4 Herbs that Support Digestive Health

by Melissa Chichester

A 2017 report from The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine revealed that many people in the American public feel confused about how much and what foods to get fiber from. Contributing factors to this confusion include the plethora of specialized diets available and food product labeling.

Even more alarming was the research on how many Americans consume enough fiber daily. According to the report, “national consumption surveys indicate that only about 5% of the population meets recommendations.”

That means an astounding 95% of adults are not meeting their dietary fiber needs daily. 

Even when we make healthy decisions, we might need a little extra help with digestion from time to time. Herbs are a great way to increase fiber intake. Here are four to consider.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a highly regarded, cactus-like plant that is known for its soothing and skin softening properties.* It contains an impressive amount of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Plus, aloe vera leaves can be broken open and used to soothe dry and cracked skin. Besides skincare benefits, aloe vera has been traditionally used for its soothing properties when taken internally as well.*

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Cascara sagrada 

Cascara sagrada is a large shrub that has been traditionally used by indigenous people in the Pacific Northwest of the United States for digestion.* Native to northern California and spreading into British Columbia and throughout the Rocky Mountains of Montana, cascara sagrada grows in forests and near streams and rivers.

Its name is Spanish for “sacred bark” and was bestowed with this name because of its effectiveness.

This includes digestive cleansing support throughout the day. * Another great thing about cascara sagrada supplements it that they can be broken open to make tea if you have trouble swallowing capsules. 

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Puritan's Pride psyllium husk seed powder

Psyllium husk seed powder 

Psyllium husk seeds come from plants in the plantago genus, which is made up of hundreds of different annual herbs. Psyllium seed husks are a source of soluble fiber and healthy addition to your diet.* Fiber naturally supports digestion and allows your body to absorb more nutrients.* 

In addition to digestive benefits, psyllium husk seeds support heart health and help maintain blood sugar levels already within a normal range.* 

Although probiotics are a very hot digestive health supplement right now, it is important to not forget about how essential fiber is in your healthy diet.*  And if you prefer using powder supplements, psyllium husk seed powder blends perfectly into smoothies and can be added to baked goods for extra nutrition. 

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Did you know that ginger was considered a luxury spice during ancient times? Hailing from Southern Asia, ginger is in the same family as another beloved spice: turmeric.

Ginger supports digestive health and is also used to alleviate occasional motion sickness.* 

Digestive health is a critical component of your well-being, and fiber plays a crucial role in digestive health, helping move waste through your system. It keeps you regular, helps you feel full longer after eating, and nourishes the gut microbiome. To get more fiber in your diet, you can eat more foods that contain natural fiber, such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

Want to watch a movie and increase your fiber intake? Grab some popcorn. Do you love navy bean soup? Great choice: navy beans are high in fiber. But when a healthy diet, adequate hydration, and regular exercise aren’t enough, an herbal supplement may help.