Other article links on this blog about acupuncture and IBS.
Just started carrying this product in my office: Nutricology’s Caricol® Papaya Concentrate. I have had many patients throughout the years who have had great results using papaya, or its main active ingredient, papain for digestive complaints. Papain is a known digestive enyzme, and is in many natural digestive enzyme products nowadays (including another product I have carried for years).
So this specific product caught my attention, because:
1. It is a liquid, papaya concentrate “made from the pulp of certified organic, GMO-free, tree-ripened papaya”
2. The papain is “naturally concentrated by means of a propriety production process which originated at the Lotus Buddhist Monastery, Big Island, Hawaii”, and
3. The company notes on the box that “a portion of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to the monastery” that originated this process.
After learning all this, I thought this is a product I can get behind! For specific details on this product, including research relating to its effects on IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), constipation and diarrhea, see: Caricol.com. More information can be found at the distributor’s site, Nutricology.
Other interesting info about papain is that it has been used for years in meat tenderizer products, was sold in topical preparations in the past for wound debridement (removing dead tissue)1, and has been used as a home remedy for insect bites and stings2.
The enteric nervous system, or neurons in the digestive tract, affects our mental health: See this article that refers to research on this topic, plus how IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and osteoporosis can arise from too much serotonin in the digestive tract, and also be related to such conditions as M.S. (multiple sclerosis) and autism, and also the strength of the immune system. This rather new field, called neurogastroenterology, fits very nicely in the holistic model of natural medicine, where we have discussed for years that many conditions are tied to the health of the digestive system. This is especially true in the model of Chinese Medicine, where we strengthen the digestion to treat such diverse conditions as menstrual irregularities, menopausal complaints, headaches, mental and emotional problems, headaches, diabetes, etc. along with IBS, MS, and immune system weakness!
Scientific American article Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Well-Being
Research that shows electrical acupuncture stimulation on an acupuncture point traditionally used to aid digestion and strengthen immune system does in fact influence digestive tract function. What may be very impressive to the lay person is to note that it is on the leg and not on the abdomen!! More proof that an ancient health system works!
These results suggest acupuncture on this point has the “potential to influence gastric mucous substances and enteroendocrine cells (gastrin, serotonin, CGRP, insulin, and PP) that subsequently modulate digestive functions”.
‘CGRP’ refers to Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide, ‘PP’ refers to Pancreatic Peptides, and enteroendocrine cells refers to different types of hormone-secreting cells present throughout the epithelium of the digestive tract