Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Beware of the Mind-Body Relationship

There is a link between the mind and the body known about by some for thousands of years. The German philosopher, Goethe, once said: “the mind governs the body”.  If you can learn to maintain a balance between the principles of good health, and the often conflicting demands of your personality and lifestyle, you can lead a life free of disease and suffering.  On the other hand, if you simply let yourself go freewheel, making no effort to guide your life, you will remain in a constant state of imbalance whereby you experience setbacks of all kinds including mental and physical ones.

Your body and your life are merely reflections of your mind. It is the mind alone that shapes and determines your destiny. Even the most highly skilled doctors or surgeons, with the most modern equipment and medications, can only stimulate your inner healing powers, they cannot cure you by themselves. It is only through the power of the mind that you can achieve the real healing of both your physical and psychological health problems.  

Your mental or emotional state has a bearing on your health and vice versa. They are interdependent and support for one has an impact on the other. Lots of people are overweight, inactive, stressed and make poor food choices causing feelings of fatigue, anger, frustration and depression. Ignoring the mind-body connection over time can lead to serious mental or physical health problem requiring treatment or hospitalisation.

The following facts emanating from studies carried out in the USA and UK further confirm the mind-body connection:
·        Two- thirds of all visits to a doctor are for stress- related causes.
·        Hostility at home or at work can have a bigger impact on heart disease than being overweight, cigarette smoking or having high cholesterol levels.
·        People high in optimism were less likely to develop heart disease than their pessimistic counterparts.
·        Employees receiving mental health counselling were 35% less likely to have a physical complaint than those without.
·        People with high levels of anxiety have a much higher risk of developing a heart complaint.
·        Talk therapy is more effective for anxiety and depression than drug therapy.

Without being too pernickety about it, here are some practical things you can do daily to ensure your mind-body balance is in equilibrium:
1.     Try and find the root cause of anything affecting your mind. Your problem could possibly arise from a toxic substance such as mercury or lead, vitamin B12 or magnesium deficiency, reaction to a chemical or an allergy you have developed. By finding the cause, you are in a position to take remedial action.
2.     Learn how to relax or engage in activities which promote relaxation. Relaxation exercises, meditation, relaxation music, yoga, crafts, hobbies and sports can all play a part in reducing stress.
3.      Actively practice bringing about a state of calm. This might involve deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation, having a massage, making love, taking a bath or sauna, or going for a walk in the woods or by the sea.
4.     Do some daily exercise. It is a powerful way of reducing toxic substances in the body which may be affecting the mind, and is a lot more efficient in this respect than a prescription drug.
5.     Eat a balanced diet. Eliminate anything containing refined sugars, caffeine and cut down on alcohol consumption. Eat a least 5 portions of fruit or vegetables daily: and try and derive most of the proteins you eat from vegetables or fish instead of meat.
6.      Take a multivitamin and mineral tablet daily as insurance against a deficiency in the diet. Make sure there is no deficiency in vitamins C, B5,  B6, B12 or the mineral magnesium. 
7.     Use calming herbs in the diet. Valerian, peppermint, camomile, passionflower, lavender, lemon balm are all in this category.
8.     Keep well hydrated by drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily. Water is the most efficient way of expelling toxins from the body. You could reduce the amount of water you consume if you drink green tea, ginger tea, fruit or vegetable juices.
9.     Examine your attitudes and responses to problems you encounter regularly in order to reduce stress. Can you possibly overcome setbacks in your life with a sense of humour?
10. Build a network of friends, family and community. They are your most powerful allies in achieving long-term health. Interaction with a pet such as a cat or a dog can also have a positive influence on heath.
You now have enough ideas outlined above to begin to create a better relationship between the mind and the body, so that the effect of them working in harmony has a positive impact on your overall health and wellness.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

How to Prevent or Cope With Gout

Gout is a disease caused by pain, swelling and inflammation in the joints. A high uric acid content in the blood leaves deposits of uric acid crystals in and around the tissues of the joints at the extremities of the body, especially the big toe. Gout usually affects men. High uric acid levels are most often found in people of high intellectual achievement, overachievers and high aspirers.

High uric acid levels mainly occur from the inability to metabolise proteins from purine type foods. Uric acid crystals form in the joints causing the body to release harmful chemicals that cause inflammation and severe pain in the affected areas. Poor diet, age, diuretic type medications, excess weight, overindulgence in alcohol, drinking too much coffee can put a person at risk of developing gout.   

