Heal your digestive system with this two-step Naturopathic approach…


Hippocrates once said that ‘all disease begins in the gut’ … and how right he was. Gut conditions, like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), leaky gut and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), can all trigger uncomfortable symptoms, such as bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea and fatigue. However modern day research has also linked poor gut health to a number of allergy-related conditions, autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, neurological issues, malabsorption and even some cancers!

The good news is that it is possible to improve your digestive symptoms and reduce your risk factors for other chronic health conditions by encouraging gut healing through a two-step Naturopathic approach.


  1. Weed and seed

Weeding involves ‘weeding out’ unhealthy bacteria, yeasts and fungi from the gut, while seeding involves introducing beneficial bacteria and healing the gut lining. Naturopaths can achieve this by prescribing a variety of naturopathic herbs, including:

  • Antimicrobial herbs – herbs like golden seal, oregano, wormwood, andrographis, pau d’arco, olive leaf and Echinacea can help kill off gut pathogens and cleanse digestion.
  • Pre-biotics – including fermented foods (like kim chi and sauerkraut) may be recommended to help promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
  • Probiotics – such as saccharomyces boulardii, may also be prescribed to introduce ‘good’ or ‘helpful’ bacteria into the gut, which may improve digestion and increase immunity.

The herbs prescribed during the weed and seed stage may vary depending on the individual, their history and presentation of symptoms. This stage also needs to be paced in order to avoid Herxheimer’s reaction, a reaction that comes as a consequence of sudden bacterial die off. Symptoms of Herxheimer’s reaction may include fatigue, nausea and headaches.


  1. Heal and seal

Once the pathogens contributing to gut irritation have been partially reduced, we can focus on healing and sealing the lining of the gut. There are a number of naturopathic herbs that may help achieve this, including: 

  • L-Glutamine – the body’s dominant amino acid, which plays a huge role in strengthening and healing the lining of the gut as well as preventing bacteria infiltrating the bloodstream (leaky gut link).
  • Slippery elm and aloe vera juice – who’s protective, calming and anti-inflammatory properties sooth to the mucosal layer (responsible for digestion, absorption and secretion) of the digestive tract.
  • Golden seal, calendula, chamomile, licorice, turmeric – all of which are antimicrobial, soothing and healing to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • Fennel, peppermint, lemon balm, ginger are carminatives – which can help reduce the pain and cramping associated with gas build up and bloating.
  • Bone broth – an easily absorbed nutrient source with notable amounts of glucosamine/chondroitin/proline and other important minerals, which all contribute to soothing and healing the lining of a damaged digestive tract.
  • Vitamins A and Vitamin D – required for healing and maintaining the mucousal layer of the gut and for normal immune function.


Want to know if Naturopathy is right for you and your symptoms?

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  • using our Request an appointment service
  • calling our head office on 1300 853 023 (Aust) / 09 479 5997 (NZ), Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm (EST).

This blog is intended as general information only. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.

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