Estrogen Dominance and Castor Oil – Your Best Tool for a Real and Relative Problem

Estrogen Dominance and Castor Oil – Your Best Tool for a Real and Relative Problem

The most frustrating part of having a hormone problem is that you often don’t get a diagnosis or confirmation of exactly what is wrong with you. This is because it depends on if you have REAL or RELATIVE estrogen dominance or one of the other conditions that mimic it. If it’s REAL, you will get the confirmation you are looking for. But if its RELATIVE, watch out. You’ll be floating in “nothing’s wrong, it’s all in your head” land for a long time, as so many of us find ourselves there.

So you go about living your life, feeling unwell and no one can tell you why. You go on living not realizing that you may be setting yourself up for a chronic autoimmune disease(s) or even cancer1. If you’re confused, that’s good, read on. Let’s clarify how your estrogen dominance, whichever one you may have, is draining your vitality and stopping you from living your dreams. I’ll also show you how castor oil packs will be the first step to set your body in the right direction. 

A Definition of Relative and Real

Relatives, I say? Yes our relatives, they can be an issue. But I’m not talking about that kind of relative. 

Jokes aside, in medicine relative means something very different and indicates being in proper proportion or balance to something else in the body that works. Because it’s a relative problem, it doesn’t show up on laboratory tests. Technically the levels are all within their individual normal ranges. However, compared to each other and in the proper body balance and harmony, they are not. These are often harder to give a label to because if they are diagnosed, they do so only after excluding all the other conditions that fall in the real category. 

Real, on the other hand, is a quantifiable level that can be demonstrated on laboratory exams. You can see levels are out of range, and because of this, you can give it a label and a quick diagnosis. This often this leads to faster treatment, only because you know exactly what you are dealing with.

Types of Estrogen Dominance

There are two types of scenarios in the female body that we can experience in regards to estrogen dominance. However, the symptoms are the same so the only way to differentiate is through labs. 

The Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance  

Symptoms are the same whether you have a REAL or RELATIVE estrogen dominance. These are what is experienced most often:

  • Mood swings, anxiety & irritability
  • Headache, foggy brain 
  • Bloating and bowel changes – predominantly constipation 
  • Weight gain around hips and buttocks 
  • Breast tenderness
  • Water retention
  • Uterine fibroids/ovarian cysts
  • Food cravings for sugar and carbohydrates (pasta and bread) 
  • Changes in bleeding
  • Cold body temperature, fatigue 
  • Hair loss, thinning eyebrows and eyelashes 

Real Estrogen Dominance and Cause

When you have REAL estrogen dominance you are the lucky one. You actually do have very high levels of estrogen (although who am I kidding, that isn’t lucky, it’s downright dangerous). These can be tested by conventional labs or by a functional lab such as the Dutch Hormone Test, which is my test of choice for hormones. Click here to learn more about a lab that offers this testing conveniently. It gives the most complete information about what is happening in the body and HOW it is processing hormones. If you’ve got the REAL deal, here are the most common reasons why you are experiencing a dangerously high level of estrogen: 

  1. You store your food in plastic – You purchase and eat canned goods or food that’s been stored in plastic, which can contain endocrine-disrupting bisphenol A (BPA)2 and other not-yet-notorious chemicals. These supply your body with xenoestrogens that leach from plastic and other sources. These mimic our bodies’ natural estrogen, causing issues. There could be other problems because these are, in essence, pieces of plastic in our bodies and the research at this point isn’t completely clear on the long term side effects, but I have an idea, it’s not good. STRESSFUL on the system.{Side Note: NEVER purchase oils in plastic! Oils are well known to absorb plastics and chemicals from their containers, this is also important when we talk about castor oil packs later on because you do not want your castor oil to be bottled in plastic. Oils should ALWAYS BE IN GLASS.}
  2. Water supply – City water has been said to contain negligible traces of the birth control pill with little to no effect on human health3. That being said, it is still ending up in rivers and streams and affecting the water supply4. The remnants of pharmaceuticals end up in the water supply5 and we consume them through the food chain as our fish, fowl, and game drink the water in the rivers. STRESSFUL on the system. 
  3. Prescription sources of estrogens – If you are taking the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy, this adds to your estrogenic load. These are all sources of estrogen that accumulate in your body, upsetting the natural balance.  STRESSFUL on the system.
  4. Carrying too much body fat – Fat produces estrogen. Fat utilizes too much of your nutrients and antioxidants, leading to depletion. Starvation in a land of plenty. STRESSFUL on the system.
  5. Unbalanced microbiome – Where increased bad microbes exist, creating an environment that is pro-estrogen dominant6, known as the estrobiome. STRESSFUL on the system.
  6. Inflammation – Inflammatory molecules may mimic estrogen in our systems and fuel estrogen dominance. In effect, inflammation enhances the effect of estrogen in our bodies7. STRESSFUL on the system.

The unifying factor – STRESS! 

Relative Estrogen Dominance and Causes

The other side of the coin is where your progesterone is so low, RELATIVE to your level of estrogen, that estrogen acts in your body as though it is super high but it isn’t. It’s just that your progesterone is in the gutter, super low. What are the most common reasons why this happens?

  1. Your elevated stress hormone – Cortisol requires the same raw product as does progesterone. If you’ve been dealing with a lot of stress, you will need more raw product to produce cortisol for you to be able to cope and manage. STRESSFUL on the system.
  2. Your body compensates – So it will steal from Peter to pay Paul. Preferring to save you from a crisis, your body creates the stress hormone cortisol from the same raw material that it makes progesterone from. This way it can deal with the immediate stressor. STRESSFUL on the system.
  3. Progesterone is optional to your body – Progesterone is a hormone of fertility, needed to procreate. Being fertile is the last thing your body cares about when you are under stress. Progesterone also acts as a diuretic, helping to avoid water retention, ensuring good bowel movements and keeping the thyroid balanced. So interesting, no wonder you don’t feel that good when you are stressed! STRESSFUL on the system.

The common denominator again – STRESS!

Our Bodies in Balance – The Ecosystem

We are not separate from our organ systems and everything must work like a fine-tuned orchestra. Estrogen dominance demonstrates observable patterns and associations to other conditions, especially thyroid conditions such as hypothyroid and autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. To note, many of the symptoms of estrogen dominance mimic thyroid conditions to a tee. Is this a coincidence? I think not.  

High Estrogen Causing Low Thyroid

With REAL or RELATIVE estrogen dominance, it is highly likely that you will simultaneously have a hypothyroid condition. Actually, in my practice, I have noted this to be the case in almost all of my patients, with a few outliers. On labs, a telltale sign is low iron (ferritin) and low B12. There are very few outliers. 

This pattern goes hand in hand for the very simple reason that progesterone helps to support healthy thyroid function and estrogen levels. Stress knocks out progesterone. STRESSFUL on the system.

In addition, because your body is overwhelmed with excess relative or real estrogen hormone, it will use up vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to alkalinize and cleanse the excess estrogens out.

These are the same vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are needed to support thyroid health, namely zinc, selenium, magnesium, and glutathione. One of the antibody thyroid tests, anti-thyroid peroxidase, can be used as a measure of glutathione in the system along with magnesium. Low magnesium, low glutathione. Click here for lab testing that I use and trust.

If you’re using them up in one place, you’re going to become deficient somewhere else. It’s a vicious repeating cycle and one that I’m going to show you how to reset. 

Which Came First? Estrogen Dominance or Hypothyroid?

Patients always ask, which came first, the estrogen dominance or hypothyroid? That’s exactly like asking me if the chicken or the egg came first. How do I know, I’m not a fortune teller or God. It’s very hard to say because there is a considerable amount of overlap. One could easily cause the other and we must not forget that there are other systems involved, including the gut, the microbiome and inflammatory processes occurring in the body. 

I look at it as a garden. We need to make sure the ingredients going in are good, what needs to come out is coming out and that we love it and are peaceful and content with the process. 

Support Your Body Ecosystem/Terrain to Optimize Healing

So you see the predicament. This means that if we are to work through it, we have to be extremely strategic. It’s not only about fixing one thing but working on the whole. Is there a way to help balance and support the regulatory systems of the body?

Fortunately, there is and it is the most simple and inexpensive treatment out there. It is legendary as goddesses, gurus, and queens used this treatment since before biblical times. It stands out among other treatments because it doesn’t just have one mechanism of action on the body, it has a totally comprehensive and multi-faceted reach on all regulatory systems of the body. What is this treatment? It’s the sacred castor oil pack.

Castor Oil Packs

To reset your estrogen, your game plan shouldn’t be fully to annihilate it. You want it, after all, it keeps you young. It keeps your skin glowing and is responsible for a variety of beneficial processes in the body. However, you want it to be in balance with your progesterone. Therefore your strategies must accomplish 5 very important goals. 

  1. Maintain a healthy balance of your stress hormone, cortisol, and encourage more feel-good hormones
  2. Promote high antioxidants levels and reset your natural cleansing mechanisms
  3. Keep your bowels flowing – digestion, absorption and elimination working properly
  4. Reduce inflammation and increase alkalinization
  5. Support your microbiome and break down unhealthy biofilm

So how does this legendary treatment accomplish all this?

Castor Oil Packs and Stress

The problem in our modern world is that all of us are in a constant state of stress. Since cortisol is made out of the same product as progesterone, the more stressed you are, the less progesterone your body will be able to produce. It is a vicious cycle, so it’s incredibly important to do everything you can to reduce stress in your body.

When your body is in a relaxed state, your immune system8 is optimized and your digestive process is flawless. When you’re stressed, your gut can become ‘leaky’, meaning the gap junctions are broken and food particles that are too large can enter your bloodstream and cause havoc all over the body9 10 11.

When you use the pack, the soft compression of the pack on the skin helps to promote your feel-good hormone, oxytocin12. The limbic area (aka the area responsible for emotion) of the brain is stimulated and flooded with another feel-good neurotransmitter, dopamine13.

Castor oil packs harness the healing powers of nature that support our body’s natural healing mechanisms. The key to having this treatment be effective is PRACTICE. I have my own take on the old saying, “Practice makes perfect”. But hey no one is perfect! More accurately, “Practice makes PROGRESS”. This is why it’s best to wear your pack for at least 1 hour each day, or ideally overnight.

Castor Oil Packs to Reset Your Cleansing Mechanisms

To balance the dominance of estrogen in the body, cleansing processes must be working well. There is an enzyme known as beta-glucuronidase that deconjugates estrogens, allowing them to recirculate throughout the body. It has been shown to be elevated in estrogen dominance14. 

Castor oil improves levels of your body’s powerhouse detox molecule, glutathione15. Glutathione gets rid excess estrogens, toxins, and byproducts of plastics like BPA. Remember it’s best to STAY AWAY from carrying food and drink in plastic! 

Castor oil packs are typically worn over the liver because they exert a powerful anti-inflammatory effect that supports its function – and it’s responsible for over 200 bodily functions! The packs have even been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and improve liver enzymes16. 

Castor Oil Packs to Reduce Inflammation

When you are dealing with estrogen dominance, the last thing you want in your body is inflammation as it just feeds the imbalance even more. Castor oil packs have been shown to help to reduce inflammation17. 

