Natural Ways to Boost Gut Health: Homeopathic Remedies & More

Suffering with gut problems can be embarrassing, painful, restrictive, tiring and anxiety inducing (will I get to enjoy the meal or just end up in pain? will there be a toilet close by? when will an urgency strike? Will I get to the toilet in time? Will others hear my gas?!). The well known signs of poor gut health such as Diarrhoea, constipation, flatulence, bloating, stomach pain/cramps, acid reflux, heartburn, nausea, food sensitivities are only part of the story. If you are you struggling with hormonal issues, mood changes, Anxiety, Acne, sluggish/lacking energy, joint pain, concentration, cravings, disease and just aren’t feeling great generally then focusing on gut health could make a positive impact to your life.

Before we take a deep dive into how to improve gut health naturally, I want to confess that I’m a bit of a gut geek…if there is only one area that you focus on to improve your health I recommend it to be your gut. It’s not as simple as just buying a probiotic, but the good news is we can all learn how to improve gut health naturally which will in turn help our health and vitality greatly! With all prescriptions and treatment plans, I include remedies and advice to support gut health, help the eradication of dis-ease and improve my clients physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Read on and if anything is unclear then please ask me to clarify, I’d love to help.

What is Gut Health and Why Is It Important?

Over 1,500 years ago, Hippocrates, known today as the “father of medicine” said that “all diseases begin in the gut.”. ‘Modern’ medicine is catching up with this wisdom and realising how impactful a good or bad gut can be to health – you will be hard pushed to find a function in the body that in someway doesn’t relate back to gut health.

Your Gut health is about so much more than just digestive health – it’s also about your emotions, hormone health, brain health, nervous system, anxiety, immunity, skin, allergies etc. Your gut is linked and impacts the rest of the body, and vice versa! 

Gut health for your hormones, mood and immunity

The gut plays a significant role in the production of ‘happy hormones’ such as serotonin and GABA. In fact, up to 90% of serotonin (a key feel good, mood-regulating neurotransmitter) and around 50% of Dopamine (the reward/motivational molecule!) is produced in your gut. When the gut experiences inflammation or doesn’t have enough beneficial bacteria, this can negatively affect the brain and mood by disrupting the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. Moreover, the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients and produce short-chain fatty acids directly influences brain health. Additionally, certain types of gut bacteria assist in the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. Therefore, maintaining a healthy gut can influence how stressed or how relaxed you feel and lead to better stress responses and reduced anxiety.

Did you know that more than 70% of your immune system resides in your gut?

Too much or too little of certain bacteria can make you more susceptible to particular dis-ease, recurring infections and symptoms. The bacteria in our gut determine what foods we crave or dislike, how much of our nutrients we absorb, and certain intestinal bacteria are associated with obesity and metabolic disease (such as diabetes, high blood pressure/hypertension) putting you at a greater risk of a stroke and coronary heart disease. It’s also understood that gut dysbiosis leads to leaky gut which is discussed as a key factor in the rise and progression of auto-immune disease. Recent research strongly suggests that the health of the gut is a contributing factor to the development of chronic and long-term illnesses. This finding supports the existing clinical evidence on this subject.

To feel better and calmer and to treat or improve symptoms of auto immune disease, chronic or recurring disease should include a plan to heal your gut. To date I don’t know of any successful non-natural ways of improving gut health, so it’s important to know how to improve gut health naturally.

Understanding the Microbiome – What is the Gut Microbiome and How Does it Affect Our Health?

You have trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that live in your body and on your skin – this is collectively called your ‘microbiome’ and those in the gut are called your ‘gut microbiome’. If your gut microbiome is in good shape i.e. lots of healthy diverse bacteria, it will protect and optimise your health and wellbeing, but it needs care and attention to thrive and be helpful to us. If imbalanced meaning too many bacteria that cause negative symptoms then this gives rise to disease and decline in health. 

The role of the gut microbiome in our overall health…There is a two way dialogue between the cells in the gut and other areas of the body which means a gut bacteria imbalance can cause brain, mental and emotional health problems or trigger an immune response, skin reaction etc, and vice versa. ‘The gut-brain axis’ demonstrates this well – we are all familiar with having a ‘gut feeling’ or ‘butterflies in the stomach’ which is linking our gut to our emotions. Also, a study in the USA found that IBS sufferers had double the rate of anxiety and depression that those without IBS, further demonstrating the gut-brain axis. Here is a summary of the functions of the gut microbiome;

