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Herbal Remedies to Repair Leaky Gut
Fortunately, there are some great herbs and formulas available that can help to fix this problem. There are four herbal blends, and several single herbs and nutrients, that I have found helpful in healing the inflammation and repairing the intestinal leakage. The first three herbal blends are Intestinal Soothe and Build, Una de Gato Combination and Kudzu/St. John's wort from Nature's Sunshine Products. I also use Fiberzon Plus from Amazon Herbs. Single herbs and nutrients that may also be helpful include l-glutamine, glucosamine, bioflavinoids, vitamin C, yarrow, wild yam, sarsaparilla, chamomile and licorice.
Intestinal Soothe and Build
The first of these products for intestinal inflammation and leaky gut is Intestinal Soothe and Build. Formulated by Herbalist Jeanne Burgess, this blend was originally called UC3-J, which stood for ulcers (U) and Crohn's, Colitis and Celiac's (the 3-Cs). Jeanne created this blend to deal with common conditions resulting from intestinal inflammation and it has also proven beneficial for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), leaky gut syndrome, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and anal fistula.
The herbs in Intestinal Soothe & Build have vulnerary (tissue healing) and anti-inflammatory effects. Slippery elm, plantain and marshmallow absorb irritating substances, cooling and soothing damaged tissues. Chamomile and rosehips reduce inflammation, while plantain, rosehips and bugleweed all help to strengthen the structural integrity of inflamed tissues. Here is a brief description of the benefits of each herb.
Jeanne Burgess used this formula in conjunction with Stress-J for intestinal problems, a fact many of us forget. Although people usually think of Stress-J as being “only for stress,” the blend contains several herbs that have beneficial effects on digestion. It contains chamomile, which reduces intestinal inflammation and stimulates digestion, fennel, another great carminative and digestive herb, and marshmallow. There is also a strong link between stress and digestive problems; taking the two together helps both formulas be more effective.
Una de Gato (Cat's Claw) Combination
Una De Gato Combination is my second blend for repairing intestinal membranes. Cat's claw, is the principle herb in this blend and is one of the top-rated remedies for healing leaky gut and inflammatory intestinal disorders of all kinds.
Kudzu/St. John's Wort
The third formula we've had great success with is Kudzu/St. John's Wort. Kudzu is very helpful for repairing gut leakiness , while St. John's wort aids the nerves that regulate the digestive process. Kudzu is the key herb here. Like cat's claw, it is helpful for healing intestinal mucosa. It has a toning (astringent) action and relaxes muscle spasms at the same time. Kudzu is used in Chinese medicine to relieve headaches, stiff neck and muscle pain and to treat diarrhea.
The St. John's wort in this blend is usually thought of as an anti-depressant, but it is so much more than that. In The Book of Herbal Wisdom, Matthew Wood explains that St. John's wort soothes the solar plexus and stomach and harmonizes the action of the digestive organs so they work together better. It reduces tension in the liver and treats emotional issues that affect digestion. St. John's wort has also been traditionally used as a wound healer, so it has vulnerary properties, too.
This formula has become one of my favorite colon-healing blends. I take it quite regularly along with my fiber to keep my intestines healthy. It contains a little rhubarb root, which has a mild laxative action, and artichoke leaf, a bitter that promotes liver detoxification and the flow of bile. It also contains some great herbs for reducing intestinal inflammation and reducing gut leakage, including una de gato, sangre de drago, licorice and flax seed.
Okay, that covers our four main formulas for dealing with leaky gut, but let's also consider briefly some of the single remedies, too. For starters, l-glutamine is a major nutrient that intestinal cells require for maintenance. This amino acid plays a role in protecting against viral, bacterial and food antigen invaders.
Glutamine is a major nutrient needed by intestinal cells for maintenance and repair. It reinforces this first line of the immune system. There is considerable evidence that glutamine can aid the gut in its role of protecting against viral, bacterial, and food antigen invaders.
Citrus Bioflavinoids (vitamin C) strengthen connective tissue and also aid in repairs. Many of the single herbs we mentioned will not only reduce inflammation, they will also help to repair the integrity of intestinal membranes. Also, don't forget that anti-inflammatories like Thai-Go and IF Relief may also be helpful.