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Ask the Herbalist - Digestive Problems

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ANSWERS FROM CARLOS:
QUESTION:
I have acid reflux, can I treat it naturally?.  I have stopped taking the little purple pill because I have heard that it ultimately weakens your esophagus over time.

ANSWER: Like with many ailments diet plays a very important role in treating acid reflux.

Bad habits also play a part in being successful treating this condition. 

I would suggest and encourage you to eliminate foods that stagnate the system, and should be avoided by folks that suffer from acid reflux, such as: Red meats, pork, white sugar, all dairy, pastas (macaroni & cheese, spaghetti with sauce), coffee, alcohol, creamy salad dressings. chocolates, doughnuts, oranges and  orange juice, lemon, lime, tomato, cranberry juice, all foods contains additives and/or preservatives and all fried foods. 

You should enhance your diet with foods that are conducive to easy digestion and still be satisfying. Foods like: Chicken (not fried) grilled or baked, turkey, fresh fish (in particular salmon, mackerel and sardines), brown rice, yogurt, honey, multi-grain bread, raw or steamed fresh broccoli, carrots peas, green beans, fresh fruits in particular apples, papaya and bananas, and very importantly fresh pineapple. 

As to the bad habits, sip rather than drink while eating and take your time eating, masticate every bite well. 

There is some controversy as to whether drinking tea will increase the chances of having the symptoms appear, or whether it can actually be beneficial. I personally am in favor of the latter position, but with a caveat. The tea has to be the correct one and it must be sipped.  Here's my formula for you: I suggest drinking in small sips during your meal Ginger root tea. Peel and cut a small piece 1" x 1" of fresh ginger root. boil two cups of bottle water, add your root, bring to a low simmer, cover for 10 minutes. Sweeten with a bit of honey and sip during your meal.  You may also try this with Chamomile tea.  After your meal, it may be very helpful to have a cup of Peppermint tea.  There is a Chinese tea that will certainly help in digestion, named Bonjemi Tea. You will find it at any Chinese supermarket. Drink with your meals. 

One last thought. Make sure that you walk a bit after eating rather than sitting down or lying down. This will greatly improve digestion and absorption.

QUESTION: I have been suffering with mild to extreme nausea every single day for 1 1/2 years.  I have had an endoscopy, colonoscopy, ultrasound, blood, urine and fecal testing.  All have come back negative.  I don't know what to do at this point.  I was diagnosed with acid reflux and given several different kinds of rx's to no avail.  I never know when I eat something if my mild nausea is going to cause me to take to my bed with extreme debilitating nausea. I am at my wits end and don't know where to turn. Can you help?

ANSWER: Nausea can be caused by the presence of bacterial toxins, and it can also often be triggered by anxiety and stress.  It can also happen by eating very rich foods. There is a couple of things I can suggest.

First, you fail to tell me about your diet or if constipation is also a problem, but either way, you need to avoid eating heavy red meats, pork, all dairy (eat eggs in moderation), white sugar and all fried foods. Avoid chips, sodas and colas. Moderate also your caffeine and alcohol intake. 

Steam your vegetables, eat plenty of fresh fish (salmon, mackerel), honey, fresh garlic and onions, brown rice and fresh fruits.  I suggest that you drink a cup of Lemon balm tea, adding 15 drops of extract or tincture of Ginger  (extracts and tinctures work better and faster). Sweeten only with a bit of honey drink as needed. If you cannot find either, just buy a Ginger root at your local market, peel and cut about a 3/4 in. piece, slice and brew into an infusion or tea.  Don't take Ginger at the same time you take aspirin or Tylenol, as ginger may add to the thinning effect these drugs have on your blood. For the same reason, don't take ginger during the week before or after you have surgery. Also do not drink Ginger 1 hour before bedtime, it may keep you awake. If you feel bloated after meals you may find crystallized Ginger at your local food store and just eat a small piece. 

If the nausea still continues you may then want to try either Peppermint tea, Chamomile tea or Goldenseal herb tea. Ginger overall has been proven to be the most effective, but sometimes the others seem to work better for some people.

QUESTION: I was wondering what you could suggest for irregular bowel movements ranging from normal to foul smelling sticky stools, abdominal bloating, feeling of food stuck in stomach, egg tasting burps?