  • Hormones – your gut microbiome signals to the endocrine glands in your body letting them know how much of each hormone/chemical should be created and released into your bloodstream, e.g. insulin, cortisol, oestrogen, melatonin, thyroid hormones. 
  • Mental health and brain function – GABA, serotonin and dopamine are just some of the neurotransmitters/ chemicals produced by the nervous system in both the brain and the gut that play a role in regulating mood and mental health. This area that produces the neurotransmitters is referred to as your enteric nervous system (the “second brain” of the gut). So what you believe is coming from your brain, may actually be derived from your gut. The wisdom known as ‘Gut instinct’ points to this link to emotions in our guts. Studies have shown that your brain chemistry can change depending on the bacteria in your gut so gut health can influence cognitive function and may have implications for conditions such as anxiety, depression and Dementia. 
  • Digestion, nutrient absorption, nutrient synthesise – healthy gut microbiome means more nutrients and energy from food. In an imbalanced gut, you could eat a good diet but not be absorbing the nutrients that you need. Beneficial bacteria can produce essential vitamins and anti-inflammatory compounds – certain strains synthesise/make essential vitamins e.g. b12, biotin, vit K. And they produce short chain fatty acids which have an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Stress / relax – Nervous system  stimulating the Vagus nerve (one of the biggest nerves connecting gut and brain) sends a message to your body that its time to de-stress and relax (it activates parasympathetic nervous system-our rest and digest system). So this can lead to reduced symptoms of gastro disease, better moods and wellbeing. Some practices to stimulate the vagus nerve are cold showers/immersion, gentle touch at specific body points, massage (foot particularly), laughing, meditating, breathing techniques, humming, singing.
  • Regulate inflammation – a healthy gut microbiome help regulate the immune response and reduce inflammation in the gut which is important for preventing chronic inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
  • Immune system – A healthy gut microbiome inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and pathogens through producing antimicrobial substances and a physical barrier so the bad bacteria can’t attach to the gut lining and cause an inflammatory response. The good bacteria also help stimulate the production of immune cells and antibodies, strengthening our immune defences and keeping the gut lining in tact to avoid leaky gut. 
  • Weight regulation, Hunger. metabolism– imbalances in gut bacteria are linked to obesity, metabolic disorders and can drive our cravings.
  • Gut lining/repair damage – the gut microbiome assists in repairing damage to the intestinal barrier and supporting the formation of mucus, which acts as a protective layer to keep the lining intact to avoid leaky gut. What is leaky gut? In short, it’s where you have gaps in your gut lining which then allows particles to leak out of the gut into other areas of our bodies creating havoc and potential immune responses.
  • Ferment non-digestible substances, with some gas by-products. Excess gas can be due to the fermenting of certain non-digestible carbohydrates which has been linked to beneficial effects on gut health. 

In summary, the gut microbiome plays a vital role in overall well-being, disease and various aspects of our health. Your gut could be the cause of you not feeling good so let’s now learn how to spot poor gut health and how to improve gut health naturally. 

Symptoms of Poor Gut Health

An imbalance in certain bacteria (gut dysbiosis) can trigger so many digestive problems, lead to leaky gut, cause mental and emotional problems (e.g. anxiety, depression) and can trigger an immune response (auto-immune, allergies, poor immunity due to a worn out system over firing all the time). Take a look at the broad range of symptoms…do any strike a chord with you?

Not feeling your best? Hormones gone crazy? low mood? allergies? brain fog? tired all the time? Consider your gut health as part of the problem and solution!

What contributes to poor gut health

In a nutshell, our modern lifestyles do not help, here are specific factors that can affect gut microbiome;

  • Medications/drugs – steroids, birth control, PPI’s, Antihistamines, NSAID’s, recreational etc, these alter you gut microbiome balance. Antibiotics – they kill the good and bad guys, then with few good guys left a poor diet/lifestyle makes it easier for the bad bacteria to thrive, and then more illness follows creating a perpetual cycle of infections. 
  • High stress levels – if we are in fight / flight / high alert most of the time then our digestion won’t function properly (digestion is not a critical function in high stress situations!), and elevated cortisol (our stress hormone) releases pro-inflammatory chemical and increases the chances of leaky gut. 
  • Sleep – too little disrupts hormone balance, drives cravings. 
  • High alcohol consumption – can lead to SIBO, unpleasant digestive symptoms and allow bad bacteria to thrive. 
  • Diets – high in processed food, pro-inflammatory – refined carbohydrates, highly refined seed oils, high sugar, gluten, preservatives, nutrient poor, LOW in fermentable fibers, vegetable. Dairy – not all people have the enzymes to digest properly so it can cause havoc in the gut via inflammatory responses. Gluten- such as wheat, barley and rye, can negatively impact the gut bacteria and lining overtime.
  • Artificial sweeteners – can cause gas and bloating and also disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome (diet drinks, diet foods, ‘low sugar’ foods are the biggest culprits).
  • Infections (viral, fungal and bacterial). 
  • Chemicals, pesticides, plastics, addictives, preservatives – these destroy are beneficial bacteria leaving our naughty bacteria to take over.