Conventional medicine has responded to this disease with the following: anti-inflammatory drugs; colchicine from the root of meadow saffron; medications to lower uric acid levels and promote excretion through the kidneys; and medications to prevent the formation of uric acid stones. There are problems with all of these as follows: anti-inflammatory drugs can cause dizziness, nausea, headache, diarrhoea, vomiting and internal bleeding; colchicine can cause numbness in the hands and feet, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, hair loss and abdominal bleeding; and drugs to lower uric acid levels or prevent stones may weaken kidney function due to over-excretion of uric acid through the kidneys thereby causing them to work too hard.   

The main preventative measures you can take against developing gout are as follows:
  1. Maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Drink plenty of liquids such as water, green or herbal tea. 8-10 glasses per day should be sufficient.
  3. Limit your alcohol consumption to the occasional glass of wine.
  4. Limit your intake of purine type foods which include red meat, shellfish, tofu, organ meats, peas, anchovies, herring, asparagus and mushrooms.
  5. Eat potassium rich foods such as spinach, avocado, dried peaches, bananas, carrots, orange juice, baked jacket potatoes, lima beans and yams.
  6. Drink a warm glass of lemon and water each day after dinner.
  7. Avoid diuretic medications as they reduce the amount of potassium in the body.
If you already have gout, then you need to avoid all purine type foods as defined above, as well as fried foods, cream, ice cream, pastries, rich deserts, spices and alcohol especially beer.  Eliminate sugar- laden soft drinks in favour of water or green or herbal tea.
The diet should mainly consist of natural organic foods with a bias towards those having high fibre and potassium contents. A high fibre diet aids in eliminating uric acid by absorbing bile acids formed in the liver. Consequently, whole grain cereals, wholemeal bread, wholegrain pasta, brown rice, nuts, seeds, beans and potassium rich foods, as defined above, are all good for the condition. Other specific foods like sour cherries and strawberries can help combat a gout attack by getting uric acid out of the system at the onset. Grapes help alkalise the body and lessen the acidity of uric acid thereby encouraging the body to eliminate it.     

The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can help counteract gout: parsley acts as a natural diuretic; black cohash moderates blood activity; saffron neutralises uric acid build-up; devil’s claw is a natural cleansing agent for toxic impurities; nettle contains alkaloids which neutralises uric acid; and hydrangea is an anti-inflammatory.

Food supplements can be employed to help with gout as follows: vitamin C, 1000mg. three times daily; vitamin B5, 300mg. three times daily; folic acid, two 800mcg. tablets three times daily; bromelain, 500mg. twice daily, fish oil, two 1000mg. capsules three times daily; magnesium citrate, 400mg. three times daily; potassium tablets as directed on the label.
The following additional measures can help cope with gout:
  1. Take half a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda in water twice daily in order to alkalise the body.
  2. Soak a piece of white flannel in warm castor oil, wring it out and place it over the inflamed area, cover with plastic and apply a heating pad. Do this twice daily for one hour at each sitting.
  3. Fasting for three to four days at a time. Drink distilled water and five to six glasses of green vegetable juice or apple juice in lieu of food.        
If you have anything to say on this post, use the comments box below for that purpose. 

Saturday, 1 February 2014

How to Prevent Bowel Problems

Bowel problems affect a lot of people throughout their lives. The bowel includes the large intestine which is often referred to as the colon. The main function of the large intestine is to extract liquid from ingested food so it passes from the body in a bowel movement in a solid state. Problems occur when the colon becomes inflamed, or when waste material moves too slowly (constipation) or too rapidly (diarrhoea) through the large intestine. Overgrowth can occur in the colon from the proliferation of negative bacteria and thereby cause swelling.

