inner life





Intestinal Peristalsis

Proper internal hygiene is as important as outer hygiene. Good elimination and abundant friendly bacteria in the lower intestine are crucial to good health. There are two main issues to address in the lower intestine. The first is transit time and peristalsis and the second is bacteria.

Peristalsis is affected mainly by what we eat. Roughage aids movement through the gastrointestinal tract. Spices also have a stimulating effect on peristalsis. Excess consumption of refined carbohydrates not only relaxes the intestines but tends to result in impaction on the inside of the lower intestine. Many people have 40-90 pounds of hardened material on the inside walls of the intestine. Impaction is thus a question of slow transiting time as well as impaired assimilation of nutrients.

Ayurveda teaches that there are three stages to digestion. What is assimilated in the stomach is used to repair fluids in the body; what is absorbed in the small intestine helps build fat and muscle; and what is absorbed through the walls of the large intestine is used to repair skin, hair, bones, nerve sheaths, the essence or "ojas" of reproductive fluids, and brain tissue. Thus, if the walls of the colon are impacted, regeneration of these tissues does not occur. This sets in motion a process of degeneration because tissues that wear out are not adequately replaced when the nutrients needed are not available.

Basically, this is a thumbnail sketch of the fine line between regeneration and degeneration.

The solution: a diet that is high is complex carbohydrates and free of refined foods will greatly aid peristalsis. The use of digestive bitters, pungent spices, and a certain amount of sour foods also helps.


Though many people are embarrassed by this subject, constipation is a very serious health problem. It has many consequences, but the main ones are malabsorption, toxicity, degeneration, and premature aging. Many spasmodic conditions are also related to constipation, everything from minor muscle spasms to epileptic seizures. This is not saying that these neurological problems will cease completely when the constipation is cured, but the symptoms will definitely abate.

Constipation has many causes, too numerous to cover in detail. Let us focus on the issues over which most people have control.

First, there is diet. Basically, if food is easy to digest, it is generally easy to eliminate also.

Second, chlorine kills friendly bacteria in the colon. This aggravates the tendency towards constipation. Avoid chlorinated water and strong chemicals. Turmeric helps to repopulate intestinal flora. It also has some anti-tumoral properties. Taking turmeric supplements and using turmeric in cooking can alleviate some of the problems associated with trying to maintain healthy populations of intestinal flora.

Taking an herbal formula that normalizes colon function can be important for some people.



Kitchen Doctor: Taste and the Elements

Kitchen Doctor is my best selling album. It is available as a set of four 90-minute audio cassettes. It was recorded at a seminar in which I covered the six tastes in relationship to the effect food pharmacology has on physiological functioning. The six tastes are: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent.





Ingrid Naiman
2 August 2006




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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2001, 2006, and 2014


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