Most of the inflammation in our body is present in the intestines and the gut, since they are exposed to the outside world via the food we intake and the different bugs that enter our bodies18. When we can calm this core inflammation, we relieve bloating, it helps us get a flat tummy and it supports balancing out our hormones. Now, remember, practice makes progress, and it’s with daily practice that you will feel better.

Castor Oil Packs

If you have estrogen dominance, chances are you are probably backed up. When you can’t eliminate waste, the toxins, excess hormones and bad bacteria that it contains can recirculate the body.

The amazing thing about castor oil packs is that they have been shown to relieve constipation just as effectively as laxatives, but without the harsh urgency to run to the bathroom19. This is extremely important for estrogen dominance because you must eliminate the excess hormones in order to heal and rebalance.

Castor Oil Packs and the Microbiome

Did you know that as women, we have a specific set of bacteria in our bodies responsible for metabolizing estrogen? It even has a special name – the estrobiome. 

When there is an imbalance of bad bacteria, as I call them conbiotics™, they will do everything that can to keep themselves alive and to maintain their home inside your gut. They have the ability to create a protective barrier of sludge known as biofilm, which makes it very difficult for us to kill them and get them out of our body temples.  Amazingly, castor oil has the ability to break down this biofilm, which has proven very difficult to do without the use of pharmaceuticals20 21 22 23. Isn’t it always best to do things the natural way? Who’s with me?

Stick Steadfast to Your Practice

So if you’re someone with REAL or RELATIVE estrogen dominance, or perhaps you just have a feeling your hormones are out of whack, castor oil packs should be a staple in your daily routine. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, you can and you will get through this and live the life you are destined to live. You just need to commit to health-promoting practices each and every day and show your body some extra love. It has a natural, vital, intelligent force within, and when we give it what it needs, it has an incredible ability to heal.


DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner. 

1 Patel S1, Homaei A2, Raju AB3, Meher BR4. Estrogen: The necessary evil for human health, and ways to tame it. Biomed Pharmacother. 2018 Jun;102:403-411. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2018.03.078. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

2 Hafezi SA1, Abdel-Rahman WM1. The Endocrine Disruptor Bisphenol A (BPA) Exerts a Wide Range of Effects in Carcinogenesis and Response to Therapy. Curr Mol Pharmacol. 2019 Mar 6. doi: 10.2174/1874467212666190306164507. [Epub ahead of print]

3 Wise A1, O’Brien K, Woodruff T. Are oral contraceptives a significant contributor to the estrogenicity of drinking water? Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Jan 1;45(1):51-60. doi: 10.1021/es1014482. Epub 2010 Oct 26

4 Racz L1, Goel RK. Fate and removal of estrogens in municipal wastewater. J Environ Monit. 2010 Jan;12(1):58-70. doi: 10.1039/b917298j. Epub 2009 Nov 25.

5 Franks CG1, Pearce DW1, Rood SB2. A prescription for drug-free rivers: uptake of pharmaceuticals by a widespread streamside willow. Environ Manage. 2019 Jan;63(1):136-147. doi: 10.1007/s00267-018-1120-8. Epub 2018 Nov 12.

6 Lichten E1. Are the estrogenic hormonal effects of environmental toxins affecting small intestinal bacterial and microfilaria overgrowth?Med Hypotheses. 2017 Nov;109:90-94. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2017.09.022. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

7 Vásárhelyi B1,2,3, Mészáros K1,4, Karvaly G1,3, Patócs A1,3,4.[Focusing on tissue biomarkers. Estrogens as key players in the immune response and autoimmunity]. [Article in Hungarian, Abstract in English] Orv Hetil. 2015 Dec 20;156(51):2070-6. doi: 10.1556/650.2015.30317.

8 Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

9 Snoek SA, Verstege MI, Boeckxstaens GE, van den Wijngaard RM, de Jonge WJ The enteric nervous system as a regulator of intestinal epithelial barrier function in health and disease. Expert RevGastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Oct;4(5):637-51.

10 Keita AV, Söderholm JD. The intestinal barrier and its regulation by neuroimmune factors.Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2010 Jul;22(7):718-33. Epub 2010 Apr 9.

11 Kraneveld AD, Rijnierse A, Nijkamp FP, Garssen J.Neuro-immune interactions in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome: future therapeutic targets. Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 May 13;585(2-3):361-74. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

12 Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

13 Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. 

14 Baker JM1, Al-Nakkash L2, Herbst-Kralovetz MM3. Estrogen-gut microbiome axis: Physiological and clinical implications. Maturitas. 2017 Sep;103:45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.06.025. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

15 Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

16 Kennedy D and Keaton D. Evidence for the Topical Application of Castor oil: A Systematic Review. CCNM. Presentation 2010 AANP 

17 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

18 Nowarski R1, Jackson R1, Flavell RA2. The Stromal Intervention: Regulation of Immunity and Inflammation at the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Barrier. Cell. 2017 Jan 26;168(3):362-375. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.11.040.

19 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

20 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1. Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.

21 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

22 Badaró MM1, Salles MM1, Leite VMF1, Arruda CNF1, Oliveira VC1, Nascimento CD1, Souza RF1, Paranhos HFO1, Silva-Lovato CH1. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser. J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun;25(3):324-334. doi: 10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0222.

23 Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.

How to Stay Healthy in the Summer | Fasting Diet

How to Stay Healthy in the Summer | Fasting Diet

The hot, beautiful sun, dips in the pool, driving with the top down… Yep, it’s summertime!… Can’t you feel it bursting out everywhere? Of course, you want to put your best foot forward, feel great all summer long and have no worries about INDULGENCE over the coming months. After all, the last thing you want is to be deep into the swing of summer things like pool parties, awesome vacations, and BBQs, and feel dragged out, depleted and totally in the doldrums. 

Summer Health? How to Remain Healthy All Summer Long

As with everything, we need balance in our lives. If we INDULGE, it’s important to balance it with DISCIPLINE. Too much of a good thing becomes simply, too much of a good thing. You know it, you’ve been there, and I’m sure you’ve felt it that after having too much wine or too many beers by the pool. You feel it. So let’s work together to AVOID that feeling over the summer and make the most of it! 

This week I want to talk to you about one of my favorite health practices to keep you FEELING GREAT all summer long.

Fasting for Health

Fasting, or intermittent fasting as it’s commonly referred to, is basically restricting your eating to a certain time of the day and only drinking water or tea for the rest of the time. It is typically done by skipping breakfast and eating all your food for the day in an 8-hour window.

Why I LOVE Fasting for Wellness (almost as much as I love my castor oil packs!)

Recent mind-blowing research discusses the awesome benefits of fasting1. Such as being a non-drug, non-supplement way to enhance your health (love that!). It improves your metabolism via balancing your day-night cycle, or circadian rhythm. It balances the good and bad bugs in your gut (a.k.a. the microbiome) and so much more! Here is why I love it so dearly:

1. Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? No.

I have found this NOT to be true. Many of us don’t crave breakfast in the morning, we just eat it because it is what we were told to do. Do you know that you have a self-regulating system in your body that TELLS YOU when you are hungry or not?

Throughout naturopathic school I found myself forcing down smoothies or oatmeal for breakfast when I wasn’t hungry, but it was the ‘right’ thing to do and I wanted to be right. The result was I was making my body feel really wrong.

2. Overnight as you sleep your body is cleansing and healing.

This is the most optimized time of the day for your body to do this. The minute you BREAK-the-FAST and put food into your mouth, you turn off the healing and the cleaning. Our bodies need a lot of cleaning since we have so much exposure to environmental and emotional toxins. Both have the same impact on our systems, they damage it2. Give your body a break and wait to BREAK-the-FAST.

And don’t forget to wear your castor oil pack overnight!! It supports your body’s natural cleansing and detox processes via improving antioxidant status3 4 and regulating the bowels5. It also helps you fall asleep easier as it calms your body and eases it into the relaxed state6 7. It also helps to reduce bloating for a bikini-ready flat tummy.

Another amazing tool for a great night’s sleep is to wear an eye mask like the one included in the Queen of the Thrones™ Beauty Sleep Kit, as it helps to naturally increase the production of our body’s sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin8!

3. It’s an easy diet… I like things simple, don’t you?

I have so much complication in my life, I don’t need my food to be complicated too. I find it much simpler to eat larger meals 2 times per day, rather than to have to worry about multiple small, balanced meals. 

4. What kind of tea should you drink? I’ve gotten accustomed to green tea and rooibos tea.

If I can do it, you can do it. In my early twenties, I would literally drink POTS of coffee. 1, maybe 2 pots a day. I cannot believe it. But that was normal back then. I also smoked a pack of cigarettes a day! Gratefully, now green tea before 4 pm is my go-to, and rooibos tea any time, all the time.

There is some caffeine in green tea so it’s best to avoid it in the evening so as not to disrupt your beauty sleep! Both green tea and rooibos tea help promote glutathione production in our bodies, our powerhouse detoxifying agent that helps with removing toxins and heavy metals from our bodies.

5. Fasting helps to improve your memory and reduce neurological inflammation9.

With an ever-increasing aging population, dementia, Alzheimer’s and all types of neurological conditions can be difficult to treat. Small lifestyle changes, like fasting, can be a major help.

6. All religious groups have some sort of fasting practice.

Fasting is very common and integral to human evolution. In the animal kingdom, they do it too. Ramadan and Lent are two such examples, so is fasting for Buddhist monks. The saying goes, “cleanliness is next to godliness.” Everyone gets an epiphany when they feel clean. Your body is simply cleaner when you are eating less food.

7. I was doing it anyway!

I gave up forcing myself to eat breakfast just because I thought it was the ‘right’ thing to do, and I was feeling unwell because of it. I began listening to my body and I started to only eat when I was hungry. Makes total sense, doesn’t it?

How to Intermittent Fast | Five Best Fasting Practices

So what’s the best way to implement fasting in your daily practice? Here are my 5 Best Fasting Practices to take your health to the next level this summer:

1. BREAK-the-FAST

Ever wonder where the word breakfast comes from? It’s because it is the first meal of the day, after breaking your nightly fast. You want to BREAK-the-FAST only after observing 12-16 hours without food from the last time you ate the night before.

If you are the type of person who is very hungry in the morning and functions better this way, then the other way to do this is to invert it. Eat breakfast, and then within an 8 hour period eat another meal. Then stay free from food for 12-16 hours (skipping dinner).

What can I drink when fasting?

During the free-from-food time, make sure to drink your green tea, rooibos tea and lots of water to fill you up and flush your body.

Whether you fast at night or in the morning is up to you, this just depends on if you’re a morning glory or a night owl. Do this every day, 5 days a week, or 2-3 days a week. It all depends on your goals. If you want BIG changes then you need to make BIG commitments. Small changes, small commitments. 

2. Meals and Snacking

This is what everyone wants to know with fasting. I say, eat a healthy, balanced, NATURAL diet. Ideally less to no grains, mainly vegetables, hearty protein, and healthy fats. Keep fruits to a minimum too, especially avoid combining them with protein. Don’t restrict your portion sizes of the healthy vegetables, have as many as you like. Try to avoid snacking as it is best to simply eat your meals and take time in between to digest.  

3. Drink Green Tea

Enjoy as much green tea as you like before 4 pm. I suggest 2-4 cups, more if you can handle it. Intersperse with WATER, as it does contain some caffeine and can be dehydrating. After 4 pm, or any time of the day, drink rooibos tea. Both rooibos and green tea help with increasing natural glutathione in the body10, our master detoxification agent.