Bowel problems can show up in various ways in the body, and can be diagnosed as diverticulitis, colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, appendicitis, polyps, tumours, food allergies, parasites and possibly lower back problems. Constipation and diarrhoea are forewarnings of possible bigger problems to come. The following are the most frequent symptoms of bowel problems: severe abdominal cramps with fever; rectal bleeding; diarrhoea for more than two days; constipation for more than two weeks; frequent vomiting; and sudden unexplained weight loss.   
Conventional medicine has responded to bowel problems mainly with anti-inflammatory drugs, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and laxative type medications. There are problems with all of these as follows: drugs affect the body in such a way as to interfere with the natural production of its own anti-bodies; surgery only treats the symptoms and not the underlying cause of the problem, and possibly causes scar tissue; chemotherapy destroys the immune system in addition to the virus; radiation causes death to healthy cells in the area being treated; laxatives can become so addictive that a normal bowel movement no longer takes place.
I am convinced the major cause of bowel problems is an inappropriate diet. It is therefore this aspect I will mainly concentrate on in this post. It is essential that the diet is a high fibre one. The best food sources of fibre are wholegrain cereals, wholemeal or rye bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, dried apricots. almonds, celery, dates, dried figs, raspberries, French beans, prunes, plumbs, kidney beans, and potatoes with their skins.  You should consume 40 grams (1.5 ounces) of fibre per day. Other foods which help to prevent bowel problems include cabbage, cherries, grapes , leeks, melons, oranges, peaches rhubarb, strawberries, olive oil, and live natural yogurt.
Avoid processed food, junk food, fast food, fried food, chemicals and additives   in food, artificial food colourings, and foods with a high sugar content. Tea and coffee should be avoided because they are astringent in that they contract tissues, especially those comprising mucous membranes in the digestive tract.  These beverages can be replaced with others which have a positive effect such as cabbage juice, potato juice and water.
The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can help prevent bowel problems: comfrey sooths, heals and strengthens tissues; marshmallow root contains mucilage which helps healing; ginger relives gas and settles stomach; lobelia removes obstructions of mucous; peppermint oil aids digestion; slippery elm  acts as an anti-inflammatory; and cascara is  a natural laxative.
There are food supplements which can help with bowel problems as follows: vitamin A, 25,000 IU four times daily, helps keeps cavities in the intestine resulting from colitis from growing larger, and thereby trapping impurities which enter the bloodstream; folic acid, 50 mg. daily, helps replace folic acid that is lost and stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid which helps prevent parasites and food poisoning; pantothene, 300 mg. three times daily, acts as an anti-inflammatory; aloe-vera gel, two ounces three times daily, is important for healing inflamed intestinal tissues; psyllium husks as directed on the label to make up for any deficiency in dietary fibre. 
The following complimentary measures also need to be carried out:
  1. Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily in order to flush out the whole system. It is especially important to drink a lot of water if you are on a high fibre diet as is advocated in this post.
  2. Other drinks beneficial to the bowel are cabbage juice and potato juice in that they help replenish normal flora and help healing. 
  3. Do 30 or more minutes of your favourite exercise daily to help the whole body perform better.
  4. Give up smoking as it restricts the body from dealing efficiently with food and digestion.
  5. Limit alcohol intake to two units daily which equates to one pint of beer or two glasses of wine.
You now have outlined above a way of preventing or dealing with bowel problems in a mainly natural way. You should give your bowel serious attention when you consider what health problems can originate there. Colon cancer alone is the third most common cancer type in lots of developed countries. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

How to Cope with Insomnia

Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep within a reasonable time (say, twenty minutes) of going to bed, or the failure to stay asleep for more than three hours at a time. This condition affects a lot of people. Individual amounts of sleep can vary greatly from person to person. Whilst sleeping, the brain is the part of the body taking a rest; some people become irritable without sufficient sleep. The rest of the body doesn’t require sleep in order to repair itself. The need for sleep diminishes as we age; and studies have shown that some people have developed the ability to repair their brain without any sleep at all.

