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Heal Gut With Slippery Elm And Marshmallow Root

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I am new to this site. But as I wait for my organic chicken to bake for a Thanksgiving feed with my boyfriend I thought I'd start this blog.


I have found that herbs and other supplements have helped heal a great many of my symptoms along with of course avoiding all gluten. Given my apparent success at healing myself, I have been invited to speak at the Santa Cruz, CA celiac support group. It was suggested there that I start a blog. How easy can this get?


I am hopeful that this topic will be of interest and provide some help to others.


Of course everyone is different. My eldest sister who also has celiac has to limit her herbs since she is allergic to salycic acid found in most herbs. However even for her pao de arco has proved helpful. Plus supplements like enterically coated probiotics, b complex and vitamins C and E.


My favorite herb of all time for healing the lining of the gut is slippery elm. I haven't heard much hear about that in this site so I thought I'd mention it first. It is an old time remedy for healing the lining of the gut and reducing inflammation. You can either take the capsules or cook it up. It is the most effective if you cook it however capsules are good too... The good thing about it is that it is quite inexpensive. just make sure its of good quality and not mixed with gluten!


So what you do is take one tablespoon of the dry slippery elm powder and mix it in a small container like a pyrex measuring cup with a small amount of water using a small whisk or a fork. If you add too much water it resists mixing. Then slowly add water (up to one cup) and put in a stainless steel or undamaged enamel cooking pot. If you want you can add some cinnamon powder too or cinnamon sticks for flavor. Bring to a boil and reduce heat so its at a slow boil, stirring relatively frequently. Cook this way from 5 to 10 minutes. You can then eat it when its cool enough, maybe put some butter on it and/or coconut milk or whatever agrees with you.


According to David Hoffman's Holistic Herbal Slippery Elm Bark "is a soothing nutritive demulcent which is perfectly suited for sensitive of inflamed mucous membrane linings in the digestive system...in Diarrhoea it will soothe and astringe at the same time. ...for digestive problems it may be used with Marshmallow."


Marshmallow is my next herb of choice. This too you can get either in a powder or as a whole herb. One can use the root and leaf. It too is an effective demulcent. You can either add it to the slippery elm concoction or just take capsules or even stir the powder in a glass of water. I often add the whole plant parts to my herbal remedies since it combines well with other things--and the whole plant parts don't requite mixing (i.e., like the slippery elm powder for instance does).


Marshmallow is not only soothing for the gut its also soothing for the urinary system and the lungs. Both of which systems have been problem areas for me since I had pneumonia as a wee thing and often got bronchitis throughout the years.


Ditto with my kidneys which started going out for me when I was a young adult. I was rapidly losing them from nephritis brought on by inflammation. Fortunately my grandmother pointed out food sensitivities could be a big part of the problem like they were for her. Basically she saved my life--unlike my doctors who wanted me to stay on antibiotics forever despite them causing my ears to ring and my brain to feel like it was in the ozone!


So I got into diet and herbs big time as a result. The thing is is that was 44 years ago and I haven't had another serious kidney problem since despite half of my right kidney being permanently scarred. So yes I do recommend marshmallow root as well as uva ursi when the going gets tough for your kidneys.


That's all for now since my chicken is nearly baked but more later on other herbs -- like dandelion root and yellow dock plus the virtues of cod liver oil and co-enzyme B vitamins!


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Just wanted to say its wonderful to have this chance to communicate with other folks who have celiac. I hope my herbal remedies and strategies are helpful to others.

Last night was pretty rough. I made the mistake of eating 2 sugar laden gluten free chocolate chip cookies I made for my mother from a package. It seems my nervous system etc. still cannot handle any sugar and refined grains (as well as chocolate) are debatable.

Today I cooked up some quinoa after washing it twice to get rid of any possible toxins stuck to the exterior of the grain. I plan to avoid ground flours for a while.

I also am heating up some dandelion root, yellow dock root, licorice root, pao de arco bark and marshmallow bark tea to deal with my need to detox. I have discovered that taking detox herbs are lifesavers. They kept me alive these last 35 years despite almost having died from food sensitivities (probably celiac) which led to my kidneys breaking down as a young adult. I was rapidly losing my right kidney when my grandmother suggested diet might be a factor. Thank heavens she said that. I stopped eating oranges and eventually figured out I couldn't eat wheat, rye or oats. It took longer to figure out that barley was not good either. Nevertheless herbs kept me going despite chronic colds and flu. My kidneys at least were all right despite having lost 1/2 of my right kidney at age 23.

I was just reading in a book on Enzymatic Therapy that most people who have celiac need to detox both their liver and kidneys. It only makes sense since undigested proteins are regarded by the body as poisons that both the liver and kidneys (and often the skin) have to clean up.

Of course enzymes are helpful too. I use bromelain/papain capsules together since they are more effective that way. Pancreatic Enzymes are also a staple for me (as is Nattokinase --away from food and with the bromelain/papain to deal with getting rid of scar tissue).

Have also recently discovered roobois is a great anti-allergy, soothing tea that helps one sleep (unless of course I eat sugar etc.!). I often add stevia to sweeten it (stevia has no actual suagars in it--it is part of the sage family of herbs) and maybe some coconut milk when I want to have a treat.


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I am so happy to see this discussion! Yes, herbs can be very helpful. There's a good list of digestive herbs here:


Licorice root helps recharge the adrenals ad also adds sweetness. If you don't like the biter taste of yellow dock or gentian, add some licorice to smooth it out. Making tea from these herbs is much less expensive than alcohol based tinctures and you avoid the risk of gluten from grain-based alcohols.

Fennel seeds can be brewed or chewed and help with gas.

I can't say enough good about Chamomile. If you are having cramps and stomach pain it is very soothing to the gut. You can grow this yourself in a sunny spot and harvest the flowers. I have a huge jar of chamomile I grew from seeds from Horizon Herbs. Chamomile has a pleasant flavor and may be easier to get down than mucilaginous herbs like slippery elm, although not healing in the same way.

Pumpkin is extremely nutritious and very easy on the gut. And in Chinese medicine, taking the dried stem of the pumpkin and grinding it up to make tea is considered beneficial for the Qi. (Rebuilding your energy)

Acorn squash and sweet potatoes or yams are also very easy on the gut. But pumpkin is the king.

As a digestive aid and anti-nausea remedy, cut fresh ginger and steep in hot water (just off the boil) for 10 minutes or more. Ginger tea! Much better than bagged teas.

I am currently looking into herbs for constipation. Senna is very rough on the system. I don't recommend it. That's what "Smooth Move" tea is.

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    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
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    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

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