for friendly bacteria.
Concentrated whey has a positive effect on intestinal flora, contributing not only to the reduction of unfriendly bacteria, but also the establishment of an environment supportive to the growth of friendly bacteria. It is not enough to weed out the bad guys; you must also feed the good guys or they won’t survive. If you are taking supplements of friendly bacteria, such as acidophilus, concentrated whey can be taken alongside to ensure their survival.
Swiss naturopath Alfred Vogel, who had studied the history of the Swiss Whey Cures undertaken by the rich and famous throughout Europe, created his own brand of concentrated whey, Molkosan. Whey contains all the mineral nutrients of milk without the fat and protein, and has an excellent record in the cure of obesity, intestinal complaints, flatulence, and disturbed intestinal bacteria. It contains natural lactic acid, which allows it to regulate digestion, balancing stomach acid, tweaking the pancreas into action and reducing a tendency to constipation.
Alfred Vogel wrote “Molkosan regulates the secretion of gastric acid; it reduces an excess of acid and increases its quantity when there is a lack of it… The lactic ferments stimulate the pancreas… A little patience is necessary, but after several weeks a positive change for the better will be noticed.”
Take concentrated whey in unsweetened fruit juice, such as apple or pineapple juice, diluting 1 teaspoon of the concentrated whey into a glass of juice. This can be taken once or twice a day for all the digestive complaints outlined above. It may even improve your immune system.
In Switzerland, farmers up in the Alpine cantons used to use the whey left over from cheese-making to feed their pigs, and they noticed that the animals grew pink and healthy on it. They started using it themselves, anxious not to miss out on the pigs’ tonic! This was the start of the famous ‘Swiss Whey Cures’, where guests came to village inns in the canton of Appenzell to bathe in whey baths. To this day, the whey used to make Molkosan is taken from milk produced by cows grazing freely on the upper slopes of the Swiss mountains. Vogel realised that the herbs and grasses of the mountain pastures gave the milk a rich nutrient content and that these could be passed on to his patients in the form of this special concentrated whey.