Green tea has anti-stress effects via the component L-theanine11. It helps to calm you down, yet still keeps you alert and improves concentration12. During the fasting state, green tea helps to keep your blood sugar balanced and improves your metabolic profile13.  It also improves your gut health and prevents bad gut bacteria14 15! It’s really a no-brainer!

Check out my short 1-minute youtube video on green tea here.

4. Movement in the A.M. on Waking

After gulping down your glorious green tea, go do a workout. 1 hour, 10 minutes, just get your body moving!

Tabata, pilates, yoga, running, or like one of my patients (which I think is the best example of making the most of it) simply running fast up and down your stairs (you know who you are, shout out to you)! The goal is to get your blood flowing, your muscles moving and your diaphragm pumping!

Studies show that exercising during the fasting state will help to reduce hunger, make you feel more satiated and full, and will help you become more disciplined with your eating habits versus excessively indulgent16.

Fast First, Fluids Second, Food third!

and of course…..

5. Castor Oil Packs, Duh!! 

How could I end this without reminding you about the Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil pack practice? The biggest reason why I’m always talking about castor oil packs is that when you undertake any strategy for your health if you combine it with the regular practice of castor oil packs, everything just works that much better. It’s the old school way to 10x enhance your treatment.

So there you have it, folks! Fasting is one of the easiest ways to supercharge your health over this summer season. Summertime is quite often a time for INDULGENCE, and sometimes these indulgences might not have the best effect on your beautiful temple. So sprinkle in some DISCIPLINE with a fasting practice using these 5 tips and it’ll be smooth sailing, all summer long.


DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.

  1. Patterson RE1,2, Sears DD1,2,3. Metabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting. Annu Rev Nutr. 2017 Aug 21;37:371-393. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064634. Epub 2017 Jul 17.
  2. Habib Yaribeygi,1 Yunes Panahi,*,2 Hedayat Sahraei,1 Thomas P. Johnston,3 andAmirhossein Sahebkar4 The impact of stress on body function: A review Published online 2017 Jul 21. doi: 10.17179/excli2017-480 PMID: 28900385
  3. Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.
  4. Kennedy D and Keaton D. Evidence for the Topical Application of Castor oil: A Systematic Review. CCNM. Presentation 2010 AANP
  5. Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.
  6. Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.
  7. Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. ( Dopamine release, Limbic System of brain- Fatty Meal Satisfaction)
  8. Rong-fang HuXiao-ying JiangYi-ming ZengXiao-yang ChenYou-hua Zhang. Effects of earplugs and eye masks on nocturnal sleep, melatonin and cortisol in a simulated intensive care unit environment. Published online 2010 Apr 18. doi: 10.1186/cc8965
  9. Vasconcelos AR, Yshii LM, Viel TA, et al. Intermittent fasting attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammation  and memory impairment.  J Neuroinflammation. 2014 May 6;11:85. 
  10. Arpita Basu,* Nancy M. Betts,* Afework Mulugeta,* Capella Tong,* Emily Newman,* and Timothy J. Lyons. Green tea supplementation increases glutathione and plasma antioxidant capacity in adults with the metabolic syndrome Nutr Res. 2013 Mar; 33(3): 180–187.
  11. Unno K1,2, Yamada H3, Iguchi K1, Ishida H4, Iwao Y5, Morita A6, Nakamura Y2. Anti-stress Effect of Green Tea with Lowered Caffeine on Humans: A Pilot Study. Biol Pharm Bull. 2017;40(6):902-909. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b17-00141.
  12. Giesbrecht T1, Rycroft JA, Rowson MJ, De Bruin EA. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine improves cognitive performance and increases subjective alertness. Nutr Neurosci. 2010 Dec;13(6):283-90. doi: 10.1179/147683010X1261146076484
  13. Dostal AM1, Arikawa A2, Espejo L3, Bedell S3, Kurzer MS3, Stendell-Hollis NR4. Green tea extract and catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype modify the post-prandial serum insulin response in a randomised trial of overweight and obese post-menopausal women. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2017 Apr;30(2):166-176. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12408. Epub 2016 Sep 7.
  14. Singh DP1, Singh J2, Boparai RK3, Zhu J4, Mantri S2, Khare P1, Khardori R5, Kondepudi KK6, Chopra K7, Bishnoi M8. Isomalto-oligosaccharides, a prebiotic, functionally augment green tea effects against high fat diet-induced metabolic alterations via preventing gut dysbacteriosis in mice. Pharmacol Res. 2017 Jun 28;123:103-113. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2017.06.015. [Epub ahead of print]
  15. Lee LS1, Choi JH, Sung MJ, Hur JY, Hur HJ, Park JD, Kim YC, Gu EJ, Min B, Kim HJ. Green tea changes serum and liver metabolomic profiles in mice with high-fat diet-induced obesity. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Apr;59(4):784-94. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201400470. Epub 2015 Mar 3.
  16. Surabhi Bhutani,1 Monica C Klempel,1 Cynthia M Kroeger,1 Eleanor Aggour,1 Yolian Calvo,1 John F Trepanowski,1 Kristin K Hoddy,1 and Krista A Varady1 Effect of exercising while fasting on eating behaviors and food intake. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 50.
Red Wine, Resveratrol and the Gut | What is Resveratrol? | Dr. Marisol

Red Wine, Resveratrol and the Gut | What is Resveratrol? | Dr. Marisol

Who doesn’t love to have a nice relaxing glass of red wine after a long day? And sure, it’s alcohol, but it’s okay because red wine is good for you, right? Well, my friends, this may be true (in small dosages!) because red wine contains the powerful antioxidant, resveratrol.

Resveratrol does many wonderful things for the body, specifically in the gut, which makes it an excellent nutrient for people with digestive conditions.

I wanted to talk about resveratrol because, well hey, everyone loves a good glass of red wine, right? One of the first questions I get from my patients when we talk about doing a cleanse is, “Really?? Do I have to give up red wine??” And the answer is yes, ideally.

Although I’ve recently discovered a way to prepare it that makes it okay to enjoy on a cleanse, albeit in very minute dosages, for a therapeutic effect. I’ll spill the beans on how exactly to do this later on in this article.

What is Resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a plant compound that acts as a powerful antioxidant in our bodies. It’s not only found in grapes and red wine, but also in smaller amounts in blueberries, tomatoes, peanuts, dark chocolate, and apples.

Resveratrol Concentration in Grapes

The grape is an interesting fruit because the pinot noir grape is the ‘weakest’ grape that grows well in Oregon, Italy, and France (legendary here!) yet it has the highest antioxidant content, specifically resveratrol1. Pinot noir is the healthiest of red wines.

Pinot Noir

The pinot noir grape is so weak that it actually has to produce a fungus on its skin in order to survive. So the problem with drinking red wine isn’t necessarily alcohol but also the fungus that grows on the skin of the grape. It is a product of fermentation that gets into the body and upsets the microbiome. 

It’s these minute doses of bacteria that are on our food, all the time, that we are ingesting every day. This is one of the reasons we don’t want to be eating leftovers all of the time because leftovers have a lot of bacteria that is latent from manufacturing and transporting of different foods.

Concord

The weaker the grape, the stronger the antioxidant. In red wine, it’s pinot noir grapes. In terms of juice, it would be the Concord grape. They actually have one of the highest nutritional profiles but they are incredibly sweet (which means high in sugar).

Grape Diet

Have you ever heard of the old grape diet? Where you basically eat nothing but grapes for three days?

There actually might be something to this. I was reading Genesis recently, the first chapter of the Bible, and in the biblical days, to cleanse they would basically not consume anything for the first 3 days. So you could do a grape juice fast for the first 3 days, along with water and green tea, to clean up the system and also take in a ton of powerful antioxidants.

What Does Resveratrol Do?

Resveratrol can help women lose weight and maintain healthy estrogen levels2 3. Estrogen dominance is a problem that makes you gain weight, and when you gain weight you produce more estrogen. 

So it is a vicious cycle of gaining weight and having high estrogen, which causes symptoms like breast tenderness, moodiness, depression, anxiety, you’re basically all over the map. It is not a fun condition to be in and resveratrol can help with that.

Resveratrol in the Gut

So what does it do for the gut?

Flavonoids are very important in keeping the gut mucosal membrane lining healthy4. If you can’t keep the gut mucosal membrane lining healthy, strong and integral, then the problem arises that you have a weak barrier. Your gut is a barrier to the outside food that is coming into the body. It has to be integral.

Maintaining a Healthy Gut Lining

So we need to work on strategies to keep this barrier closed and strong. What closes the barrier most profoundly? Relaxation! That’s right, NO STRESS! When you are stressed, your body is in the sympathetic state and cortisol is pumping. In this state, your gut mucosal membrane lining is weakened, or leaky as they used to call it.

Leaky Gut was a huge term in the 80s and 90s and people still use it – leaky gut syndrome. Now leaky gut is, in a sense, a stressed out person who has holes in their intestines. So their barrier is no longer working, for the engineers out there (😉) They’ve lost the integrity of the barrier, and things that are not supposed to get through, do. Things leak through that are not in the size they should be, and the body can’t recognize them which causes irritation and allergies.

Stool Transit Time

Stool transit time can actually dictate the number of allergies you have. The less that you go, the more allergies you probably have5. Isn’t that incredible? Stool transit time can also dictate the form of stool oro to anal (oroanal transit time)6. So there are all these ways that knowing your transit time can tell you different things about your body.

You Are What You Absorb

Now, resveratrol helps with keeping the gut lining integral. It’s actually imperative to it. In supplement formulas, I add in resveratrol all the time and I make sure people are getting it from their diet as well.

What’s even more important is that people are absorbing and digesting things well. We need to optimize the absorption capacity in our guts in order to really reap the health benefits of resveratrol in our food, drink, and supplements.

Food Hygiene

So resveratrol is awesome to get from red wine, although the bacteria and fermentation products make it not so great on a cleanse. So we can do grapes, but we need to wash them well. I’m going to teach you how to wash them to reduce the bacterial load.

Now I don’t want to get into the hygiene hypothesis… The thing is, this isn’t something you need to do long term, just until you establish a healthier barrier and a healthy microbiome. When the microbiome is functioning well it can tolerate more bacterial load. We need to give it a chance to reset itself within the body, which could take 3-6 months, a year, 2 years…

It depends how devastated it is and it depends on how compliant you are.

To Reset Your Gut You Have 2 Options

  1. You can reset it by a little wee bit at a time which takes a long time,
         OR;
  2. You go all in! Change your practice step by step by step for the fast win.

The second option makes more sense to me! I have a big bucket list. I want to travel, why not get things in gear the RIGHT way, but as quickly as possible? 

So, in order to reset the environment, we need to clear what is coming in, allowing the body to rebalance in its own natural way and allow it the space to do what it needs to do – that is digest, absorb and eliminate.

My Favourite Health Tool To Reset The Gut

And here comes in my favorite health tool, the castor oil pack.

Castor oil packs are so great for optimizing and supporting change in the gut more rapidly as they focus on the 5 foundational functions.

