Our sense of wellbeing is deeply connected to our intestinal health.
Both Ayurveda and yoga offer helpful perspectives to complement new scientific research in this field. By blending ancient and new philosophies you can restore your gut health and treat depression and a huge range of illnesses.
1) Gut Flora is Your Greatest Weapon
Intestinal balance of our gut flora can be key to our mood balance. The Gut Microbiome is being heavily researched to verify the connections between the gut and depression.
Worms and Microbes are essential for creating high quality soil to produce good crops. Our intestines too need high quality gut flora to create the right conditions for nutrient assimilation from our food and chemically link to our emotion centres to create feelings of wellbeing.
How do I Achieve Gut Flora Balance?
For 40 days, follow this simple regime:
- Take a high quality probiotic supplement
- Or take a fermented milk product such as Keffir
This will help you to maintain a strong gut and enhance your emotional well-being. Use of Probiotics to treat depression is on the rise.
2) Keep Your Gut Flora Maintained
Once you have established a good colony of gut flora it needs to be maintained well to treat depression and maintain good health.
Overeating high GI foods (such as refined sugar and refined carbohydrates), as well as foods like poor quality bread promotes excessive colonies of unhelpful bacteria. For example, candida, can develop excessively through the long length of time it can take to digest poor quality bread, producing excessive gas and fermentation, which remains in the colon for a long time, putting excessive demands on the previously balanced flora.
How do I Maintain Gut Flora Balance?
Instead for 40 days, follow a healthy gut bacteria diet and enjoy plenty of fresh vegetables, wholegrains and pulses. Also try to eat 3 meals a day without snacking to boost the digestive fire: see more details on how to do this here.
3) A Well Maintained Gut Flora Can Help Prevent Parasitic Infections, Which Left Unattended Can Lead to Depression
Poor dietary habits can lead to a weakening of the digestive system. In Ayurveda it is believed that this in turn can lead to parasites taking hold. Parasitic activity is also believed to trigger depression.
Consider Any Parasitic Involvement
By re-claiming the intestinal balance and by re-populating healthy gut flora the parasites no longer have a home and their power wains. With it the state of depression. To encourage the complete removal of parasites, additional treatment may be required.
4) The Connection Between The Endocrine System And The Gut
The gut can be considered to be the largest endocrine organ in the body. There are multiple feedback loops between the gut and the brain and many of the peptides involved influence of the emotions. Once this connection has been understood it opens up the possibility to address an imbalance from different directions. Upwards of 90% of our serotonin (happy hormone) is produced in our gut.
How to Restore a Healthy Connection Between The Gut And Brain
By taking care of our gut this can impact how we feel. However, we can work in the opposite direction too. By working with the mind to bring balance, this then can result in a more balanced gut. Whether this be through counselling, hypnosis, regular meditation or other healing modalities positive changes can happen.
5) Secret Nuggets of Ayurvedic Wisdom on The Relationship Between The Colon And Emotions
Vata is considered to be the ‘king’ of the 3 doshas and its seat is in the colon. Stress immediately unsettles Vata and therefore, the homeostasis of the colon is immediately unsettled too. In Ayurveda, it is understood through nurturing the colon, physical and emotional balance can be restored
How to Restore The Colon Gently
The food supplement known as Triphala can help to restore gut health and thus emotional health too.
By getting Vata under control, restoring your digestive health and instilling balance within the mind through meditation and other practices you are able to produce more substance known as ‘Ojas‘ which gives the body immunity and feelings of happiness.
NOTE: Prescribed Medication should never be immediately withdrawn. Advice should always be sought from your Healthcare Practitioner. Treating depression can be a hard journey to undertake alone. You may wish to discuss some of these concepts with a healthcare practitioner.