Insomnia arises from many different causes, as follows:
1.     Medical problems such as diabetes, migraines, asthma, ulcers, thyroid problems, emphysema and bronchitis.
2.     Psychological problems such as stress, worrying, depression, inability to relax having a bearing on sleep patterns.
3.     Environmental problems such as noise, light, temperature, the polar position of the bed being slept on, lack of an adequate mattress or sufficient blankets, and lack of space due to overcrowding.
4.     Dietary causes such as low blood sugar levels, too much caffeine, an excess of salt or sugar, alcoholic drinks, spicy foods or an allergic reaction to food.
Conventional medicine has responded to the problem with medications, tranquilisers, psychotherapy and behaviour modifications. Medications in the form of sleeping pills can become so addictive that people using them have problems falling asleep naturally. Medications can also cause dizziness, swelling of eyelids, slow heartbeat, unusual excitement, sore throat and fever.
In order to prevent insomnia, it is best to give consideration to things you can control like diet. A well-balance diet will contribute to overall good health and allow for normal sleeping. Sleep inducing foods are dairy products, eggs, salmon, turkey, chicken and lamb which are high in tryptophan and tyrosine. Other sleep enhancing foods are sprouted grains, wholegrain bread, cabbage,  lettuce, organ meats, split peas, fish, red meat and fresh fruit like peaches and apples (except at night).
The body should be in an alkaline state when sleeping at night as an acid state prevails during the day. To make the body more alkaline, take one teaspoon of powdered or liquid greens in the form of green magna, wheat grass or barley grass in 225 grams (8 ounces) of water an hour before going to bed. If you prefer, you can drink a glass of vegetable juice.
Foods and drinks to avoid are coffee, tea, peanuts, alcoholic drinks, sugar-laden foods and drinks. Foods or drinks with a high sugar contents cause the blood sugar levels in the body to plummet leading to disturbed sleeping patterns. Avoid eating cured meats, spicy foods and baked beans, which can lead to burping, heartburn or flatulence and thereby disturb sleep patterns.
Herbs which can help to promote sleep, for the reasons stated, are as follows: valerian root acts as a tranquilizer; skullcap relaxes the mind; hops reduce restlessness and promote sleep; blue vervian is a natural tranquiliser; camomile is good for the nerves; lady slipper has a calming effect on the body and mind; and passion flower is soothing to the nervous system.
The following food supplements can promote sleep. Vitamin B complex capsules as directed on the label to insure there are no deficiencies in this regard. Other specific supplements that can aid sleep are as follows: vitamin C, 500mg. four times daily; vitamin B6, 100mg. three times daily; manganese citrate, 500mg.three times daily; potassium citrate, 100 mg. five times daily; calcium citrate, 500mg.twice daily; and chronoset, 2mg, before bedtime. 
Other measures which can help with sleep include:
1.     Try aligning the body position by moving the bed either to a north-south or east- west position, and then experiment with what constitutes the head and foot positions.
2.     Take a leisurely walk one hour before bedtime.
3.     Take a warm bath 1 or 2 hours before bedtime.
4.     Engage in meditation for 10 to 15 minutes immediately before going to bed.
5.     Listen to calming new age or relaxation music at bedtime.
6.     Make sure the room you are trying to sleep in is properly aired: leave the windows open for a few hours per day even in wintertime.
7.     Drink a cupful of warm milk immediately before going to bed.
8.     If you suffer from psychological or emotional problems, take lithium as directed on the label. Good food sources of lithium, in its natural state, are whole grains and seeds.
You now have enough information to tackle the problem of insomnia.If you have anything to say on this post, use the comments box below for that purpose.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Preventing Kidney Stones

An abnormal accumulation of mineral salts that are formulated in the kidneys give rise to kidney stones. Stones have three origins as follows: those formed from calcium oxalic acid; those formed from uric acid; and those formed from cysteine, resulting from consuming too much protein.