1. Relaxation

Parasympathetic tone, practicing the pause. How do we get more of the relaxed state as opposed to the stressed state? Castor oil packs are like the escape button for your nervous system, which is more related to the pack rather than the actual oil. That’s because when the pack sits on the skin it stimulates receptors in the skin of the nervous system.

Whenever you place an object in an area, tactile soft-touch actually is treating that area7. This soft, pleasurable touch also stimulates hormones, like oxytocin – the love and bonding hormone, as well as dopamine8 – the pleasure hormone of the brain. No side effects from castor oil packs, only benefits!

2. Inflammation & Alkalinity

Castor oil has been shown to an excellent anti-inflammatory. Wherever there is inflammation there is acidity, so reducing inflammation increase alkalinity. The enzymes of our bodies cannot work without alkalinity. Our enzymes need proper pH to function well, so castor oil packs help to create this environment.

Castor oil has been shown to be as effective as capsaicin without the irritating effect9. I have done studies in my clinic where half of my patients who are on a cleanse wear their pack, and the other half do not. The half who do their castor oil packs lab results post-cleanse were significantly more improved than those who did not.

3. Maintain Glutathione Levels & Support Detox Pathways

There are not many ways to get glutathione, our super important detoxifying compound. You can take glutathione supplements, but they haven’t been shown to be super effective. You can also get it from whey protein, but this is an issue for a lot of people with allergies and sensitivities. A third way to get it is from rooibos tea, green tea or red raspberry leaf tea to improve glutathione in the gut.

Supplementation with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and magnesium can help with glutathione levels, however, most of us are already very deficient in magnesium so the body will first use the magnesium for what it needs, before converting it to glutathione. Sometimes it can be dose-limiting too, because of the potential laxative effect of magnesium.

IV and injection is another way of getting glutathione, but this requires going to the clinic every time. Castor oil packs help with the recycling of glutathione. There was a study done on rat lenses where they put the lenses in a dish of glutathione solution, and one in a dish of castor oil. The glutathione levels were actually maintained BETTER in the castor oil solution10.

4. Regulation Of Bowels

Transit time is unbelievably, incredibly important. Without a normal transit time, you have problems with your microbiome, allergies, and toxins recirculating in the body. Normal for men is 1.7 days and women is, unfortunately, higher at 2.3 days11.

Yes, us women are more complicated! We also have more hormones that play a role in our transit time too. If our progesterone is low, it can contribute to a slower transit time. These are all things that need to be taken into account.

5. Breaking Down Biofilm

Biofilm is basically a sticky coating of glycoproteins and hyaluronic acid, a matrix created by bacteria from their waste products. It’s no different than what surrounds all of the cells of our body. It’s like an extracellular matrix made for bacteria to keep them safe from evil enemies on the outside.

The only problem is that these bacteria are actually the evil enemies to us because they are inoculating a gut that should be healthy. They’re straight up con artists, which is why I call them conbiotics™. You see, bacteria is really good for us, which is called “commensal” bacteria is actually awesome.

Commensal bacteria create vitamins for us, like the ever important B vitamins, as well as L-butyrate and short-chain fatty acids which help to heal the gut lining. It’s amazing what they do for us! But unfortunately, the bad guys can create gas that basically slows our transit time down, like hydrogen disulfide and methane gas12.

So it’s super important to address biofilm. There aren’t many natural substances that have the ability to break it down. Castor oil is one of these substances and it’s so amazing because it stimulates nitric oxide passageways!

Nitric oxide is a gasotransmitter, which is basically a gaseous messenger molecule involved in signaling to open up blood vessels and also helps reduce inflammation. They’re calling it one of the newest anti-aging molecules. Red wine, grapes, and beets are all food sources of nitric oxide. 

The biggest reason I have people do castor oil packs is that they are such a simple treatment that work on these 5 foundational functions – relaxation, inflammation, antioxidant status, the bowels, and the microbiome. Everything is going to absorb, digest, work well, and eliminate where it needs to. To get your super easy, 3-step Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil pack, click here!

Gut Lining and Hormones

Resveratrol basically acts like an antioxidant that helps heal the gut lining, and at the same time balances out hormones. Our gut lining is very dependant on our hormones, and resveratrol helps in the detoxification of estrogen. When you have better-balanced levels of estrogen, you will have sufficient levels of progesterone that help you go to the bathroom well and maintain a regular transit time.

You go to the bathroom more often when you have higher levels of progesterone. Ladies, right before your period do you find that you are going to the bathroom more frequently? This is because your progesterone levels spike just before menstruation, causing your transit time to speed up.

Dietary Intake of Resveratrol

1. Royal Red

If you’re on any kind of cleansing diet you want to do it the smart way and pasteurize it. Pasteurization, according to Louis Pasteur, was done via a flash-fry method. So basically you boil water, add it to red wine then cool it down immediately. And that’s a great way to get rid of the majority of bacteria and fermentation products that may be in red wine and causing problems for the body.

Try to avoid South America and Californian wines, because they’ve been shown to have high levels of toxicity in them. My favorites are organic wines from the European Union –  Spain, Italy, France… Pinot Noir is the best. Wines from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Oregon are also good.

How to Flash Pasteurize Red Wine:

 You will need:

  • 1 oz red wine
  • 4 oz boiling water
  • Throw in 5 ice cubes

 And there you have it, a nice wine cider basically, I call it the Royal Red! Another option is to add carbonated water and ice for a spritzer type drink. 

2. Grape Juice

Grape juice is another option for dietary intake of resveratrol. As mentioned before, Concord grapes have the highest antioxidant content. With grape juice though, water it down because it’s very sweet, therefore very high in sugar!

3. Grapes

Good ‘ole grapes are also a great way to get resveratrol into your system. But remember we talked about the fungus that they produce to protect themselves? We need to wash it off with a handy dandy acid-cleansing wash.

How to make an Acid-Cleansing Wash

You will need:

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 1/4 part hydrogen peroxide
  • 5 parts water
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Put grapes into a bowl, then add the mixture of liquids and drop in the baking soda. You can also do this with any dried goods like rice, grains, and legumes. It takes off the bacterial load and grapes are super important to do this for.

So the next time you reach for your glass of red wine, I hope you will see it in a whole new light.  Make sure to practice your castor oil pack so you can absorb the awesome benefits of resveratrol, and use these food hygiene tricks to reduce the amount of bacterial load coming into your beautiful temple.


DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship. Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner. Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.


1. Lukas Snopek 1 ID , Jiri Mlcek 1,*, Lenka Sochorova 2 , Mojmir Baron 2 , Irena Hlavacova 1 , Tunde Jurikova 3 ID , Rene Kizek 4 , Eva Sedlackova 1 and Jiri Sochor 2. Contribution of Red Wine Consumption to Human Health Protection. Molecules. Received: 15 May 2018; Accepted: 9 July 2018; Published: 11 July 2018 https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/399f/b972ac0e63c75459c5fb11bf303f4e2677a2.pdf

2. Bagchi D1, Das DKTosaki ABagchi MKothari SC. Benefits of resveratrol in women’s health. Drugs Exp Clin Res. 2001;27(5-6):233-48.

3. Rupali Sharma,1 Neel Kamal Sharma,2 and M. Thungapathra1 Resveratrol regulates body weight in healthy and ovariectomized rats Nutr Metab (Lond). 2017; 14: 30. Published online 2017 Apr 14. doi: 10.1186/s12986-017-0183-5 PMID: 28413432

4. Harald P Hoensch and Reinhard Oertel Emerging role of bioflavonoids in gastroenterology: Especially their effects on intestinal neoplasia World J Gastrointest Oncol. 2011 May 15; 3(5): 71–74. Published online 2011 May 15. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v3.i5.71 PMID: 21603032

5. Johan Bohlin,1,* Erik Dahlin,1,* Julia Dreja,2 Bodil Roth,1 Olle Ekberg,2 and Bodil Ohlsson1 Longer colonic transit time is associated with laxative and drug use, lifestyle factors, and symptoms of constipation Acta Radiol Open. 2018 Oct; 7(10): 2058460118807232. Published online 2018 Oct 22. doi: 10.1177/2058460118807232 PMID: 30364803

6. Lewis SJ1, Heaton KW. Stool form scale as a useful guide to intestinal transit time. Scand J Gastroenterol. 1997 Sep;32(9):920-4.

7. Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

8. Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17. ( Dopamine release, Limbic System of brain- Fatty Meal Satisfaction)

9. Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

10. Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

11. Johan Bohlin,1,* Erik Dahlin,1,* Julia Dreja,2 Bodil Roth,1 Olle Ekberg,2 and Bodil Ohlsson1 Longer colonic transit time is associated with laxative and drug use, lifestyle factors, and symptoms of constipation Acta Radiol Open. 2018 Oct; 7(10): 2058460118807232. Published online 2018 Oct 22. doi: 10.1177/2058460118807232 PMID: 30364803

12. Suri J1, Kataria R2,1, Malik Z2,1, Parkman HP2,1, Schey R2,1. Elevated methane levels in small intestinal bacterial overgrowth suggests delayed small bowel and colonic transit. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 May;97(21):e10554. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000010554.

Top 5 Things to Help You Poo When Traveling – Constipation and Travel, is it a Sign of Jet Lag?

Top 5 Things to Help You Poo When Traveling – Constipation and Travel, is it a Sign of Jet Lag?

Planes, trains, and automobiles. Why is it that when we travel, our guts go GAGA on us?! Not Lady Gaga, just out of the ordinary, unpredictable. Well, I guess when I put it that way, kind of like Lady Gaga! Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s the same dilemma. This blog is for you if you’ve experienced the following:

You sit on the toilet, hoping to clear out before you enjoy and explore your final destination. But to your dismay, your warming, delicious morning coffee that you hoped would unplug you failed to work. It normally does the job, so what gives?

Getting ready to enjoy an island paradise, business meeting or event, you slip into your bikini or business suit with a belly that feels like your 4 months pregnant, ok well maybe 5… You think to yourself, “Why do I always get so constipated when I travel?” 

You know about the lack of abundance of vegetables at the airport, in the airplane and the restaurants. Food is partly to blame. Maybe you’re not drinking enough water too, or you stayed up late and didn’t get a good night’s sleep. You can’t pinpoint the cause, all you know is you’re having problems and you’re not going.

When we’re displaced out of our natural environment and routine, our body temples can go haywire. Our systems need rhythms and routines, and these are dictated by cues in our environment. New environment equals new cues. These new cues are unnatural to you and can derange your day night cycle, known as circadian rhythm. One of the many results of this is constipation.

However, adopting the health practices below will help to balance your sleep, wake (and I’m adding) your POOP cycle. Did you really expect me not to add poop? You will “flow” through your work trip or holidays with a flat belly and be pooping like a champ! So you can have fun and enjoy your trip, feeling great and not feeling like sh*t!

Here you will learn my best tips on how to keep your healthy flow while traveling. You’ll learn how to improve jet lag and keep your rhythms in balance so you’re not suffering before, during or on the return home from your trip.

Changes in Your Environment that Cue your Body Balance

Whenever you go from one place to another, you are exposed to everything new and different. Exposures include new bacteria in the food and air, new foods, new sounds, new smells, new social interactions, the list goes on and on. Your sleep, wake, and poop cycle (it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) is cued by what you have in your environment. When it all changes it becomes a literal sh*t show and the functions of your body are thrown out of whack, not only your Number 2s.