ANSWER: The first suggestion I have is for you to eliminate foods that stagnate the system and are likely to cause the symptoms described.   

Eliminate from your diet all fried foods, red meats, pork, white sugar and all dairy. Eat eggs only in moderation. For now, eliminate all forms of caffeine, such as coffee, colas and sodas. Also eliminate all forms of chocolate and other candies. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine your symptoms may indicate a "stuck" or stagnant Middle Qi. This condition is often treated with one of these two remedies Xiao Yao Wan or Shu Gan Wan. 

I suggest you enhance your diet with high fiber bread, high fiber products, fresh fish (salmon and mackerel), fresh garlic and onions (if tolerated), chicken, turkey, fresh raw or steamed local vegetables and fresh fruits. To detoxify the system drink Green tea and add 25 drops of extract or tincture of Dandelion root. Sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink 3xs day.  Drink Peppermint tea with your meals, and if feeling bloated drink Chamomile tea after your meals.

I encourage you to begin a low-level exercise program, such as Yoga, T'ai Chi or light jogging. This will also help balance the body and release toxins. 

As to bowel movements, a change in diet is paramount, but after beginning on the above recommended diet, you may want to mix in water 40 drops of either Globe Atrtichoke extract or tincture or 30 drops of Cascara Sagrada extract or tincture. These will help eliminate most toxins, they will of course make you go more, but it is really what the body needs to do. Repeat once a day for 3 days as needed.

 

ANSWERS FROM LORYHL:
QUESTION:
My son has Gerds & Hiatal Hernia. There is some burning,  that doesn't go away. Is there as herb that will sooth this area to help it heal?

ANSWER: I suggest you take a close look at his diet, as there are some things that are making the problem worse. Have you heard of food combining? A starch is OK , eaten with vegetables, or a protein with vegetables, or fruit with some nuts, but not all together, not starch with a protein, or fruit with vegetable, or fruit with protein, these would cause acidity in the body. Also packaged foods, processed meats, foods, and high sugar chemical diets, cause acidity and digestive problems also.  Eating according to a persons blood type is another method that can be very helpful.  I can send you diet sheets to look at and food suggestions if you are interested.  You can herbally give him to sip, several times daily, 1/3 to 1/2 cup throughout the day of pure Aloe Vera juice, organic, high grade. I don't know how much he weighs , so adjust it to his weight. This will help his condition, and bring some relief and healing. Also taking activated charcoal tablets, and cleansing the bowel, gently.  We also have a blend, called Soothe and Life Force Fiber Food, that is very helpful to the tummy. I suggest he take calcium magnesium, supplements, together to help the hernia and also the gut. Please let us know if we can serve you further


ANSWERS FROM KAREN MALLINGER:
QUESTION: I have chronic cholecystitis since about 1 year ago, and have had about 10 gallbladder attacks since then.  The doctor said the gallbladder is likely to rupture and recommend surgical removal.  I have been taking Chinese herbs for a couple of weeks, followed by a  gallbladder supplement containing taurine to help dissolve stones and strengthen the gallbladder muscle, and sometimes oregano to block infection.   I have followed that by a "Stone Dissolve Tea" comprising hydrangea root and gravel root stewed in apple juice, for 4 days. The primary purpose is to dissolve the stones, if possible, but the gallbladder is now shrunken, fibrotic and necrotic due to the repeated bouts of inflammation.  The fibrosis of the gallbladder wall is due to the inflammation caused by the stones.  The necrosis is due to thrombosis of one of the arteries that terminates at the gallbladder.  The question is how to restore the gallbladder functionality after the stones are gone, otherwise they will tend to re-form due to the inability of the gallbladder to expel the bile.   I suppose this means breaking down the fiber in the thickened gallbladder wall to restore its elasticity.   Which herbs would you recommend?  I heard that "dan shen" can reverse liver fibrosis, but the gallbladder is a smooth muscle and does not regenerate like the liver.   For the time being, I have added 100mg of gingko in a single daily dose, because gingko is antifibrotic and antithrombotic.   but I think it worsens gallbladder inflammation - unless turmeric is present in the curry as an anti-inflammatory.  Looking forward to your recommendations,

