If you experience occasional symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, it’s easy to feel alone in your suffering. However, you’re far from alone – it’s estimated that up to 30% of the general population experiences them at times.
While only a small percentage may actually visit their health care provider for their complaints, countless others change their diets or seek over-the-counter remedies for relief. Many simply ignore their symptoms, hoping they will go away.
Regardless, occasional gastrointestinal (GI) issues are the second highest reason for employees to call in sick, only after the common cold.
Typical symptoms can include occasional bloating, cramping, burning, spasms, gas, fullness, irregularity and abdominal discomfort. Even though these symptoms often exist with no diagnosed physical condition behind them, they can disrupt life in many ways.
Occasional GI distress can not only make you feel miserable, it can impact your social life, interrupt your physical activity and even impact you financially if you need to miss work.
Dealing with the symptoms of GI distress can be stressful. And when you’re under stress – or even just thinking stressful thoughts – your body’s reactions can take a toll on your well-being.
Stress causes your heart rate and blood pressure to rise. As part of your body’s natural fight-or-flight response, blood shunts away from your digestive organs to your head, arms and legs.
Unfortunately, this type of response wreaks havoc on your gut as well. With less blood flow to your digestive system, your output of enzymes and nutrient absorption declines dramatically. Plus, the supply of oxygen to your gut diminishes.
Why Optimal GI Health Matters
Stress also alters your brain-gut connection – that crucial communication link between your gut and brain.
Disruption in this vital communication pathway can have long-lasting effects on the health and function of not only your entire gastrointestinal system, but also your cognition and mood.
Your gastrointestinal tract has its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system. Your brain, immune system and your gut microbes “talk” to each other through this communication channel that runs along your vagus nerve – a cranial nerve that extends from your brain stem down to your abdomen.
The extremely complex community of gut microbes living in your gastrointestinal tract – an important part of your body’s microbiome – includes trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other life forms that far exceed the number of your own cells.
Researchers believe that disturbances to your microbiome may play a crucial role in the development of occasional GI symptoms.
In fact, research shows that people who experience occasional gastrointestinal distress may have nerves in their guts that are more active than those in individuals who don’t get occasional symptoms like bloating, cramping, spasms and discomfort.
Because your microbiome is so vitally important for all aspects of your health – including gut health and comfort – protecting it must be your highest priority.
8 Key Steps to Supporting Gut and Bowel Health and Comfort*
Fortunately, there are some simple strategies you can use to help protect your microbiome while addressing your occasional symptoms and helping promote GI health, function and overall comfort.*
- Eat high-quality, fresh and unprocessed, non-GMO food.
Americans spend 90% of their food dollars on processed foods, which is a recipe for disaster for gut health. Choose organic (whenever possible), fresh and unprocessed “real” food, and eliminate all vegetable oils and reduce or eliminate processed sugars and genetically modified (GMO) foods, which can be loaded with toxic pesticides and herbicides, such as glyphosate, a known gut-disruptor.
- Avoid gluten.
The first thing I recommend for anyone suffering with occasional GI distress is to avoid all sources (including many hidden sources) of gluten. By avoiding gluten in wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt for one or two weeks, many people see symptoms improve.
- Don’t eat for at least three to four hours before bedtime.
Time-restricted eating can be beneficial for those who suffer with occasional GI distress, as an empty stomach allows your body’s natural processes of sweeping your gastrointestinal tract clean of undigested food, called the migrating myoelectric complex (MMC), to proceed while you sleep.
A 12-hour minimum – preferably longer – overnight fast not only allows your MMC to work more efficiently, is gives your digestive system a much-needed break from digesting and processing food.
- Boost healthy gut bacteria.
Once you’ve eliminated, or at least reduced, sugar and processed foods in your diet, focus on balancing your gut flora, or microbiome, by getting enough healthy bacteria.
Fermented foods are my favorite source for beneficial bacteria. If you prefer a supplement, Complete Afterbiotics offers a “trifecta” approach to gut health by combining the power of six probiotic strains, including soil-based organisms (SBOs), non-spore-forming probiotics and a powerful probiotic yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii that’s been recommended for intestinal issues for decades.*
- Supplement with Vitamins D3, K2 and magnesium if needed.
Studies show 75% of people with occasional GI symptoms are deficient in vitamin D3, and about 70% report improvements when they start supplemental vitamin D. I recommend testing your serum vitamin D levels regularly and maintaining them at 40 ng/ml or above. You can find out your levels by participating in the Vitamin D*action Project through the Mercola Market.
To ensure proper utilization of vitamin D, always take it with vitamin K2 and magnesium. Many individuals are also deficient in magnesium – an essential mineral that helps activate vitamin D in your body. Research shows that about half of those taking vitamin D supplements aren’t able to optimize their vitamin D levels until they add supplemental magnesium.