Symptoms of Jet Lag – Ways Your Body Gets Thrown Off

My body gets thrown off a lot. I’m human and because I do a lot of travel for both business and pleasure, I know all too well the experience of jet lag. It actually comes in 2 phases for all travelers1. The initial symptoms are really more of a sensation of feeling disorientated with time, foggy brain, memory lapses, task performance isn’t the greatest and you have a strong feeling of fatigue, or what I call heaviness. It is often quite out of proportion to the amount of time traveled. The basic overall sensation is that you feel, well, “off”.

Later is when you start to feel the physical effects of jet lag and travel. Constipation and bowel changes are super common, digestion in general is off, your appetite may increase or decrease, restless nights predominant and insomnia is a theme. Some people may even experience more severe symptoms like headaches, migraines and vision changes. In this late phase you feel really, really “off”.

So What is to Blame for Changing our Rhythm?

The Cues in your Time Zone

External cues that influence what our bodies do are called Zeitgebers. I love this word, a good ‘ole German word. I love, love, love travelling to Germany! It basically describes the cues in our environments and bodies that dictate our functioning.

Zeitgebers include light, food, exercise and anything that stimulates our senses and nervous system. Common foodstuff that we take lightly are actually very strong Zeitgebers. Coffee, tea, chocolate and pop (I know, I sound like I’m from the Midwest!) are all stimulants that strongly dictate what our bodies do. Knowing this, we can use these to our advantage to reset ourselves. Stay tuned for more on this later. 

Look, it’s not a surprise to you. Every day you manipulate your time zone by waking up and having a cup of coffee, sitting in your bed, staring at your iPhone, eating and exercising at certain times, social interactions and more. All of these choices are impacting whether or not your body is functioning optimally.

We highly manipulate our natural rhythms in today’s society with our 24/7 lifestyle. All of our technology, handheld, and computer devices that we’re addicted to, shift work, and of course trans-meridian travel really challenge our bodies to keep their balance and circadian rhythms.

It’s said that these cues entrain our bodies into the natural rhythms to maintain balance. Ideally, these natural rhythms are driven by mother nature’s cues. I speak in depth about this in my upcoming book, Oh, Sh*t! which will be released later this year.

These cues are necessary for us to live well and for our digestive and regulatory systems to function. Hormones, immunity and the nervous system are so dependant on these cues to know what to do! Without them, we would be lost in time, literally.

The Best Ways to Deal with Jet Lag and the Constipation That Results

It is actually suggested that the best way to deal with time zone travel is to modify environmental cues before, during and after a flight. This includes light, food, coffee, tea, chocolate, physical and mental activity, alcohol, and social interactions. These all affect bodily rhythms significantly, which in turn affects our quality of life and the altering symptoms we get when we travel. Here’s what to do to make it better.

Crossing Timezones

When you travel, you could likely be changing timezones. I remember one month, I had traveled every weekend from Thursday to Monday, from the east coast to the west coast. What a ride. From Toronto, to Arizona, to San Diego, to Seattle, to Spokane. My husband remarked, “You should just stay there!” In hindsight that probably would have been best.

The result was I was feeling pretty messed up, even with practising all the right things. The reality is that changing time zones is a transient disruption of your natural sleep wake cycle which can take time to reset2. For me, this really hit me in my weak spot, my gut. Talk about an irritable bowel flare-up.

So it was up to me to get time zone savvy, and beat the stress that comes along with travel. Also, learning how to create an environment that is safe for me when I travel, to get me back into my healthy routine as quickly as possible. It’s not only the transient effect of jet lag, but if you’re traveling a lot like me, it can quickly age you. I definitely don’t want that, I know you don’t either. So here are my best tips and practices.

1. Get Time Zone Savvy – Connect to your Time Zone

Go barefoot if possible when you get to your location, or do like I do and wear your cowboy boots. Since cowboy boots are made with full leather (make sure yours aren’t plastic) they are grounding. They connect you to the earth. The barefoot will connect you to the polarity of the area, this is according to Chinese Medicine principles. I remember my teacher in school sharing this with us. I don’t know the true effectiveness of it, but do I care? No, because I figure anything that I can do to stack things in my favor is worth it! Plus, I love my cowboy boots!

2. Sleep Soundly

Sleep is our sanctuary of healing. We must do whatever possible for us to have an incredible, restful sleep, especially when traveling. Nothing but sleep and sex in your bed. Keep the room dark and cool, stick to your nightly routine.

Wear an Eye Mask

Before, during and after your travels, wear an eye mask to bed. Get into the habit of wearing it every night, it’s very good for you! An eye mask isn’t only for beauty but serves two purposes. It can become an excellent environmental cue to tell your body it’s time for bed. Plus, simply wearing an eye mask naturally increases your melatonin.

Melatonin has been shown to be excellent at improving jet lag and resetting sleep-wake rhythms3 4. If the eye mask is a very soft plush material it will also help with promoting the connection and love molecule, oxytocin5. How ‘bout them apples. Pretty easy to do and super beneficial, why wouldn’t you want to get your BEAUTY SLEEP on every night?

Castor Oil Packs to Balance Stress and Inflammation

 Finding yourself on the opposite side of the world can cause lots of stress hormone to pump through your body. The feeling of being unsettled isn’t nice. Travel with your castor oil pack! It will serve as another cue for a good night’s sleep, especially if you are used to practicing it nightly. Castor oil packs support the 5 Pillars of Feeling Great.

These are the foundations of health. Wear your castor oil pack an hour before bed and overnight. When it comes to sleep this is how it helps:

  • Calms your body down to prepare you for a good night’s sleep6 7.
  • Keeps your immune system strong, protecting you from other people’s colds8 9. During sleep is when your immune system is most active. 
  • Reduces inflammation10 and supports antioxidant status11 12 protecting you from stress and the exposure to radiation from flying. When you sleep, you are actively cleaning up your body. We need balanced-inflammation and high antioxidant status during this time.

If you don’t have your Queen of the Thrones™ castor oil pack yet, click here! And if you do, get yourself another one designated especially for travel! 

Dump the Digital or Get Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Blue light from technology such as computers, handheld devices and LED light blocks our bodies’ natural ability to create melatonin. Research shows that it significantly affects sleep, making it harder to get to bed at a decent hour13, leaving you restless, tossing and turning and sleepless. Improper sleep has been linked to attention deficit, increased appetite, and mood derangement. Look, light is a very strong environmental cue for our body rhythms. When the sun goes down:

  • Wear your blue light blocking glasses to improve your sleep14
  • Stop using your technology, especially in bed – Your bed is for SLEEP and SEX only!

3. Water – Drink, Drink, Drink!

Do Not Let Yourself Get Dehydrated!

The more dehydrated you are, the more fatigued you will be. The airplane is the first place you risk getting dehydrated, plus the change in environment will affect you. The stewardesses are very friendly and have no problem giving you more water.

Don’t drink hotel water from the tap!!!! OMG, this makes me wanna cringe. I remember my first trip to Arizona. I didn’t realize that it’s a dessert. I was so thirsty, I felt like I couldn’t hydrate. I kept on buying bottled water from the hotel. I spent 150$ on WATER!!!! OMG, never again. Water keeps us in flow. It keeps our digestion right, it supports all functions of our system.

When you arrive at your destination, aim to go shopping and get yourself water. Some hotels and resorts include all the water, but when they don’t I buy myself 4 gallons of water for a 3-4 day stay. I make my morning teas in the coffee pots, boiling the water and drinking water all day during my travels.

Aim to not drink too much coffee, alcohol and other dehydrating drinks. An easy-to-do electrolyte drink is to take sparkling water, add salt and squeeze in a bunch of fresh lemon or lime. An electrolyte drink like this can help your tissues to better absorb water and keep you hydrated for longer. In Mexico they call this drink “SUERO”. Something that nurtures the body and helps us to keep the water in!

4. Food, Digestion, and Pooping

What to consume? To help avoid jet lag and constipation, nutrition plays an incredible role15.  Don’t be shy, you need your vegetables! I know it’s hard to find them in airports and restaurants, and the foods you typically eat while traveling are notorious for causing bloating, giving you a food hangover and making you constipated. You’re also being exposed to new bacteria in the foods that you eat and this can upset the gentle balance of your gut.

Hit Up the Local Health Food Store

To combat this, everywhere I go I stop at the local health food store. I buy various easy to eat veggies like celery, peppers, cucumbers, snap peas, baby carrots, apples, nut butter, and some nuts and seeds. This means I’ll get some good healthy fiber and roughage to get me through when I don’t have access to super produce. Clearly when you’re getting no fiber, no fresh nutrients, no functioning of your caboose! 

New places, new bacteria in your food that your body isn’t used to. This is another huge factor that can set off your gut of and create constipation. Make sure to do your CASTOR OIL PACK nightly as this helps to keep your gut bacteria in a good state 16 17 18. Taking a probiotic daily is also highly advisable.

Relax your Body Before you Eat

Do the Grateful Dung Dining Practice before you eat. This practice helps to calm down your system and your gut before you eat. This alone can really help with keeping you regular because the calming your nervous system before eating helps keep your digestion in check.

Don’t forget to CHEW your food!

This improves your digestion and pooping. With the excitement of being in a new place, we can forget to be mindful and just inhale our foods. Use your Grateful Dung Braceletand count the beads for the number of times you need to chew. This is just an easy way to remember to chew your food until it becomes a paste in your mouth, making it so much easier on your body to digest.

Keep your bowels moving19 with your castor oil pack done nightly. If you are super, super constipated (as in more than 4-5 days) then taking castor oil orally will have a stimulant laxative effect. This is a worst-case scenario solution. I remember the first time I took it orally, I was in South America and with the 15 hour flight, food, time and weather change, everything was off. It didn’t taste the greatest but it sure helped things to move! I took 1-3 tbsp to help things flow.

5. Exercise While you Travel

Exercise and movement is a wellknown cue to keep your sleep, wake & pooping cycles timed right. Movement makes you move, no two ways about it! Timing of your exercise is important to support your best circadian rhythms20. I prefer morning exercise to start your day off with good energy.

I know that very few of you take the time to exercise while on holidays or work trips. How do I know this? Because I’m not seeing anyone in the gym! Conference after conference, trip after trip, I see very few people in the gym. Frankly, I’m surprised. I just love exercise! It makes me feel good, keeps my sleep in check, and helps me poop! So I don’t get why more people aren’t doing it.

The Lazy Way to Exercise While Travelling

Less can be more! You don’t need to work out for an hour. I just get to the gym and do 10-15 minutes of intense exercise and a bit of stretching and that’s it! A little run and some weights. The purpose is just to get the blood flowing, your muscles moving and your diaphragm pumping. This pumping of the diaphragm helps to put pressure against the intestine, stimulating movement.

Exercise can be as easy as taking the staircase to your hotel room every time instead of the elevator. I always commit to that in order to just get a bit more motion in.

Bacteria is EVERYWHERE! Especially when you Travel

While traveling we are exposed to new bacteria everywhere. Tight spaces of airplanes and trains, conferences and amusement park lineups. You’ll hear people sniffling, sneezing and coughing. Never a good sign. Airplanes are like infection factories and the fact that so many people are in a small place augments the infection rate. Don’t be surprised if you land in your tropical paradise with the sniffles or you’re ready for your big presentation with a scratchy throat.

