What is the gut microbiome?

Month: March 2021

In 2001, Nobel prize-winning Dr Joshua Lederberg offered the following definition of the gut microbiome:

 

“the totality of microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi, and their collective genetic material present in the gastrointestinal tract”.

 

Uhhh...Say what now? 

 

Don’t panic, let's break it down. 

 

A “biome” is the term scientists use for a collection of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. And “micro” just means that it’s invisible to the human eye.

 

So essentially, our gut microbiome is like a jungle where various species of microorganisms hang out.

 

Ok, so what’s the big deal?

 

Well, these microorganisms, mainly comprising bacteria, are involved in functions critical to our health and wellbeing. Yes, our gut bacteria are actually involved in many other important processes that extend beyond our gut, including metabolism, body weight, immune regulation, as well as our brain functions and mood. 

 

We’d say that makes them a prettttty big deal.

 

How does the gut microbiome develop and what can we do to keep it healthy?

 

Our gut microbiome begins to develop in very early life, right from when passing through the birth canal. Other early factors that influence the types of bacteria that will live and flourish in our guts include the genetics of our parents, feeding methods (breast or bottle fed) and even the presence of family pets.

 

As we grow, many factors continue to determine the type and diversity of bacteria that live in our gut. Some are difficult to change like genetics or serious illness requiring heavy medication, but thankfully there are many factors which we can control and which all have a positive impact on the health of our gut microbiome. These include diet, stress mitigation, frequency of exercise, use of non-toxic household cleaning products and time spent outside.

 

The above content is provided for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice or diagnosis and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.


What is Ashwagandha?

Month: March 2021

‘Aash-wagand-ha’ (yup it’s a mouthful to say) is a small shrub that originates from parts of Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East. Ashwagandha is Sanskrit for ‘smell of the horse’, which refers to both the unique smell of its roots and its ability to impart the vigour and strength of a stallion.

It’s renowned for being one of the most powerful ‘adaptogens’ – natural healing herbs that adapt to our bodies specific needs and help us deal with the stresses of everyday living.

Ashwagandha benefits

Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for its numerous and varied health benefits. Modern medical researchers have also completed more than 200 clinical studies on its benefits. Some examples include:

•  Increases energy, stamina and endurance
•  Supports adrenal glands to reduce stress and anxiety
•  Improves learning, memory, and reaction time
•  Promotes restorative sleep
•  Immune boosting and anti-inflammatory

As if that wasn’t enough, Ashwagandha is also one of our favourite adaptogens due to its high fibre content which helps your good gut bacteria thrive!

How to take Ashwagandha

The most common form of Ashwagandha is powdered – its long, tuberous roots are harvested, dried and ground down. Powdered Ashwagandha is also the most versatile as you can add it to just about anything: hot drinks, smoothies, granola, cookies and baked goods.

It’s the perfect herb for hectic modern-day life as it both calms and energises meaning you can take it any time of day – we love adding ½  a tsp to our morning matcha for calm energy and then to our nighttime cacao for restorative sleep.


Shop our Organic Ashwagandha powder >