ANSWER: You might try goldenseal with equal parts of red clover, yellow dock, dandelion and parsley. Also milkweed is an excellent gallbladder tonic herb. I have seen conflicting statements on the safety of using Astragalus Root. Some say it is ok to use it long term.  Some say it is not.  Some say you should not use it when a fever is present. Can you help me with this conflict. Astragalus is one of the Chinese herbs that has made its way into western herbal medicine because of its immune-strengthening qualities. It is especially useful against viral infections of the respiratory tract and heart. It is also used to boost energy levels in debilitated people. Add to that the antiviral properties and it's a pretty exciting herb.  Make sure you are getting A. membranaceous, the medicinal variety of Astragalus and always buy organic whenever possible.
 According to Chinese medicine, of which I'm not an expert, it is not to be used in "excess heat' or "yin deficiency" situations. So I don't know if a fever is considered excess heat, but you may not want to take it with a fever present. I believe that it is to be taken before the onset of colds or flu. After they start, better to take echinacea and goldenseal to lessen the symptoms.

TRIPHALA AND CONSTIPATION
QUESTION: I suffer from chronic constipation and taking triphala two times daily has really helped. However, my nutritionist also has me taking Swedish bitters. In Ayurvedic medicine, I am considered a cold, dry, "windy" Vata type, the type that does better reducing the amount of bitter taste in the diet. Even though the bitters seem to help in terms of external applications for my
skin condition, I have my doubts as to whether they are good for my constipation. Would you give me your advice regarding the Swedish bitters? Many thanks!

ANSWER:
I'm not qualified in Ayurvedic medicine, so have no opinion. I have heard of triphala and understand it is very effective for some people. As far as the "type" you are, I think all of us are probably combinations of different types. Each of us is so unique, it's hard to stick someone in a box and say, that's the only thing you can do because you are a certain type. I think that you have to learn to listen to your body. If the bitters are helping you, and you aren't having any adverse reaction to them, then not taking them simply because you're the wrong "type" seems a little silly to me. It's kind of like those diets based on blood type. Although it may work for the majority, there are many that it just doesn't work for because of some idiosyncrasy. I'm not saying that Ayurvedic medicine doesn't work, because I've seen it work. I'm just saying we need to have a little common sense about things. There are too many variables to be that restrictive. If you trust your nutritionist, and are doing well with their recommendations, then stick with them unless you are seeing something that would cause you to question it.

QUESTION: Can you please help me this is the problem of my feces the problem is that i go to school and at the morning 2nd period i get feces I want to prevent having feces at school can you please help even if I did my feces in house but I donít know it stills comes in the school....help

ANSWER: Actually, you sound pretty healthy to me. You should never try to stop the body's eliminative processes. This is how it gets rid of toxins and waste. Don't fool around with the natural process.

QUESTION: I would like to know what is the best way for me to cleanse my stomach.  I tend to have eating disorders and what I mean by that is I don't eat usually at the same time and always running.  Never take the take the time to really digest, etc.  Some other I do is that I take things like Metamucil, Citrucel, and colon cleansers and staff and what  I end up doing is messing up my stomach even more.    Anyways, my basic problems and and I constantly experience is - sudden constipation, bloated, gas, heartburn, sense of
fullness, burping , etc.  I would like to kind of clean my stomach and get rid off excess "garbage"  I might have.  Can you suggest me a mixture of herbs beside fasting to cleanse my stomach.  Please, please, please. I made an appointment with my gastroenterologist, but I am hoping to try
some herbal first.

ANSWER: It's amazing to me that in the same letter you have described the problem, described the solution and then asked for another solution. Your problems with digestion can probably be linked to the fact that you are not taking time to sit down and digest your meals slowly. Don't feel bad, we all do it, but it's so destructive. Is whatever you're running to next really more important than your health? You've seen the results, and you've seen what trying to treat it with OTC does. Not much.
 
No herb is going to magically make up for bad habits and unhealthy behavior. My suggestion to you is to take your time to eat. Chew your food slowly and try to relax for 30 minutes and enjoy your food. That will do wonders for your problems. Peppermint and Ginger tea can help with upset stomach and gas, but again, if you are purposely doing the wrong thing, all the herbs in the world aren't going to help you. Try changing the behavior first and see how that works.

 

ULCERATED STOMACH

QUESTION:
My girlfriend told me a story about someone with a stomach ailment who drank maple leaf syrup for 10 days while fasting and was cured of this ailment. I have an ulcerated stomach. Would you advise that I buy a bottle of maple leaf syrup and try the same fasting for 10 days as well? I would really appreciate your advice.