Infections that bug the upper membrane of the nasal cavity and throat affect your guts too. After all, our digestive tract runs from our gums to bums! It’s the same bacteria throughout our bodies, and when one part of the microbiome is affected, the whole microbiome is affected. We are exposed to new bacteria in every NEW environment we go into and it’s no surprise that gastrointestinal infections are common with travel21.

If you’re in the tropics, there’s a whole other level of angst about eating your vegetables. The worry exists of parasites or strange bacteria. It may be something as innocent as the washing of your vegetables with water that hasn’t been purified.

Parasites can very much keep you blocked up and constipated, and a gastrointestinal infection is a precursor to living with IBS. Women who are on antibiotics and under stress have the highest likelihood of being affected22. Hmm, sounds like most of us, doesn’t it?

It’s not Only about the Bacteria; Parasites are an Entirely Other Problem

Countries of the Caribbean, tropics, and India practice a weekly purgation in order to prevent parasites. This purgation is done with castor oil. “It was a Sunday practice, just a tbsp full of castor oil, down the hatch just like that. Sometimes it made you go fast and other times, just better”. I can’t tell you how many patients of mine have discussed this weekly cleansing Sunday practice with me.

It makes sense that the initial reaction of a parasitical infection is diarrhea. Sometimes our bodies are so out of tune, that instead of eliminating we get bunged up. This leaves the bacteria to procreate. The best way to reset is to eliminate properly. Stimulating it with castor oil is an excellent tool.

Protect your Body from the Bad Bugs

Watch the food you are eating, but don’t stay away from vegetables because you’re worried about the water that they are washed in or not. It’s safer to eat them slightly cooked or steamed – or ask for a stir fry. 

Drink bottled water and bottled beer. Stay away from drafts and fountain pops. Don’t use ice cubes unless you know they are filtered. Castor oil packs are a great addition on holidays to help support your digestion, supporting the good bacteria and preventing the bad ones. It helps prevent you from getting constipated. And if you do get constipated, taking a spoonful can help everything go down and out. The castor oil packs help your body to keep the bacterial mix in a healthy state.

Smell is a sign of bacteria and parasites in the bowl. So make sure to poop, peek, smell and perfume.

You are an unsuspecting victim each time you walk into the bathroom. Stools are made up of 25-54% bacteria23. When you flush, microbes stay in the air of the bathroom and deposit on the nearest surfaces. We know this because toothbrushes have different bacteria (including bowel bacteria!). Studies show that toothbrushes next to your toilet in the bathroom demonstrate E. Coli and Staph bacteria, different from those toothbrushes with no toilet24. So, when you walk in after another person dropping a log you are being exposed to their bacteria!

This is why I always spray Eau de Throne ™ before I play. The more you know, the harder it is to sit there and ignore it… as I relax to let one drop, I am being infected by other people’s strains of bacteria! So when I travel, as soon as I walk into a new washroom I spray Eau de Throne ™  before I go, and after I poop too, to protect the next unsuspecting victim! Eau de Throne ™ is the only way to go.

Clearly, you can see how many factors need to be addressed to keep that oh-so-important sleep, wake and poop cycle working in your favor. The easiest way is always to be prepared with the tools that can PREVENT a problem.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Benjamin Franklin

Pooping is always number one! Remember, your stools got a bad rap being known as #2, when they are the #1 product that our bodies produce. When you’re traveling the world, you want to make sure everything is working well in your production facility so that you can keep up to all the adventure!

Practice these tips and also try to make them a part of your daily lifestyle. Why not feel great all the time?! One of the best ways to set yourself up with everything you need to do this is The Queen Kit. It contains everything you need while traveling and for daily life to keep it all together.

It is a collection of all of the awesome tools we’ve talked about in this article to elevate your health, supercharge your travels, and experience excellence in your life! When you are empowered you can do anything! Buy The Queen Kit now.

DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.

1 BM Cornelum Overcoming Jet Lag. Canadian Family Physician. 1985 Nov;31:2105-6

2 Richardson G, Tate B. Hormonal and pharmacological manipulation of the circadian clock: recent developments and future strategies.Sleep. 2000 May 1;23 Suppl 3:S77-85.

3 Srinivasan V1, Singh J, Pandi-Perumal SR, Brown GM, Spence DW, Cardinali DP. Jet lag, circadian rhythm sleep disturbances, and depression: the role of melatonin and its analogs. Adv Ther. 2010 Nov;27(11):796-813. doi: 10.1007/s12325-010-0065-y. Epub 2010 Sep 6.

4 Srinivasan V1, Spence DW, Pandi-Perumal SR, Trakht I, Cardinali DP. Jet lag: therapeutic use of melatonin and possible application of melatonin analogs. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2008 Jan-Mar;6(1-2):17-28. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2007.12.002. Epub 2008 Jan 28.

5  Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

6  Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.

7  Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.

8  Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

9  Grady H. Immunomodulation through castor oil packs. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine. Volume 7 Jan 1 1998; 7(1): 84-9

10  Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8.

11  Marwat SK1, Rehman F2, Khan EA1, Baloch MS1, Sadiq M1, Ullah I1, Javaria S1, Shaheen S1. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827.

12  Holm TBrøgger-Jensen MRJohnson LKessel L.Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.

13 Heo JY1, Kim K1, Fava M2, Mischoulon D2, Papakostas GI2, Kim MJ3, Kim DJ4, Chang KJ1, Oh Y1, Yu BH1, Jeon HJ5. Effects of smartphone use with and without blue light at night in healthy adults: A randomized, double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled comparison. J Psychiatr Res. 2017 Apr;87:61-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2016.12.010. Epub 2016 Dec 12.

14 Leung TW1, Li RW2, Kee CS1. Blue-Light Filtering Spectacle Lenses: Optical and Clinical Performances.PLoS One. 2017 Jan 3;12(1):e0169114. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169114. eCollection 2017.

15 Halson SL1, Burke LM1,2, Pearce J3. Nutrition for Travel: From Jet lag To Catering. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2019 Mar 1;29(2):228-235. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2018-0278. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

16  Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.

17  Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.

18  Badaró MM1, Salles MM1, Leite VMF1, Arruda CNF1, Oliveira VC1, Nascimento CD1, Souza RF1, Paranhos HFO1, Silva-Lovato CH1. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser. J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun;25(3):324-334. doi: 10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0222.

19  Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.

20 Lewis P1, Korf HW2, Kuffer L1, Groß JV1, Erren TC1. Exercise time cues (zeitgebers) for human circadian systems can foster health and improve performance: a systematic review. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2018 Dec 5;4(1):e000443. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2018-000443. eCollection 2018.

21  Reilly T1, Waterhouse J, Burke LM, Alonso JM; International Association of Athletics Federations. Nutrition for travel.J Sports Sci. 2007;25 Suppl 1:S125-34.

22 Fabiane Klem,1,2,* Akhilesh Wadhwa,1,* Larry Prokop,1 Wendy Sundt,1 Gianrico Farrugia,1 Michael Camilleri,1 Siddharth Singh,3 and Madhusudan Grover1, Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome After Infectious Enteritis: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Gastroenterology. 2017 Apr; 152(5): 1042–1054.e1.Published online 2017 Jan 6. doi10.1053/j.gastro.2016.12.039PMID: 28069350

23  The Characterization of Feces and Urine: A C. Rose, a A. Parker, a , * B. Jefferson, a and E. Cartmell a Review of the Literature to Inform Advanced Treatment Technology Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol. 2015 Sep 2; 45(17): 1827–1879.Published online 2015 May 29. doi10.1080/10643389.2014.1000761PMID: 26246784

24 Karibasappa GN1, Nagesh L, Sujatha BK. Assessment of microbial contamination of toothbrush head: an in vitro study. Indian J Dent Res. 2011 Jan-Feb;22(1):2-5. doi: 10.4103/0970-9290.79965.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and The Microbiome | Part 1

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and The Microbiome | Part 1

The microbiome is the HOT topic in medicine and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But what does this mean to you? Is it the key to alleviating your IBS? I suggest our fascination with the bugs in our guts, is a situation of history repeating itself and may lead patients and practitioners down a slippery slope of chasing the unseeable bug. There is a way to look at what is happening to you, not from the bug perspective but from one that empowers you and helps you transform into the life you’re meant to live. Read below and get your gut-reset on! 

What is the Microbiome?

Our bodies are made up of 10 trillion cells, and inside our gut we house 100 trillion foreign microbes that take up residence right next to our most important immune warehouse and the organ system that gives us life through digestion, absorption, and elimination1.

What Does the Microbiome Do? The Good

These microbes of various origins play important key roles in processing metabolites from drugs and foods, metabolites that our body secretes and they create their own metabolites that, in general, have beneficial effects on our bodies. They can supply us with short chain fatty acids like Butyrate, well known for its healing of the gut2

What Does the Microbiome Do? The Bad

Due to our lifestyle choices and exposures, sometimes this hub of so called ‘health’ as claimed by the researchers, works against us instead of for us. As in the case of irritable bowel syndrome, where the balance of beneficial bugs is outweighed by their disease-promoting counterparts. Researchers elucidate to the microbiome being the UNIFYING aspect of the promotion of irritable bowel syndrome3. I beg to differ, it is JUST ONE of the factors of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Probiotics – The Beneficial Bugs – The Good Guys

For simplicity sake, let’s call the good guys probiotics, since many of you are familiar with the product you buy to give your body good bugs. In reality, the researchers call the good guys commensal bacteria. These guys help us immensely, they are bacteria of different strains that help our bodies by making B vitamins and other amazing substances to keep our guts good4

Conbiotics – The Disease Promoting Bugs – The Bad Guys

The not-so-nice ones, I call conbiotics™. I coined this term because my understanding is that they act much like con artists in our bodies. They take up residence in places that are troubled, because they like to cause trouble too. Like attracts like. Usually it’s in a disturbed digestive tract, preferring environments that are filled with inflammation, histamine, oxalates, heavy metals and other toxins like poop sitting in our intestine too long.

They are typically present with food sensitivities, and the ultimate villain of them all a dis-stressed gut. A great example of this is after you take antibiotics. They kill both good and bad bacteria, but makes the intestine hospitable to conbiotics5

The Environment Decides who Lives There

So this shows us that the residents of the gut are dependent on the circumstances that are going on in our bodies. They are affected by our emotional wellbeing or lack thereof, our food choices, what drugs we take, our system’s ability to digest, absorb and eliminate and much, much more. 

WHY is our Health Placed in the Hands of Bacteria?

So what I don’t understand then, is why do we give our power away to the bug? Why don’t we own that it is us that may be off, us that isn’t doing the things that promote health and because of that the bugs that are growing are bad causing things to go awry within. These bad bugs going hay wire is simply in response to our bodies aiming to seek balance, not the other way around, where they give us balance. 

If we seriously own it, that the environment of our gut is caused by us, we can take actions to truly do something about it. And not allow history to repeat itself. 

Louis Pasteur

Portrait of Louis Pasteur

You may or may not be familiar with Louis Pasteur. He was a French scientist and the father of the germ theory6, also considered the father of immunology7. His entire life, delved first into the crystallization of wine, to fermentation processes, to development of the bug theory and finally vaccines. His belief and scientific perspective held central the idea that it was the bug that caused all disease. He was successful in promoting the message because he was a publicly well seen figure. 