The symptoms of kidney stones are severe pain in the lower back, radiating to the bladder area in the lower front part of the abdomen. Pain is severe when the stone is exiting the kidney into the ureter; it then tries to work its way down the ureter to the bladder and out of the body. Some types of kidney stones grow to such a large size that they are unable to exit the kidney. These stones will eventually block the filtration mechanism in the kidney and will have to be removed surgically. Other stones are of such a tiny size that they pass through the urinary tract painlessly.
An unbalanced diet is the main cause of kidney stones. A deficiency in magnesium causes urine to have a high alkaline content which results in the formation of stones. Magnesium is also required to balance calcium in the body. If calcium in not balanced, it can proliferate, store in the kidneys and form stones. A deficiency in vitamin B6 can raise oxalic acid and thereby give rise to stones. Diets either too low or too high in protein can cause stones. Too little vitamin D decreases calcium absorption resulting in the formation of stones. Too much calcium from food such as dairy products and dark green leafy vegetables can give rise to stones. A lack of fibre in the diet can also result in stones forming over time.
Conventional medicine has responded to the problem of kidney stones with the following:  removal of the stones by surgery; removal of the stones through a lighted tube inserted into the urethra; lithotripsy which entails bombarding the stones with ultrasonic radiation to make them smaller and easier to pass;  medication in the form of drugs to dissolve stones. Removal of the stones by surgery or other means doesn’t address the reason why the stones formed in the first instance. Medication depresses the immune system to the degree that it can cause autoimmune disease. Total loss of kidney function can result in uremic poisoning and death.
It is therefore best to pay attention to diet in order to control the susceptibility to kidney stones. Foods and drinks to be avoided are dairy products, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard, kale, cabbage, rhubarb, organ meats, processed meats, white sugar, dried legumes, sorrel, pasta, cocoa, chocolate, coffee and tea.
Foods and beverages beneficial to the kidneys are oats, whole grain cereals, wholegrain bread, apples, almonds, asparagus, celery, cucumber, watercress, bananas, watermelon, pears, beetroot juice, cranberry juice, dandelion tea, lemon and ginger tea and water. Protein needs to be limited to 55 grams daily for the average adult.  Do not underestimate the importance of water in this context: you should be drinking at least six glasses of water daily in order to flush out the kidneys.
Herbs having a positive effect on the kidneys, for the reasons stated, are as follows: parsley tones up the urinary system; garlic has a diuretic effect and tones the digestive organs; marshmallow helps remove mucous from kidneys and is soothing to the urinary tract; ginger helps with kidney cleansing; uva ursi acts as a solvent to urinic deposits; and comfrey aids balancing calcium and phosphorus.  
The following food supplements can help with keeping the kidneys in good working order: vitamin B6, 100mg.three times daily, acts as a diuretic; magnesium citrate, 400mg twice daily, and vitamin B2, 100 mg twice daily, are needed to insure the proper absorption of vitamin B6;vitamin A fish liver oil, 25,000 IU, and beta carotene, 25,000 IU, can fend off the accumulation of kidney stones; phosphorus, as per label, raises body acidity and dissolves blood calcium so it does not store in the kidneys; vitamin C,  1,000 mg, four times daily, helps keep urine in an acid state, lecithin, 1,200 mg six times daily, helps purify the kidneys; vitamin E, 400 IU once daily, helps clear up kidney problems; and zinc picolinate,30 mg twice daily, has a positive effect on the acid- alkaline balance. 
If you are susceptible to the formation of kidney stones, you now have a method of tackling the problem, as outlined above, using mainly natural produce and some food supplements.   

Friday, 1 November 2013

Preventing or Excreting Gallstones

Gallstones are formed of an accumulation of crystallised cholesterol and bile. The condition is found most often in women who are over 40, overweight and have had children. Gallstones can also affect diabetics, the obese and the elderly. The general symptoms are: jaundice (skin turns yellowish); clay coloured stools; and dark urine. The following specific symptoms can occur within a few hours of eating a heavy meal containing fats or fried foods: severe right upper abdominal pain that may radiate to the shoulder and back; vomiting; and nausea.

The main causes of gallstones are as follows: liver dysfunction causing the production of abnormal amounts of cholesterol and bile; insufficient amounts of fibre in the diet; a deficiency in vitamin C having a negative effect on the body’s ability to convert cholesterol into bile acids.
Conventional medicine has responded to this problem with surgery to remove the gallstones and/or the “non-essential “ organ the gallbladder. Other methods such as dissolving the gallstones have been tried but with limited success. Any surgery carries risks associated with it; and removal of the gallbladder does not address the reasons why the stones formed in the first instance.
The best approach to gallstones is to prevent their occurrence by mainly paying attention to diet. Avoid foods and beverages containing high amounts of saturated fats such as dairy products, meat products, fried or scrambled eggs. Avoid adding sugar as well as purchasing sugar-laden foods and soft drinks. Avoid stress because it can have a bearing on the overproduction of cholesterol by the body.
Foods and drinks which help the function of the liver are cabbage, avocados, lemons, watercress, artichokes, eggplant , asparagus , black radish, chicory, lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, pineapple, cherries, strawberries, grapes, walnuts, green tea and dandelion tea. Foods which contain high fibre contents are legumes, whole grains, wholemeal or rye bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, wheat or oat bran, potatoes with their skins and apples.  
The following food supplements can be employed to prevent gallstones: lecithin, 1200 mg. capsules, six times daily; 1 or 2 multiple digestive enzymes with each meal; a multi-vitamin and mineral tablet once a day; vitamin C, 500 mg capsule, four times daily; fish oil, 180 mg EPA, 8 capsules daily; and psyllium husks, as directed on the label, to make up for any deficiency in dietary fibre
The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can help prevent gallstones: buckthorn breaks bile down into its component parts; hydrangea prevents stone deposits; parsley is good for liver functions; silymarin (milk thistle) rebuilds liver cells; cascara sagrada helps the body rid itself of gallstones; and chervil aids both digestion and circulation.  
If you fail to prevent stones from forming by paying attention to diet as outlined above, there is something you can do about it without going under the knife in a hospital. You can employ a simple flush to rid yourself of most gallstones unless they are in the very large category. To execute the flush, you need to have ready 450 grams (16 ounces) of olive oil and 12 lemons. Do the following:
1.     On the day of the flush, do not eat anything in the afternoon.
2.     At 9 pm, take 4 tablespoons of olive oil followed by 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
3.     Repeat 2 at 15 minute intervals until 10.45pm, and then stop.
4.      Go to bed at midnight and lay on the right side.
Bowel movements over the next few days should rid the body of the stones unless they are very large. The bile duct actually expands, and is lubricated by the oil dislodging the stones causing them to move into the intestines and out of the body with each bowel movement.