ANSWER: I have no idea if that remedy works or not. I've never personally heard of it. The fast is probably what helped more than anything. What are you eating? I would suggest a bland diet for awhile to let your stomach heal. Has this been diagnosed by a medical professional?

IBS

QUESTION:
I read about your talent with herbs in this week's paper.  I'm wondering if you can help me.  I have had Irritable Bowel Syndrome w/constipation for 10 years and have been seeing a gastroenterologist
for about 8 years.  I have been on Zelnorm on and off since last summer and it seemed to be working until my latest episode which started a month ago.  I looked at the info on your site about IBS, but there were
so many herbs, I was overwhelmed!  This latest bout of IBS is  incredibly painful for me.  My stools are very hard and sticky WHEN I manage to pass a little.  I have been curled up in a ball all day because the cramping is so bad.  I drink at least 5 bottles of water a day, basically live on yogurt, Healthy Choice dinners and eggs.  I cannot tolerate fruit-they really hurt my stomach and the only vegetables I eat are in the dinners that I microwave.  I do not eat bread, as this also hurts my intestines.  So, can you give me an herb to take that will empty my colon?  I have used Cascara Segrada in the past with not much success.  I just read about a new OTC product called Digestive Advantage which has a big write-up the the Internet.  Thank you so much for taking the time to help me-I REALLY am in agony!

ANSWER: I'm so sorry you're suffering. It's best to treat your liver as well as your digestive tract, so Milk thistle is at the top of the list of recommendations for you. Also Licorice Root, though you need to be careful
with it as it can raise blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, don't use it at all. The other herbs that are beneficial for you are Alfalfa, aloe vera, Peppermint, Skullcap, balm, chamomile, fenugreek, ginger, goldenseal, lobelia, marshmallow, pau d'arco, rose hips and slippery elm.

It won't do you any good to use a cleanser before you build up the system as it will just clog up again once you stop. Ground Flaxseed is one of the best things you can take for your digestion. I get the whole flaxseeds and grind them myself. They are great on granola, salads, yogurt, just about anything. Also Psyllium will help regulate your bowel movements.

DIGESTIVE PROBLEM
QUESTION:
Last three years, I have  symptoms such as itchy on the chest or stomach area I feel burning
itch. sometime in the throat area, one the empty stomach too. Three years ago, I had upper GI test.  They said it was reflux. I also belch empty stomach or one hours to two hours of after eating. some times upper chest sensation or light pain. So I think like heartburn type symptoms, but my doctor said heartburn doesn't have redness on the skin. Can you help me in that regard, if any herbs can help me. I am already taking the licorice supplements. I recently read the book about stomach acid. In the book referred that lack of stomach acid can give many symptoms  like heartburn gerd/ bad breath, belching. In the book, Dr said that bitter herb can help like gentian root and wormwood.
                                
ANSWER: I don't know about gentian, but for digestion, I usually recommend Peppermint, chamomile, licorice and lemon balm teas both before and after eating. Eat slowly and try not to take in a lot of air. Relax and enjoy your food. If you can get your hands on some Swedish Bitters at a local health food store, that is also effective.

ACID REFLUX
QUESTION: I have bouts occasionally with what I believe to be ulcers. I have taken drugs in the past for this but am not comfortable doing this. I do not drink a lot of coffee or eat spicy foods. This comes on when I recline and continues throughout day and is somewhat alleviated with water. I am not a big soft drinker.

ANSWER: I would suggest you make sure that what you really have is ulcers before trying to treat them.  It could be acid reflux.  I would suggest trying a very simple remedy to start with and if it doesn't bring relief, you can move on to something stronger. Take 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar before eating every meal. This will help level the acids in your stomach and aid in digestion. Also, get some acidophilus and take some 3 times a day with meals. This encourages the "good" bacteria in the digestive tract. Keep me posted on your progress!

CONSTIPATION
QUESTION:
 
I suffer from chronic constipation.  Its a long story as to why so I won't go into it.  I want to know if there is an herbal medicine that I can take on a regular basis to help me.

