The health of your digestive tract determines the health of the rest of your body. In many healing traditions across the globe, the GI tract is considered to be the “trunk of the tree,” and can affect nearly every other single function in the body.
In today’s age, there are dozens of gastrointestinal conditions that affect millions of people, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and leaky gut. While “leaky gut” isn’t yet a formally-recognized medical diagnosis, this is a gut health condition of epidemic proportions.
What is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut, sometimes known as increased intestinal permeability, often goes along with other GI disorders and other chronic health conditions in general. But it can take root in the body long before other symptoms show up. This is about the lining of the GI tract, and the health of the cells and tissues there. So, before we can explore how to heal leaky gut naturally, we need to know- how does leaky gut happen in the first place?
Your gut, aka the gastrointestinal tract, is made up of over 4,000 square feet of epithelial cell lining, which controls what gets passed from the gut into the bloodstream. Under normal healthy circumstances, this lining has a lot of integrity and easily prevents toxins from entering your precious bloodstream.
However, in someone with leaky gut, the lining is compromised, with little holes or cracks in it, which allow toxins, bacteria, allergens, and partially-digested food particles to pass through. When these things are allowed to pass into the blood, it can cause an immune reaction- sometimes severe, but often mild enough that no immediate action is taken. This is one of the sneaky things about leaky gut- its symptoms are typically vague and can last a long time.
Potential symptoms of leaky gut syndrome (LGS):
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Bloating, cramping, and gas
- Worsening anxiety or depression
- Brain fog or difficulty concentrating
- Joint pain
- Allergy symptoms
- Skin conditions such as acne, eczema, or rashes
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Chronic, low-grade inflammation
Leaky gut syndrome is primarily a condition of chronic inflammation and immune system activation, and is correlated with changes in the gut microbiome. Damage to the intestinal lining is associated with many other conditions such as HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and more.
Health experts don’t know exactly what causes leaky gut yet, but there are a few theories. Certain things that seem to increase a person’s risk for LGS include:
- Poor nutrition
- Excess alcohol consumption
- Autoimmune disorders such as Lupus
- Overuse of antibiotics and similar medications
- Uncontrolled bacteria, viral, or parasitic infections
- Chronic sleep loss
- Chronic stress
Because leaky gut is so poorly understood by the conventional medical community, there aren’t any approved treatments for it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t heal your leaky gut! There are many wonderful ways that you can heal leaky gut naturally, including certain nutritional changes as well as leaky gut supplements and certain herbs for leaky gut. With consistency and patience, you can reverse many of the symptoms of GI issues and restore your gut health!
Basic tips to begin healing leaky gut:
- Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and medications (please talk to your doctor before changing any current medications!)
- Bring in more probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods, to feed the good bacteria in your gut
- Understand your food allergies- try eliminating foods such as gluten, dairy, eggs, coffee, alcohol, processed vegetable oils, white sugar, soy, and any artificial colors/flavors/additives
- Prioritize getting enough quality sleep and rest time
- Practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation, breathwork, art/music therapy, or time in nature
Once you’ve made a few adjustments to your nutrition and lifestyle habits, it’s time to think about some of the best leaky gut supplements and herbs you could add in, going beyond the usual probiotic supplement or digestive enzymes. There are several great options that can naturally support the health of your intestinal lining, and help strengthen the tissues of your gut. Here are 3 to consider:
1. Our Healthy Guts Formula
This is an innovative all-in-one liquid supplement that contains many active nutritional compounds that have been shown to support cell and tissue integrity. With the amino acids and minerals found in this supplement, your GI tract can strengthen and improve functions such as sulfation and methylation. Our Healthy Guts Formula can boost natural detoxification and glutathione production, as well as potentially reduce reactions to foods like gluten and casein.
This leaky gut supplement contains sulfur-containing biotin, and chondroitin sulfate Methylsufonylmethane (MSM), a very small amount of N-acetyl cysteine as a synergist, along with calcium D-glucarate that helps to detoxify the gut and catalyze the formation of glycosaminoglycans, N-acetyl as an anti-microbial and gut anti-inflammatory.
2. Our Healing Tea
Teas are a fantastic way to incorporate herbs for leaky gut, since the large volume of liquid is easily passed through the GI tract and absorbed into the tissues. Our Healing Tea is a top-selling product for many reasons, but especially for its ability to support gut restoration. It is blended with several herbs that have been shown to tighten tissues, detoxify cells, and speed up the healing process, all of which are essential for leaky gut recovery.
This tea is best consumed daily in larger quantities, especially at the beginning of your healing process. It’s wonderful brewed in big batches, and you can throw in a cinnamon stick for extra flavor if you'd like. Our Healing Tea is made with: White Oak Bark, Plaintain Herb, Comfrey Root & Leaf, Black Walnut Hulls, Chaparral Herb, Burdock Root, Marshmallow Root, and Nettle Leaf.
3. Licorice Root
Licorice root is an herb that has been prized for its gut-soothing qualities for many centuries, and is used in dozens of different modern applications. You’ll notice that many leaky gut supplements, as well as supplements for heartburn, ulcers, and digestive issues are made with licorice root. It is a sweet, mucilagenous herb that is excellent for coating the GI tract and reducing inflammation. It can soothe and cool tissues that have become irritated, as is common with leaky gut. Licorice is also a great supplement for reducing sugar cravings as you heal!
Our licorice liquid extract is easy to add to water or juice, or take directly under the tongue. Please consult your healthcare provider before using if you have high blood pressure.
Healing leaky gut naturally is completely possible, with the right diet and lifestyle changes, and the help of the best leaky gut supplements. Start nourishing your GI tract with these tips and tools, and you’ll begin to feel more grounded, clear, and calm in no time!