- Tame your stress, and address emotional stress triggers.
Even if you feel you are adequately handling the stress in your life, I’ve found that many people with occasional GI distress have at least one unresolved emotional component fueling their symptoms. Meditation, prayer and tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique can help you relax fully and address challenges.
- Soothe your gastrointestinal system with time-tested, proven herbs.
Fortunately, we have a small handful of botanicals that come with long histories of use for GI distress and bowel discomfort. And the top ones are backed by research to effectively relieve occasional symptoms.*
The Best Herbal Preparations for Occasional GI Distress
Many people struggle to find effective natural relief for occasional gastrointestinal and bowel comfort issues. We’re lucky to have a handful of botanicals that come with long histories of use.
Two independent researchers recently performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 different herbal preparations used for GI issues along with a total of 33 trials. They only included in their review trials that were double-blind and placebo-controlled – “gold-standard” features of trustworthy studies.
Out of the group of 18 botanicals and the 33 trials included in their review, peppermint oil emerged as the most effective and well-tolerated herbal preparation for easing occasional symptoms and improving quality of life.*
Equally important, only a small handful of the 18 preparations had positive trials that could be replicated. These included peppermint oil and a little-known Indian spice called asafoetida.
Everyone is familiar with peppermint – it’s an herb that has been used since ancient Egyptian times for gastrointestinal issues. We know that because dried peppermint leaves were found in the pyramids. Today, the herb comes in many forms – teas, oils, capsules and tonics.
However, what few people realize about peppermint oil is that the delivery makes all the difference for your symptoms.
With the wrong delivery system (which many peppermint oil products utilize), it can actually make certain symptoms, like heartburn and nausea, worse.
What Makes Peppermint Oil so Effective
Peppermint oil is extracted from the leaves of the peppermint plant, Mentha piperita. Naturally found on the undersides of the leaves, the oil is extracted by steam distillation just before the plant enters the flowering stage.
A complex mixture of compounds, peppermint oil’s two major components are menthol and menthone, with L-menthol making up about 35 to 50% of the compound. Other constituents include menthyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, beta-pinene and beta-caryophyllene.
While peppermint oil exhibits many health-promoting qualities, L-menthol specifically supports the health of your gut mucosal barrier and modulates a healthy inflammatory response.*
The walls of your gut are made of smooth muscle. When you experience occasional symptoms of GI distress – whether from stress or any other reason – the nerves in your colon go on high alert. This ultra-sensitivity can lead to discomfort and cause the muscles in your gut wall to contract.
When properly delivered directly to your small intestine, peppermint oil and its active ingredient, L-menthol, soothe your colon by supporting smooth muscle relaxation, helping your muscles respond appropriately for greater comfort and function.*
Introducing Peppermint Oil With Asafoetida for Fast-Acting, Targeted Support for Occasional GI Discomfort*
We decided to do something no one else has ever done before: Combine two of the top botanicals identified for easing occasional gastrointestinal symptoms and improving quality of life.
Peppermint Oil with Asafoetida utilizes all the potential of steam-distilled Organic Peppermint Oil, and scales it up another notch with the addition of Organic Asafoetida Extract, directly from India in its purest form without any harsh processing.
With any peppermint oil capsule, it is essential that it dissolves in your small intestine and not in your stomach. In fact, with some GI symptoms, you don’t want peppermint oil anywhere near your stomach or esophagus.
Because the menthol in peppermint oil so effectively relaxes smooth muscle, if deposited into your stomach, it can relax your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and cause or worsen symptoms of heartburn and reflux.*
To protect your stomach and LES, we use a gastric acid-resistant, delayed release capsule to transport the Peppermint Oil with Asafoetida directly to your small intestine.
Our Patented Delivery System Offers Unparalleled Protection
Our manufacturer uses patented delayed release capsules called DRcaps™ to provide additional protection to the content’s harsh gastric acids. The first of their kind, these gastric acid-resistant hard capsules are made of a vegetable substance that slows down capsule disintegration after swallowing.
To measure how long it would take the hard capsules to reach the intestines and release their contents, the capsule manufacturers tested their capsules to ensure they meet their exact specifications. Here’s what they discovered:
- DRcaps capsules displayed delayed release properties as designed.
- Disintegration started 45 minutes after ingestion versus five minutes for a typical immediate release capsule.
- Complete release occurred in the intestines for the majority of subjects.
- Release was complete within 20 minutes after onset.
The DRcaps capsules’ delayed opening in this study more than assures your stomach is protected from the peppermint oil as it passes through to your small intestine.
The bottom line is, you can take our Peppermint Oil with Asafoetida capsules with complete confidence that they won’t accidently deposit their contents in your stomach and worsen your symptoms, like with some enteric-coated peppermint oil pills.