ANSWER: Do you know what's causing this? Are you on anti-depressants perhaps? Constipation can be a tricky thing. There are lots of great herbs to treat it, but sometimes the body becomes dependant on them, so you need to be aware of that. I have a constipation tea on my website at www.allgoodegifts.com in the Herb Shoppe under Teas. It's called Regulari-TEA.  You also need to ensure you are eating plenty of fiber in your diet and avoid all starch and refined foods. You should be eating a salad 2 or 3 times a day. Apricots, prunes and grapes are very helpful with constipation. Psyllium seeds or husks, can be taken daily in a capsule form. You should be able to find it at any health food store, or even your local Wal-Mart. Flax seed is wonderful for this and I grind my own and sprinkle it on salads, put it in my granola and on veggies. If you can get some flax seed, grind it up and use it instead of salt. It doesn't taste salty, but it's better for you. If you can't find it, e-mail me with the word ORDER in the subject line and I'll grind some up and come up with a price for you.

GAS
QUESTION: 
I am writing because I have a problem. I am a rather thin person but when I eat and I don't eat much (I am a vegan) I get bloated and I my abdomen expands. I don't know if this is normal but when I see my older sister eat this never happens to her. So I was wondering if you can recommend something.

ANSWER:  Well, if you are a Vegan, I'm assuming you eat beans, broccoli and cauliflower, all of which can produce gas which is causing your bloating. You can pick up some Beano at the health food store or even some grocery stores now carry it. It is very effective. Make sure you take it with that first bite of food.  Also, make sure you're getting a good supply of acidophilus every day. Lastly, try taking 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar before eating.

QUESTION: I was so happy to find your website and I'm hoping you can help me!  I am 16 weeks pg and I have had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other digestive problems all my life.  Prior to my pregnancy, I was taking a wonderful blend of herbs called "Digest It", and they helped me SO much.  When I found out I was pregnant, I quit taking it because it has many different herbs in it and I'm unsure of their safety.  Since discontinuing it, I have had horrible pain, gas, and have even become totally dairy intolerant!  I am sensitive to just about everything I eat it seems.
           I was hoping that you may be able to help me figure out if these herbs are safe for the baby or not?  Before my pg, I was taking 3 caps a day, and recently I got so desperate for relief that I began taking just 1 capsule with dinner.  But I got paranoid and quit.  Any info you can give would be SO appreciated!

Here is a list of the herbal components:

Atractyoles
Ginger root
Orange peel
Peppermint leaf
Spearmint leaf
Angelica root
Astragalus root
Chinese peony root
French Tarragon leaf
Gentain root
Marshmallow Root
Northern Prickly Ash bark
papaya leaf
sage leaf
schizandra berry

Total of 415 mg in one capsule

If you think this is dangerous, could you please suggest something safe that
will help me?  Thank you SO much!

ANSWER: I usually steer clear of anything with clients that are pregnant. Most of the herbs in the compound should not cause problems for you with the exception of Angelica Root which promotes blood flow and Astragalus Root. My suggestion, while you're pregnant, is to avoid anything unless you really need it and then only to treat the particular symptom like nausea or weakness etc.
 
I'd be happy to help you. If you have specific issues you'd like help with, let me know and I will make a custom formulation for you that has herbs that are safe to take while pregnant.


IMPROVING LIVER FUNCTION:
QUESTION: I am currently taking cholesterol lowering medication and pain medication.  Any specific herb I can take to improve the function of my liver

ANSWER: The best herb I know of for promoting liver health is milk thistle. I also make a wonderful tea for helping improve the health of the liver. Please speak with your medical professional concerning the interactions between Milk Thistle and the medications you are taking.


QUESTION:
  I
have been having problems on and off for the last year with my digestion. I have  what I consider to be a very healthy diet mainly vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish.   First I should mention that I live in Mexico and travel quite a bit. Despite everyone's theories I am certain I do not have parasites.
        As often as once a week I am awakened by a burning sensation in my stomach area accompanied by pain and nausea.  I normally vomit and have very painful diarrhea.  the intensity and process last about three hours normally then I feel more or less fine.  Originally this was only a problem when I ate peanuts and the results where very very intense lasting much longer so I of course gave up peanuts.
         Last night I ate a salad full of vegetables and with a few olives and a little avocado and a salad dressing made of wine vinegar, olive oil, prunes and a little avocado ,  and a small amount of raw nut pate (blended nut with lime and garlic and celery).  And I work up with horrendous fire and pains, vomiting with diarrhea.  I forgot to mention that I take boldo almost every day. Is there a possibility of maybe a problem with rancid oils, or just too much fat or do you think I potentially have a digestive disorder. I would go to a doctor but like I mentioned I live in Mexico and the doctors in my area are very very conventional.  Absolutely everyone believes that if I just ate a steak I would be fine. Can you maybe recommend an herb that could balance or strengthen my digestive system?