Claude Bernard

At the same time another more meek French scientist was studying parallel to Pasteur. His deductions were different. Claude Bernard came to realize that it wasn’t the bug but the environment of the body, as he called it “the liquid millieu internal” , also commonly referred to as the terrain, that makes it hospital for the bug to survive. Bugs and germs are smart as well, they go where their survival is guaranteed and where they can multiply. It is best for them to multiply in unhealthy areas. Where the ENVIRONMENT SUPPORTS THEIR HEALTH!!!!! How ironic.

Environment that Supports Health 

Portrait of Claude Bernard

Because Bernard’s study of the human system physiology was quite impressive, he was well known for his animal experiments on the gut and intestine8. His message wasn’t visible because it is the phenomenon of a living creature. This is the part, in effect, that we really truly can’t do studies on. It definitely isn’t as easily visible through a microscope as Pasteur’s work was. 

Pasteur was also much more charismatic and simply more of a socialite that knew how to promote his message. Claude Bernard’s message got lost and didn’t make it to the forefront of scientific thought of the time. The environment that supports health died, and the bug won.

H. Pylori Infection from a Germ Theory Perspective

Pasteurs theories became embedded in the modern scientific thought of the day, and become the norm, even today. H. Pylori is one example of a bug well known to be the “cause” of peptic ulcers9, which according to the germ theory makes sense. In our common language we all talk about catching a cold, a virus, or a bacterial infection. Microbes and bacteria are easy to see under a microscope and because of that it’s very easy to believe it is true. 

H. Pylori Infection from a System Biology, Millieu Perspective

Had Bernard lived to see the H. Pylori situation, he would have explained it differently. That because of an acidic millieu, the stomach acid in the digestive tract doesn’t function optimally, therefore allowing for an infection of H.Pylori to set in. You see, it isn’t the bug that caused the ulcer, it was the imbalance in the physiology that allowed the infection to occur.

Why the Germ Theory Won – History Repeating Itself

Let’s face it, it’a a lot easier to blame a bug, than to trace back through the steps of the physiology to figure out why the infection happened in the first place. We are always looking for the easy button, but in health and sciences, unfortunately it’s not the easy way that prevails. That’s a recipe to be chasing after a bug for your entire life, never getting anywhere and always suffering. Isn’t the definition of Hell repeating the same thing over and over again? You can choose that path if you want, but I decided a long time ago it wasn’t the path that made sense to me. 

Had Bernard got his way, we would be singing a very different tune. One of understanding how the body works, of tuning in to the signs and taking responsibility for ones health. Pasteur just put the blame on the bug and promoted that until his death.

Pasteur on his Death Bed Recants – It’s Not the Germ, It’s the Terrain, Bernard was Right

On his death bed, Pasteur was said to have had an epiphany. He realized that all along Bernard was RIGHT! So he recanted, history tells us his words were “Bernard was right, it’s not the bug, it’s the terrain!” 

By then it was too late, the wheels were deeply ingrained in thought of the time that it was all about the germ theory and there was no going back. The sequence of events following that led us to where we are today, bringing the bug back into the forefront of science. Blaming the bug, (well now its bugs because of the 100 trillions of bugs in the microbiome) for everything bad that happens with our health.

You Know What’s Right, Just Listen to your Body

I do not want you to recant on your death bed, or have regrets that you should have headed the warning signs. That internally you knew that it couldn’t be only about the bug. I remember, the gut punch I got when I first heard about addressing the balance of the systems and the terrain, searching for homeostasis, instead of the bug. A light bulb so big shone in front of my eyes, I knew inherently it was the way to go with health.  

I’m not saying here if you need an antibiotic for an infection not to take it. By no means! What I’m saying is to look at your body as a whole, there will be times you need that antibiotic and you better take it! There is no bad medicine, just a bad time and a place for it. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week where we talk probiotics, fecal transplants and how to reset your terrain for healthy bugs!

DISCLAIMER: Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers, are those of the respective authors or distributors, and not Queen of the Thrones™. Neither Queen of the Thrones™ nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content. Furthermore, Queen of the Thrones™neither endorses nor is responsible for the accuracy and reliability of any opinion, advice, or statement made on any of the sites. This communication does not create a doctor and patient relationship.  Information provided does not replace the advice of your health care practitioner.  Before proceeding with any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed please consult your health care practitioner.  

References:

1 Chen CC1,2,3, Chen YN1,2,3, Liou JM1,2, Wu MS1,2; Taiwan Gastrointestinal Disease and Helicobacter Consortium. From germ theory to germ therapy. Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2019 Feb;35(2):73-82. doi: 10.1002/kjm2.12011.

2 Wuwen Feng,1 Hui Ao,2 and Cheng Peng1,3,* Gut Microbiota, Short-Chain Fatty Acids, and Herbal Medicines  Front Pharmacol. 2018; 9: 1354.PMID: 30532706

3  Yogesh Bhattarai,1,2 David A. Muniz Pedrogo,1,2 and Purna C. Kashyap1,2 Irritable bowel syndrome: a gut microbiota-related disorder? Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2017 Jan 1; 312(1): G52–G62PMID: 27881403

4 LeBlanc JG1, Chain F2, Martín R2, Bermúdez-Humarán LG2, Courau S3, Langella P4. Beneficial effects on host energy metabolism of short-chain fatty acids and vitamins produced by commensal and probiotic bacteria. Microb Cell Fact. 2017 May 8;16(1):79. doi: 10.1186/s12934-017-0691-z.

5 Blaser MJ1. Antibiotic use and its consequences for the normal microbiome. Science. 2016 Apr 29;352(6285):544-5. doi: 10.1126/science.aad9358.

6 Berche P1. Louis Pasteur, from crystals of life to vaccination. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2012 Oct;18 Suppl 5:1-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2012.03945.x. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

7  Smith KA. Louis pasteur, the father of immunology?. Front Immunol. 2012;3:68. Published 2012 Apr 10. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2012.00068

8  Noble D1. Claude Bernard, the first systems biologist, and the future of physiology. Exp Physiol. 2008 Jan;93(1):16-26. Epub 2007 Oct 19.

9 Borges SS1, Ramos AFPL1, Moraes Filho AV2, Braga CADSB1,3, Carneiro LC3, Barbosa MS1,3. PREVALENCE OF HELICOBACTER PYLORI INFECTION IN DYSPEPTIC PATIENTS AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH CLINICAL RISK FACTORS FOR DEVELOPING GASTRIC ADENOCARCINOMA. Arq Gastroenterol. 2019 Mar 18. pii: S0004-28032019005001103. doi: 10.1590/S0004-2803.201900000-03. [Epub ahead of print]


Food and Digestion in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, It Takes Two to Tango

Food and Digestion in Irritable Bowel Syndrome, It Takes Two to Tango

When you’re living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food is your foe. You’re pretty sure something in that ___________ (insert food you just ate here), left you feeling not so right. Worse, it made you look like you’re 7 months pregnant, and you never thought that you would have kids. 

So what is the deal, you hear of specific diets that are great and helpful, but do they work for everybody? What is right for you? I’ve lived with IBS my entire life and I’ve helped myself and thousands of my patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) navigate the food conundrum successfully, so they can live their lives being the legends that they are. I can help you too. Find out the food rules here. 

Food is Foundational to Your Health 

We all know that we cannot live without food. Sure, we could survive for a while but eventually we just wouldn’t have enough gas in our systems to keep things going. 

Food is the foundation of our lives, it nourishes our body mind and soul. It’s so sad that it is working against us and causing our symptoms. Or is it? 

Food as the Cause of your Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms

I know that with IBS sometimes you wish that you could just live without eating, cause you’re positive that the burger you ate is what is giving you all your symptoms and making you feel, well, like crap. You’re bloated, you can’t poo or you poo too much, you’re gassy, crampy, you have pain. 

It is just not ideal. What if I told you that it wasn’t so much about the food you are eating, but more about the way that your body is digesting. 

Freedom in your Food Choices 

I love the saying, “It takes two to tango” and this is absolutely the truth in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Sure, you eat the food, and sure, you might not always make the right choices. A little too much pasta here, a little pizza there and oh – that cheesecake. These are definitely not the right combinations for you, but why aren’t you entitled to indulge a little bit too? Otherwise life feels like a prison, and when you EAT HEALTHY FOOD you still get symptoms. So it might not necessarily be about the freedom to choose between good and bad foods.

Healthy Food that Makes your IBS Worse

For me, as a naturopathic doctor student dealing with IBS, I was blown away by my limited food choices. I undertook several so called “healthy”, “gut healing” diets with hope in my heart that I would be able to overcome my predicament. I was really getting exhausted by my symptoms and worse, embarrassed and overwhelmed. It was too much to handle and my IBS was literally becoming a full time job with lots of unpaid overtime. 

The Healthy Irritable Bowel Syndrome Diets Didn’t Work 

Diet after diet, the healthier I was supposed to get, didn’t happen. Actually, I felt worse and worse. My naturopathic doctors would say, “Don’t worry, push through it’s just a healing crisis” otherwise known as a Herxheimer Reaction. This is a reaction to healthy healing products or diets and is contributed to die off of bad bacteria in your body. It basically makes your symptoms worse and worse before they get better, and can be due to your inability to be able to clear the die off. All disclaimers aside, in many cases it’s true, but when you keep on getting worse and worse and the healing crises never ends, there is a big problem. 

Your Irritable Mind Goes to the Worst Case Scenario 

Here I was trying to get better desperately, but I was just feeling worse. I really started to question if it was really IBS that I had or something much more menacing, scary, unspeakable. The Big C. Yup, Cancer. I was petrified and horrified and worried that if I did have the C word, and I didn’t get better sooner, I was a goner. 

Can Healthy Food Irritate an Irritable Bowel? 

Luckily that was the work of a highly active imagination, trying to understand why I wasn’t responding to the diets. It’s that the healthy food in the diets was healthy, yes, but what I didn’t know was that maybe those healthy foods just weren’t healthy for me. ‘Cause I’m me and I’m different (headcase and all, you hear me!) 

It’s at that point I got fed up and started looked for answers in my food. I asked my naturopathic doctor to test my food allergies. 

Food Sensitivity (Not Allergy) Testing Solution 

We tested and I was in awe with the results. I was sensitive to all the healthy foods, namely rice, almonds, kale, broccoli, turmeric and dairy (this last one I don’t really consider healthy but I wanted to list it because it was my sensitivity). I was blown away, also devastated that the other 5 naturopaths I had seen hadn’t recommended for me to do this invaluable test. It could have saved me so much pain. 

That day for me was like the sun came out from behind the clouds, the fog lifted and all I could hear in my head were two songs. Hallelujah and I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I knew what was wrong with my food! 

Is Food Sensitivity Research Valid? 

But alas, thank God, for it was because of this experience that I am adamant with my patients about requesting them to test their food sensitivities. Many complain that the research may not be 100% valid1, but to me it is beneficial enough. It’s telling us that certain foods are causing inflammation and immune reactions in our bodies2 3.