Medical experts commenting on gallstones fail to promote the flush as an alternative to surgery despite the evidence that it is a safe method of dealing with the problem applicable to the vast majority of cases. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Preventing or Combatting Digestive Disturbances

A digestive disturbance is the inability to break down food in the stomach and intestines causing un-metabolised food retention, malnutrition and possible disease. Digestive disturbances can, in severe cases, be very restrictive of a person’s ability to carry out his or her daily work.

The causes of digestive disturbances are as follows: food allergies; food not properly broken down by chewing; a slowdown in the production and potency of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid in the stomach as people age; the pancreas is malfunctioning and not braking down fats, proteins and carbohydrates; the liver’s production of bile, which breaks down fats, is lessened; the muscular action of the stomach and intestines needed to transport food is weakened as a result of undernourishment; stress causing the overproduction of hormones which interfere with digestion; the eating of spicy type foods which require higher amounts of  enzymes to be broken down; the natural enzymes present in food is destroyed by overcooking;  processed foods laden with chemical additives and preservatives being more difficult to break down; fatty foods using a higher amount of hydrochloric acid from the stomach and thereby causing heartburn; disruption to the normal digestive process through eating sugar-laden foods requiring the body to respond with a high amount of insulin; and lack of sufficient amounts of fibre in the diet.   
Conventional medicine has responded to digestive disturbances with prescription drugs in the form of antacids and antispasmodics. These drugs can have some serious side effects such as brain cell deterioration, blurring of vision and difficulty urinating. Their use should therefore be avoided if at all possible.
It is best to prevent a digestive disturbance from occurring in the first instance by paying attention to the following:
·        Avoid any foods to which you are allergic.
·        Eat slowly and chew food well.
·        Avoid discussing stressful topics while eating.
      ·    Avoid spicy foods.
·        In so far as it is possible, avoid processed foods.
·        Avoid foods containing a lot of fat.
·        Avoid sugar- laden foods and drinks.
·        Do not drink liquids within 30 minutes of meal times.
·        Avoid poor food combining such as starchy foods and proteins at the same meal; and eat fruits separately from main meals
·        Drink water regularly between meals.   
In general, it is best to increase your dietary fibre intake, eat lots of fruits with their skins, and eat lots of fresh vegetables either raw or lightly cooked. Foods good for digestion are wholegrain cereals, wholegrain bread, apples, pineapples, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, rhubarb, celery, cabbage, fennel, sorrel, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, chick peas, meat, black radish, horseradish, low-fat yogurt with live cultures, bananas, raspberries and gooseberries. Foods bad for digestion are processed meats, meats derived from game (deer, boar etc.) chocolate, biscuits  (cookies), lard, oysters and sugar-laden soft drinks (sodas).  
The following supplements can help with digestive problems: 1 or 2 digestive enzymes taken with each meal; peppermint oil to be taken as the directions on the label, vitamin B complex, 50 mg twice daily, to aid digestion and break down carbohydrates; psyllium husks as directed on the label to make up for any deficiency in dietary fibre.
The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can be employed to alleviate problems with digestion: parsley acts as a diuretic eliminating toxins from the body; wormwood helps maintain proper stomach acidity; chicory stimulates bile secretions; lemongrass helps to improve the digestive system; papaya has natural digestive enzymes; peppermint is a good stomach sedative; thyme is a general tonic with healing powers; and ginger alleviates nausea.
The reasons for digestive disturbances are so varied that you will need to give careful consideration to identifying the cause (or causes) of any one occurrence before pursuing a remedy in accordance with the guidelines outlined above.