ANSWER: My first impression is that you may have an allergy to nuts - all nuts. I would suggest you eliminate all nuts, nut butters and nut oils from your diet and see if it helps at all.  Drink only distilled water wherever you go. Impure water can be the cause of a myriad of digestive disorders.    You mentioned you are taking boldo every day, but didn't give details on how much or what form. Boldo can be very dangerous if taken in it's purest form and can cause kidney damage. Also, studies indicate it should be taken in a combination rather than by itself for the most effectiveness.

QUESTION:  I am looking for some information about IBS.  I have had it for a very long time.  I go from one extreme to another.  But this time I have been battling constipation.  I have tried psyllium husk fibber for a month but it was not helping.  I have tried the kits for detox and I could only do it for 2 weeks and it was very rough (too much) .  I finally went to the doctor and he put me on zelnorm.  Well that worked for 1 day and back to constipation.  So I went back to the health food store and got some flora essence ( tea like herb, has slippery  elm etc ).  You do this for 3 weeks. It seems to help a bit but what happens after the three weeks,  Is there anything that you would recommend and why is fibre not good.  I am also taking a probiotic from renew life once a day.

ANSWER:   
IBS is the most common digestive disorder seen by physicians. 1 in 5 Americans suffer from it, and it is more common in women than in men. I don't know what zelnorm is, but my first suggestion is to get some good quality acidophilus into you. This will replenish the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. Fiber is very good for you and the Psyllium husks should work, but you need to ensure you are drinking plenty of water and that means at LEAST 2 liters a day. Garlic is great for  aiding in digestion as well as the destruction of toxins in the colon. Flax seeds and oat bran are also good for  fiber. You should be avoiding  all animal fats, coffee, carbonated beverages junk foods, sugar  and wheat. To treat your liver, milk thistle is excellent. Licorice can also be used, but sparingly and if you have high blood pressure, don't use it at all. Alfalfa is also good for rebuilding the beneficial flora in the intestines.

ANSWERS FROM DAVID BRILL:
QUESTION:
  I have IBS.  Can you tell me a herb that would help me. Heard that peppermint tablets would may help me.  Is that true?  I take Fiberco--Two in the morning and two at night but still have problems.  I now watch what I eat.  But things I love to eat I can't have.  If I do, I take Immodium  AD in the morning and that sometimes helps.  But I don't want to get immune to it and it stops working.

ANSWER:  IBS is a tough condition to treat what you refer to as peppermint tablets is actually a caplet with peppermint oil in it.  A suggested dose is .2 to .4 milimeters three times a day with improvements after 2-4 weeks of use.  It has worked for some and not for others.  I have a friend who uses fennel; he loves the results he gets with daily use of fennel tincture.  

Additionally, not ingesting the aggrevating foods is one of the best approaches, some people have reaction to dairy products, soy,gluten(wheat products and many others). Other herbs you may want to try are Chamomile, Ginger and Carraway


H-PYLORI BACTERIA
QUESTION:
  I AM A PERSON WHO LIKES TO USE HERBS FOR HEALING....I HAVE BEEN USING GREEN TEA FOR OVER A YEAR NOW .......AND TRY TO HELP SOME OF MY HEALTH ISSUES WITH GOLDEN SEAL...HAVE JUST FOUND OUT I HAVE THE H-PYLORI BACTERIA AND MY DOCTOR JUST PUT ME ON A PAC CALLED "PREV PAC" - HAVE ALREADY HAD REACTION TO IT AND HAVE HAD TO DISCONTINUE...AM LOOKING FOR HERBS TO TREAT THIS WITH AND INFORMATION ON HOW MUCH TO TAKE...I KNOW GOLDENSEAL HELPS BUT MAYBE I HAVE NOT BEEN TAKING ENOUGH....
PLEASE RESOND WITH HELP OR REFER ME TO WHERE I CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW TO ADMINISTER HERBS AND WHAT PARTICULAR HERBS..........