Enteric coatings work by protecting the contents in a capsule when it reaches an acidic environment – like your stomach. However, eating or drinking anything along with an enteric coated-capsule can dilute your stomach juices and dissolve the enteric coating. This is how an enteric coating can “fail” and dump its contents into your stomach.
Antacids or acid suppressing medications can also interact and reduce the pH of your stomach, potentially allowing the capsule to digest in your stomach and not your intestine where you want the peppermint oil to end up.
Either of these situations can lead to reflux due to the peppermint oil’s relaxing effects on your LES.
But there’s another problem with enteric coatings...
The Hidden Ingredients Found in Enteric Coatings
Enteric coatings can consist of many things not listed on the label – polymers, plasticizers, pigments, opacifiers, glidants, binders, anti-tacking and anti-foaming agents, fillers, surfactants and extenders.
In fact, two of the most common enteric coatings in use for more than 40 years are cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP) and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate (HPMCP). Just by looking at their names, you can see they contain substances called phthalates.
Phthalates are a family of chemicals used by manufacturers as plasticizers to achieve flexibility, resilience and protection. However, scientists link phthalate exposure to a number of serious health issues, including:
- Declining sperm counts and infertility.
- Disrupted hormones.
- Altered thyroid function.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Lowered IQ.
- Attention deficit disorder.
Unfortunately, the list doesn’t stop there, so I recommend avoiding phthalates whenever possible. Steering clear of any supplement with an enteric coating will enable you to eliminate at least one source of these questionable chemicals.
The Secret-Weapon Spice With Many Health-Promoting Properties
Asafoetida, or hing, as it’s commonly known in India, is a perennial flowering plant that mostly grows in the wild. Native to Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s thought to have come to India sometime around 600 BC – the time it is mentioned in Hindu and Buddhist texts.
Derived from a type of giant fennel, asafoetida has three fractions – resin, gum and essential oil. The herbal resin is obtained from the roots and rhizome of the plant and is prized as a culinary ingredient.
Considered the secret-weapon spice of Southern Indian cuisine, asafoetida has long been used in place of garlic and onions. For those for whom onions cause digestive issues, this is a real boon. And it’s often added to bean dishes to help prevent gassiness.
However, once you’ve experience this cooking spice, it is not easily forgotten.
Asafoetida’s name translates into “rotten resin,” and the spice has a strong aroma resembling rotting garlic and sweaty feet. As unappetizing as that may sound, its taste is a different story. Indians claim asafoetida adds a delicious savory, umami taste to dishes.
Beyond its use as a cooking spice, asafoetida has many valuable health-promoting properties. For centuries, it has been used around the world, for purposes other than flavoring dishes, to support:
- Digestive function and gut health.*
- Cognition, brain and nervous system health.*
- Respiratory health.*
- Cardiovascular health.*
- Liver health.*
- Metabolic health.*
- Women’s health.*
So what makes this herb so potentially beneficial? Let’s take a closer look at asafoetida and what it can potentially do for your health.
How Asafoetida May Benefit Your Well-Being
Ferula assa-foetida, or asafoetida, contains many biologically active phytochemical constituents, including dozens of coumarins and sulfur-containing compounds, as well as ferulic acid and its esters, phenolics, terpenoids, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, oleic acid, beta-sitosterol, galactose and arabinose.
Asafoetida is part of several remedies used by India’s ancient medical system, or Ayurveda. Studies show this botanical helps:
- Promote smooth muscle relaxation in your gut.*
- Support digestive enzyme activity.*
- Maintain healthy neurological function.*
- Support cognitive function and mood.*
- Promote healthy liver function.*
- Support healthy blood pressure levels already in the normal range.*
- Support healthy, normal cell growth.*
- Promote healthy blood glucose levels.*
- Support a healthy metabolism.*
As you can see, asafoetida’s potential benefits for gut health and function overlap with many of those for peppermint oil. This is why we decided to combine them in Peppermint Oil with Asafoetida – to take advantage of their complimentary actions.
Stay Ahead of Occasional GI Distress With Peppermint Oil With Asafoetida
When you experience occasional gastrointestinal distress, you want fast action. You want to feel better now, not tomorrow or next week.
With Peppermint Oil with Asafoetida, you get fast-acting, targeted relief for occasional gastrointestinal distress – All without worsening other issues, thanks to our gastric acid-resistant, patented delayed release capsules.*
Working together in your gut, these two complimentary botanicals help:
- Promote smooth muscle relaxation in your colon.*
- Support the health of your gut mucosal barrier.*
- Modulate a healthy inflammatory response.*
- Support digestive enzyme activity.*
Appropriate for whenever you need its soothing relief, Peppermint Oil with Asafoetida has you covered. Order your supply today.