For me that’s good enough proof and it’s important to do because those are two main areas that mess up our bodies as we are trying to heal. In effect, it’s a relatively harmless way (you just need to get poked and have a few vials of blood drawn) that we can get some good clues that prevent so much suffering. 

Here’s a link to a lab that I like and trust to test food allergies, click here.

First Steps after Receiving my Food Sensitivity Results 

So I proceeded to take those foods out of my diet, and my diet looked drastically different from other sufferers of IBS. It’s then that I realized you REALLY, REALLY need to figure out a plan that is individual to you. Did my symptoms drastically all go away? No not really, I definitely saw improvement but I really wasn’t out of the weeds yet. I had some more clearing and detective work to do. 

Food isn’t the Only Culprit, Say Hello to your Digestion

Food – meet digestion – you two have to work together now. Come on, play nice. Food choices do matter but it’s not the only thing. For some reason we blame everything that comes from the outside. It’s the bacteria, the food, instead of realizing that we have a role to play in this too. Where I was missing the mark was in my digestion.

My digestion wasn’t working well, I hesitate to even say it was working at all. Digestion is much more than how we digest our food, it’s also how we digest life, and at that point I sure wasn’t digesting food or life well at all. 

What if it is simply that we are lacking the ability to properly DIGEST the foods we eat? Nibble on that my friends. 

The Other Side of Food: Digestion in Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

Digestion, you see, is the other side of the coin. The milk with my cookie, the pie in my eye. You get the point. Even if you have figured out which foods you’re sensitive to and are making you not well, you also have to figure out what could be up with your digestion, or not up at all. 

My Digestion is a Disaster 

Digestion is gentle, like a child that needs to be nurtured. Like a child, it can also have tantrums and those tantrums can be extremely hard to get out of. It is also highly responsive to a variety of different stimuluses that can shut it down:

  1. Stress4 – Emotional, mental, or physical, digestion doesn’t care and reacts negatively to each type of stress the same 
  2. Acidity and Inflammation – Tightly regulated enzymes function at a certain pH and irritation to mucous membranes via inflammation equals loss  
  3. Unhealthy Microbiome – Gut bacteria will switch from carbohydrate fermentation to protein catabolism the longer that it stays in your body
  4. Back Up of Stools – The longer stools stay in, the higher the risk of sensitivity and allergy
  5. Lack of Antioxidants – Antioxidants are needed to protect the gentle mucosa of the digestive tract. Faster transit time creates amazing molecules that heal the lining of digestive tract. 

1. Stress as a Major Factor in Irritable Bowel Syndrome 

Stress has got a bad wrap but unfortunately, stress, you deserve it! Sorry not sorry! With irritable bowel, studies show that we have a change in cortisol (A.K.A. the stress hormone) that pumps out of our systems. It is significantly increased in the morning and drops in the evening5. This is also seen with people who don’t have IBS but have a significant amount of stress and functional dyspepsia, meaning problems with digestion in their stomach. This elevation of cortisol increases your risk for infections like H.Pylori, the culprit in stomach ulcer conditions6

Fortunately our circadian day/night cycle observes the same rhythm as healthy subjects, this is a big win that actually keeps us balanced. 

Increased Stress Hormone Cortisol in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

So big deal! I have more stress hormone in the morning than most. Well it’s actually a huge deal when you’re stressed and the soup of our hormones and neurotransmitters is not in optimum balance. It sets up your body and more importantly, your gut and digestion to be out of balance too. 

In rat models, with forced mother separation to mimic a stressful situation, changes were noted in the microbiome as well as the motility of the digestive tract7. In addition, scientists have been tracking the oral digestive enzyme, salivary alpha-amylase and Immunoglobulin A (only found in the digestive tract8) because these could serve as an excellent biomarker or test for stress.

It has been noted that when cortisol is elevated there is an increase in this digestive enzyme that breaks down sugar, to help you get quick energy to deal with the stressor9. We’ve know for years that there are alterations to how you digest with stress and this is a huge aspect of IBS10

Is Stress the Cause of my Leaky Gut? 

In fact, many may label Irritable Bowel Syndrome as a disorder of your gut-brain axis, causing symptoms of pain in the abdomen but also affecting motility and how food is digested and moved through your system11. Under stress and elevations of stress hormone, your intestinal membrane is also unhealthy and lacks integrity. A popularized term used to describe this is “LEAKY GUT”. It’s obvious that if your intestinal wall is full of holes, digestion isn’t going to be in its best state. 

So the take home is we have to relax and adopt practices and strategies that will reduce our cortisol surges. To fix this, I practice my castor oil pack at night, it works not only to reduce the pain I may be experiencing, but castor oil packs also help to move your system into the relaxed state, therefore decreasing your stress hormone and response. 

They do this because of the touch on the skin of the actual pack component. The soft fabric stimulates receptors in the skin and transmits a message to the parasympathetic autonomic nervous system, the one involved in rest and digest functions of the body and gives you a sensation of calm. In fact, so well that the touch of soft12 organic cotton sherpa stimulates the limbic part of your brain, the area in charge of emotion that produces feel-good satisfaction hormones like dopamine13. It can mimic the feeling you get when you having an amazing, satisfying, fatty meal. Wow!

Wait there’s more! This same touch, like the touch of the castor oil pack, has recently been shown to elicit the hormone oxytocin14, the love and connection hormone that is high after sex, but highest when giving birth. That is just incredible because we lack these hormones in our systems because many of us are not feeling the love. This is one thing that you can do for YOURSELF daily to help you get in the LOVE. 

What is a Castor Oil Pack?

A castor oil pack is a legendary practice used since ancient times. They are popular in the medical system (more so in the early 1900s), midwives and naturopathic and functional medicine practices. The pack is as easy as applying oil to a compress and placing it on your body, under your right ribcage for a minimum of 1 hour to overnight. It’s a daily practice with considerable benefit. Click here to learn more 

If you would like a pack, here is the one that I use with myself and my patients. I’ve created it to make this once messy treatment easy. Click here to get yours!

2. PH of our Digestive Tract is VITAL for Balance 

One of the most important balances in our bodies that affects every organ is pH, otherwise known as acid base balance.  

PH is disturbed in our bodies with inflammation15. Mainly due to the lack of oxygenation of the tissues and changes that happen in the body16. It is safe to say, where there is inflammation there is also acidity of the tissues. 

In digestion we want certain pH’s in certain areas because they exert a function. A low acidic pH, is what triggers the enzyme pepsinogen to cleave and function17 in the stomach, breaking down protein.

During fasting, the pH of your stomach acid can go from 1 up to 4.5 during a meal18. The larger the meal, the higher your pH goes. The more basic it becomes (the opposite of acid), the less able you are to digest. 

So to improve this aspect of your digestion, eat smaller meals to keep your pH in the right place. Follow the principles of digestibility you incur. So here is where small meals are key. HARA HACHI BU, eat until you are 80% full, that keeps your digestive juices going in the right direction19

To address the inflammation, you’re already doing it, the castor oil pack as we discussed above is one of the best methods to reduce local inflammation20. Castor oils’ chemical structure mimics a prostaglandin21 of the human body, making it an effective anti-inflammatory. When used locally as a pack it is a great tool to reset the digestive tract. 

3. Microbiome, Digestion and IBS 

It’s no surprise that everyone is talking about the bugs in our guts and how they impact what we digest. They work with us to provide us with nutrients like B vitamins and other goodies that heal up our gut lining and help us be better. That is if we’ve got good bugs down there, the ones we call probiotics and not the bad ones. 

Bad bugs, I like to term conbiotics, which I came up with to give you a good picture of what they do. They are con artists of the bug world. They take up residence in your hospitable, inflamed digestive tract and wreak havoc. Bad deals, gangster shootings, using up all of your metabolites that you need to feel good. Worst of all, their metabolic byproducts are so nauseating22, smelling like methane and other such delights that it makes it uncomfortable to be in your skin and digest anything. 

All in all, you don’t want them because they mess up your system. 

First things first, the conbiotics have to ability to create a protective barricade known as biofilm. This biofilm is a mix that is quite impermeable and difficult to get through. To get rid of conbiotics, we must first break this down. 

The best tool is castor oil packs! Are you beginning to see a theme? I know I am. Castor oil has shown to be more effective in the human body, as compared to chemical solutions, at breaking down biofilm23 24 25 26. This is a huge win that gives your body a fighting chance to improve your microbiome. Biofilm makes changing your microbiome very difficult, so with castor oil it is a clear home run. Plus you’re already doing those castor oil packs to help with stress reduction, inflammation reduction and pH balance. 

But What About the Probiotics, Do I Take a Supplement? 

At first, I recommend to actually start by drinking green tea. It has shown to have the ability to modify your gut microbiome into a healthier spectrum of bugs27 that will improve your digestion. Green tea, in combination with castor oil packs is my go to for patients. Not only to fix the bugs, but it’ll also improve the pain, gas and bloating you may be experiencing. 

4. Back Up Of Stools, Brimming with Food Sensitivities

Because my irritable bowel syndrome was overwhelming my system, I was experiencing all the symptoms – the gas, the bloating, and worst of all I really didn’t have good bowel movements. I would alternate between constipation, which would keep me bunged up for days and diarrhea. What I didn’t realize that when I was constipated, the longer that food and stools stay in your body, the greater likelihood that you are to create sensitivity and allergy to those foods28. WHAT!!!!???? Yup. 

This means that because I wasn’t regular, I was in effect the creator of my food sensitivities. So part of the solution was to get my bowels moving regularly. 

Castor oil packs came, once again, to the rescue of my irritable bowel syndrome. They have been shown to improve elimination, the sensation of complete evacuation29 as well as stimulating smooth muscle contraction30 of the intestine to create bowel movements. 

Be cautious though, because castor oil packs shouldn’t be used during pregnancy because they also stimulate the smooth muscle of the uterus. Definitely not what we want when you’re pregnant!

5. Antioxidants that Preserve and Improve your Digestion

Because of my bowel backup, my body was having problems dealing with all the toxicity that I had in my system. The more toxins that stay in your body, the more that you use up important antioxidants to keep your body healthy. 

Lack of antioxidants, especially if you’re backed up and recirculating toxicity, sets you up for a never improving conditions because we need those antioxidants to protect the digestive health and the mucosal membrane. 

So I brought out my trusted friend again to help with this aspect of my digestion dilemma. Castor oil has been shown to improve glutathione status31, a molecule utilized to heal the gut lining, move out toxins and overall, keep you healthy. All chronic disease conditions experience a low level of glutathione in the body, so anything you can do to make it work better is money in the bank. Thank God for the castor oil packs. 

IBS Next Steps

So this was my easy 5 step solution to helping improve the tango that was going on between food and digestion with my IBS. It did wonders and was inexpensive and easy to do. Castor oil packs, green tea and Hara Hachi Bu (eating until you are 80% full) are some of the simplest lifestyle tweaks that will make major impact on your life.

By no means is it the only thing. There are more steps to come, but I find for me and my patients I like starting here. It’s good to feel better when you have an irritable bowel because we often don’t feel well. 

What I love about the simplicity of the castor oil pack is that it is an all in one that not only treats you but helps you to connect to you. It sets the foundation for your food, your digestion, your stress, and any treatments or supplements that you want to take so that they are better absorbed. 

So start today, take the first next best steps to your health and improving your IBS and digestion. 

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