ClickCease 10 Herbs for Digestion – Dr. Morse's Herbal Health Club

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10 Herbs for Digestion

10 Herbs for Digestion


A healthy digestive system is vital for a healthy body. The proper functioning of this system allows us to bring in foods from the outside world, break them down into essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins and turn them into the energy that powers the body. If the digestive system is not functioning properly the other body systems will not have the energy necessary to operate as they should. For this reason, problems with digestion can be at the root of many other health imbalances.  

The Standard American diet is full of rich, hard to digest foods and heavily processed foods that humans are not designed to eat. Eating this way consistently leads to stagnation, irritation, and many other digestive imbalances. Doctor Morse stresses the need for fasting to give your body a chance for rest and rejuvenation from the stress of constant digestion. Fasting allows the body to focus energy on healing in other areas like the immune, endocrine, and eliminative systems. Through fasting the body can clean itself of built-up toxins and acids to support greater health and vitality. *  

Herbs are another important part of supporting the body's detoxification process. The following 10 herbs can be found in our formulas for digestive health and provide powerful support for some of the most common digestive imbalances. * 

Primary Herbs:  

Slippery elm is native to North America and the inner bark has been used by indigenous peoples for centuries to support tissue integrity topically and internally. Its demulcent/emollient nature hydrates and supports the function of skin topically and mucous membranes throughout the GI tract. It has a long history of use in soothing the throat and respiratory tract. It also supports a healthy inflammatory response and has an affinity with the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts. This special herb is in GI DailyGI Gentle MoverGI Moderate MoverGI Super Mover, GI Broom, and Stomach Tea.* 

Gentian has a long history of use as a bitter, appearing in many bitter aperitifs such as Angostura bitters, Campari, Aperol, amari and vermouth. Even at a dilution of 1:50,000 the bitter flavor (amarogentian) is still detectable! The back of the tongue has bitter receptors that, once triggered, send impulses along the entire GI tract. The result is increased production of HCL, bile, mucous, and the stimulation of peristalsis making bitter herbs like gentian wonderful for supporting healthy digestion. Find gentian in GI Daily, Pancreas Support, Liver/Skin & Stomach Tea.*  

Cascara sagrada has been known and used for centuries by indigenous peoples of the Northwest United States into British Columbia for addressing occasional constipation. Cascara sagrada is a powerful laxative herb that works best when taken for a one-week period followed by a break. Supplements containing this herb should relieve occasional constipation in just a few days. Allow at least 6 to 12 hours for laxative effect to occur...Consult a health care practitioner for use beyond 7 days. Cascara Sagrada is available in Parasite General , GI Broom, GI Gentle, GI Moderate, & GI Super Mover. * 

Cape Aloe’s laxative phytochemicals pass directly into the large intestine without breaking down in the stomach or the jejunum. Once in the colon/rectum intestinal flora activates its laxative properties. When determining your unique dose, use the smallest amount required to produce a comfortable soft-formed motion. Cape aloe should not be used for periods of more than 2 weeks without medical supervision (ESCOP). Cape aloe is found in  GI GentleModerate & Super Mover , and Parasite General.*  

Wild yam is a food and traditional herbal remedy with 600 species found all over the world. D. villosa is traditionally used to promote the relaxation of smooth muscle throughout the body, with a special affinity for the liver/gallbladder, bowels, and uterus. Wild yam contains the phytoestrogen diosgenin which the body converts into progesterone and for that reason wild yam is added to topical and internal supplements to support the balancing of the female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone. Wild yam is found in GI DailyGI Gentle & Moderate Movers, Stomach Tea and Adrenal Support .*  

Secondary Herbs:  

Milk thistle seed is a digestive system tonic that can be taken long-term. It has been shown to act as a hepato-trophorestorative and hepatoprotective, as it supports the restoration and general function of the liver. It supports hepatic tissue regeneration both before and after toxic exposure. Milk thistle is the primary ingredient in our Liver/Skin formula. *  

Oregon grape root was once known as “Indian barberry” as it is widely used by North American indigenous lineages as a gastrointestinal aid, kidney support, and general tonic for health. The berberine content in Oregon grape root is professionally researched due to its presence in goldenseal and barberry. Berberine supports the removal of unwanted organisms and toxins from the digestive tract. It is also bitter, making it useful with sluggish digestion. Oregon grape root is a wonderful source of berberine as it is much faster growing and prolific than goldenseal. Find it in our Liver/Skin formula. *  