ANSWER:  Licorice is a great herb for GI tract and is very effective with H-pylori, it has been show effective as a antihelicobactor treatment.  It is also a great adaptogen and balancer of the immune system, in addition to being demulcent to the GI tract, moistening and soothing to ulcers caused by this bug.

Golden Seal, an its analogs Barberry and Oregon Grape root are also effective against this bug.


DETOXIFICATION
QUESTION:
  I recently quit drinking alcohol and am eating very healthy. My body is detoxifying to the extreme and I find myself sick. I feel like I have either yeast and or bacteria in my digestive tract, stomach and throat. I was wondering what herb might help stop this growth and get me back to normal.

ANSWER:  Bacteria and Yeast are normally found in the digestive tract.  What causes you to think they are a problem for you, can you describe any symptomology, white thrush in mouth, etc?

There are some herbs that can be used for true systemic fungal infections, but I would rather have you see a local practitioner to verify the problem.

If stress and anxiety along with withdrawal are an issue.  

Try a fresh oats extract and combine with kudzu, valerian.  

You didn't mention if you were considered an alcoholic, but if you are find glycerin extracts of these herbs or pills.  We can provide the Valerian and Oats glycerin extract if you cannot find it locally.

If digestion is an issue in general use a bitter herb combination before meals to jump start the digestive tract.  Look for a combination of warming and cooling herbs such as Angelica, Dandelion, Orange Peel, Gentian combined with carminative herbs such as peppermint or ginger.  Most of these are alcohol based, so if that is a problem for you, look for bitter foods such as dark green salad greens and eat them first.

FLATULENCE
QUESTION:
What is your suggestion for a flatulence remedy ?

ANSWER:   Gas can be a sign of something else.  You may be swallowing to much air or it could be the foods you eat or something completely different.

Eat slowly don't gulp food. 

Watch what you eat, some foods can cause gas for some individuals: such as beans, broccoli, cauliflower, some fats, milk and dairy products, soy...etc.  Try to relate your gaseous times with certain foods and avoid them to see what happens.

Try Fennel chew the seeds, make a tea or take the extract, after meals it is good for gas.

Also mild herbs such as Lemon Balm and Chamomile tea have been used.

In general bitter herbs are good for digestion you may want to employ them to help with your digestive problems, read my other answers online about bitters.

FOLLOW UP QUESTION ON ABOVE
Thank you for your response and advise.  The advise you gave, I am familiar with.  I do eat too fast, and some foods I need to avoid.  Habits I have to correct. Also due to my age, the intestines have slowed down their capacity to function.  I also have to consider myself a human skunk.  When people, in various settings and situations come too close,  I either belch or fart.  For instance belching. More than once, while walking seemingly alone in a quiet neighborhood, I will have a sudden belch.  I have learned to look around to see from where my unconscious mind has picked up the presence of another human being. There is always someone that I would have either not noticed because my mind was occupied with the task at hand. Like someone working on a car in a driveway, and I see that person once I pass.  Or a person, ( or persons, more than one belch ) coming towards me a short time later on a dark road.  Flatulence is somewhat similar in nature. It is however triggered by something in my mind.  It is especially severe after my evening meal while studying at my computer.  It really does not matter what I ate. There are some foods that give me a more severe reaction as far as bloating and odor.   My active mind and apparent nervousness is the real problem.  So what should I supplement in my diet to minimize the eruptions?  Been thinking, experimenting and studying.  This led me to the latest insight.  The pancreas. It supplies digestive enzymes to the intestine.


QUESTION: To your knowledge. What herbs or foods are beneficial to a healthy pancreas ?

ANSWER:  I would suggest a bitter herb blends with carminatives mixed in.  Bitter herbs help improve digestion including increasing secretion and production of all digestive juices and increasing function and efficiency.  The formula should be a combination of warming and cooling bitters such as Angelica, Orange Peel, Gentian, Artichoke and Dandelion along with some carminative herbs such as peppermint or ginger, stay away from the Swedish Bitters which have a laxative ingredients or Angustora Bitters which has only one ingredient, Gentian. 

Additionally, I would suggest it is a nervousness problem, I would try a fresh extract of Oat tops and Saint Johnswort mixed with an adaptogen such as Siberian Ginseng.  This would be a custom blend or you could get them individually and mix your own formula.