You can end your suffering and feel better by learning or getting support on how to improve gut health naturally – we go into the best homeopathic medicine for stomach problems and more natural remedies for gut health below…

Best homeopathic medicine for stomach problems

Here are just a few of many natural remedies for IBS, stomach problems and gut dysbiosis. There are over 8,000 remedies to choose from so if no success with at home prescribing then please see a professional. 

  • Nux Vomica: This remedy is often suitable for a range of gut problems such as indigestion, heartburn, constipation, painful gas and cramps, bloating, feeling tension, spasms and constricting sensations and spasms. Symptoms are aggravated by overeating, alcohol, coffee, stimulants, or spicy foods – often the person can crave these things! Person can be chilly, irritable and have soreness in the abdominal wall. Sometimes, firm pressure on the abdomen can help the pain. With constipation, the urge is there but very little comes out. After diarrhea there may be relief from pain for a little while. 
  • Arsenicum Album: Can be helpful for individuals with symptoms like burning pain, diarrhea, stomach pain, ulcers and restlessness. Conditions such as food poisoning or gastroenteritis but also longer term gut problems benefit from this remedy. 
  • Pulsatilla: Symptoms like belching, bloating, and diarrhea particularlty after consuming rich fatty foods such as butter, pastries, ice-creams. Changeable or variable appetite, with little thirst. Stools may change each time. 
  • Lycopodium: Chronic indigestion/heartburn, gas, and a sensation of fullness after eating a small amount, constipation and intense sweet cravings. Lots of burps, some burning in the throat and a distended abdomen might be present too. Symptoms can be worse between 4-8pm and they feel better in the warm, with warm drinks and rubbing their abdomen. 
  • Colocynthis: For nausea with cramping, cutting pains in abdominal, which can make the person bend over double or press the abdomen for relief. Eating friuit or drinking water may make pains worse. Sometimes the symptoms can come on or be related to anger or suppressed emotions. Leg pain, back pain or gall bladder problems are sometimes seen for this remedy. 
  • Podophyllum – pain and cramping in the abdomen with a sinking, empty, gurgling feeling and then watery diarrhea. Diarrhea can alternate with constipation, or pasty yellow bowel movements containing mucus. Early mornings tend to be worse, and there may be some stiffness in joints and muscles and a general feeling of faintness and weakness, also there may be a headache afterward. Rubbing the abdomen can bring some relief. 
  • Argentum nitricum – Anxious and nervous symptoms with digestive upsets such as bloating, nausea, rumbling flatulence, greenish diarrhea that is intense, sudden and can come on immediately after drinking water. May crave sweet or salty food which can lead to worsened digestive problems. Symptoms and characteristics of someone needing this remedy can include impulsiveness, claustrophobia, expressiveness and worrisome natures.
  • Our Homeobotanical range has organic herbal mixes Gut seal and Gut repair that our clients love.

Lifestyle – How to restore good bacteria and repair leaky gut naturally 

For a healthy gut, there is a huge amount that you can do to help yourself. I advise on this and more (detoxing, liver, herbs, organ health etc) in my consultations but here is a brief lowdown…

*Adjust your lifestyle to eat more real foods, not processed, for example consume more leafy greens, low sugar, lots of fermented foods, plenty of Omega 3’s. 

*Use techniques to relax and manage stress, stimulate the Vagus nerve, clear intestinal pathogens (do it naturally to avoid more harm being done- Homeopathy or Homeobotanicals help stress and treat parasites, viruses, fungi etc). 

*Consider your use of over the counter medications and antibiotics (there is another way that doesn’t harm your gut) and reduce your toxic load in general (plastics, pesticides, addictives, preservatives, chemicals). 

*Good quality sleep, exercise, spend time in daylight and nature.

*Intake good sources of collagen, digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics, electrolytes and nourish your thirst with good quality water, herbals teas, aloe juice, kombucha and coconut water. 

When making changes seem too big on your own and you don’t know where to start then professional support can be just what you need to guide you in improving your health. Professional Homeopathic treatment with Cheryl involves individualised treatment plans including bespoke natural remedies for IBS, natural remedies for stomach problems, gut dysbiosis, leaky gut or whatever your individual needs are. If you would like to have a quick chat to see if Homeopathy or other natural practices could help you with your symptoms then please book a free discovery call here.

Learning how to improve gut health naturally is crucial if you want to feel your best and not be restricted by your health. A happy life with balanced emotions, without pain, discomfort, or restrictions are within your reach! Hope you have a flavour of why gut health is vital to overall health, longevity and the reduction of disease, and as your gut health improves so should the rest of your health and wellbeing.

Lots of love and healing,

Cheryl Peavoy helps people to feel better through the use of natural medicine. Cheryl is a registered Homeopath, certified Homeobotanical Therapist, Human Chemistry detox practitioner, a Flower essence prescriber and an EFT practitioner and tailors your treatment to your needs. Cheryl consults with clients online world-wide and in person near Manchester / Cheshire.