Yellow dock grows widely as a weed and often volunteers in our yards and gardens. This plant gets its name from its golden yellow roots. A digestive alterative, yellow dock supports digestion and the assimilation of nutrients. In small doses its tannic astringency supports healthy inflammatory levels in the intestines while also firming up loose stool. In high doses it is a mild laxative. Yellow dock is formulated into our Liver/Skin formula; its support of iron production in the body is why Dr Morse added it to our Blood Support Tincture.*  

Black walnut hull/husk is a well-known traditional remedy for supporting the removal of unwanted organisms from the digestive tract. The Delaware and Iroquois used parts of the leaves and nuts to ward off fleas and mosquitos (Moerman 1998). It is also used topically for the same purpose. Be careful when applying topically because black walnut is also a natural dye and can dye skin and fingernails a deep brown for a week or more. It has laxative properties, and its astringent nature is used for supporting a healthy inflammatory response. Black walnut hull is found in Parasite Micro (M) & Parasite General (G) and Heal All Tea.*  

(Allergen warning: the mentioned formulas contain tree nuts [Walnut])  

Psyllium husk is a commonly used soluble fiber from a type of plantain Plantago sp. It is a natural bulking agent that supports healthy stool weight while also lowering cholesterol levels. Psyllium contains high concentrations of mucilage polysaccharides, meaning that it captures and holds water molecules, transforming water into a gel. This quality makes psyllium hydrating to the tissues of the digestive tract and supports increased stool moisture. Taken with plenty of water it is hydrating, without water it is drying as it will pull moisture from the body. Always make sure to drink enough water while taking psyllium husk or you could create or worsen constipation symptoms. Psyllium is the primary ingredient in GI Loose  and GI Broom.*  

Other Therapeutics   

Super Chewing  

Digestion starts in the mouth which is why you want to take the time to chew your food and juices well before swallowing. Dr Morse calls it super chewing, another way to think about it is to “chew your juice and drink your food.” Everything that passes through your mouth should be held in the mouth long enough for the enzymes in saliva to start breaking down carbohydrates. Being present with your food and giving your body ample time to produce digestive enzymes and juices is one of the simplest and best ways to improve digestion. *  

Functional Flavors  

Your homework (when not fasting) is to try and incorporate all 5 flavors into every meal: bitter, salty/ umami, sweet, and sour.  


The standard American Diet is bitter deficient, and even some of the healthiest eaters out there are averse to the bitter flavor. We have bitter receptors on the tongue for a reason: they send a signal to the digestive tract that nutrients are on their way. Saliva, hydrochloric acid, and bile all start flowing once the bitter receptors are triggered, as are the involuntary peristaltic contractions that macerate and move digested food along the tract. *  

Bitter foods: Chicories (radicchio, endive, dandelion greens), arugula, burdock, brassica greens like kale, collards, and broccoli, rutabaga.  

Bitter herbs: gentian, dandelion leaf, artichoke leaf, blue vervain, yellow dock.  


Eating vegetables and fruits and drinking mineral rich teas are all great ways to introduce a healthy mineral complex into the blood stream. This healthy mineral complex supports kidney function and hydrates tissues throughout the body. *  

Umami Foods: mushrooms, sea salt, seaweed. 

Mineral rich options: nettle, horsetail, cleavers.  


The subtle sweet flavor of herbs and foods containing starches (polysaccharides) hydrates the tissues and supports strong immunity. *  

Sweet Foods: Fruits, juices, grains.  

Sweet herbal/fungal options: marshmallow, licorice, slippery elm, mushroom.  


The sour flavor is said to stimulate the liver, wringing it out like a sponge. This means that, like bitter, the digestive tract and organs have a physical response to sour foods. The sour flavor activates the liver, wringing out metabolic waste in the form of bile.*  

Sour Foods: Citrus, pickled vegetables, tamarind.  

Sour herbs: citrus peels, rose hips, sorrel, hibiscus, fir tips.  


These are warming herbs that increase internal fire. They support a healthy heart and promote circulation and perspiration, aiding in detoxification. *  

Pungent foods/herbs: cayenne, ginger, garlic, oregano, thyme, turmeric, pepper.  


Light exercise moves both skeletal and smooth muscle throughout the body, twisting and squeezing the internal organs and promoting the healthy flow of all eliminatory pathways.   

  • Take a walk around the block  
  • Dance to your favorite tunes  
  • Stretch throughout the day  
  • Stand at your desk at work every hour or so   



*FDA warning: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

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1 comment

  • Bola

    Thank you for educating us to value nature

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