What is the Digestive system?

The digestive system is one of the most intricate and fascinating systems of the body. It is a perfect depiction of labyrinthine adventure, where food embarks on a journey, undergoing a series of incredible transformations before providing your body with the fuel it needs to function.

Its journey begins in the mouth where our teeth carry out mechanical digestion whereas the enzymes found in saliva conduct chemical digestion. As you chew, the food is mixed with saliva, forming a moist, semi-liquid mixture known as bolus. The bolus now travels down the esophagus, a muscular tube that acts like a slide for food, guiding it toward the stomach. It churns and mixes the bolus with powerful digestive juices containing hydrochloric acid and enzymes. These substances break down food into a semi-liquid substance called chyme. 

The chyme makes its way to the small intestine where carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are broken down into simpler states for maximum absorption. After the small intestine, what remains of the chyme enters the large intestine or colon for further absorption of nutrients and to create electrolyte balance.

The journey of the digestive system finally ends when the colon creates a solid mass, known as feces, that is expelled out through the anus. 

Functions of the Digestive System

The digestive system performs a crucial set of functions that are important for our survival, including:


Ingestion is known as the act of placing food in the mouth.

Mechanical Digestion

The food undergoes mechanical digestion through chewing (mastication) which breaks down food into smaller, more manageable pieces, increasing its surface area for further processing.

Chemical Digestion

Chemical digestion is the breakdown of complex molecules (such as carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids) into less complex ones that can be absorbed easily by making use of enzymes, acids, and other chemicals.


The salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, and liver, secrete digestive enzymes, acids, and other substances that aid in the breakdown of food and neutralization of stomach acid.


After being digested, nutrients are absorbed through the wall of the small intestine and delivered to the bloodstream.

Formation of Feces & Elimination

In the large intestine, the colon consolidates and compacts the waste material into feces which then gets stored in the rectum until finally getting expelled through the anus.

Common Diseases Associated with the digestive System

Some of the most common digestive system diseases are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux disease
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallstones
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Gastritis
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

3 Supportive Herbs for the Digestive System



Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) has long been used as a natural remedy to combat nausea and motion sickness. It can assist in reducing queasy sensations brought on by travel, morning sickness during pregnancy, or other causes. Some people find relief by consuming ginger tea, ginger candies, or ginger supplements.

It facilitates digestion by quickening the stomach's emptying, which is beneficial for people who have indigestion or pain after a large meal. It may also help reduce bloating and flatulence. It contains anti-inflammatory bioactive compounds that can support the treatment of inflammatory conditions, especially inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Ginger also imparts a protective effect against the development of gastric ulcers by inhibiting the growth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium often associated with ulcers.

You can easily incorporate this versatile herb into your routine by adding it to your cuisines or using its tincture in your water or tea.



Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is a potential herb, known to alleviate digestive discomforts and other similar conditions. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and calm the digestive tract. It is often used to relieve conditions such as gastritis, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Chamomile tea can be effective in reducing gas and bloating, making it a popular choice for individuals who experience discomfort after meals. It helps relax the muscles in the digestive tract and eases the passage of gas. It also helps neutralize stomach acid and reduce the irritation of the esophagus, which can alleviate symptoms of acid reflux.

Its antispasmodic effect helps relax the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract which eases cramping and discomfort associated with conditions like IBS. It also acts as a mild laxative, promoting healthy bowel movement and alleviating constipation to support regularity. 

Add half to a full dropper of Chamomile Tincture to your favorite beverage and enjoy its tummy-friendly perks.


Fennel Seed

Fennel Seed

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is an aromatic herb that supports digestive health and alleviates various digestive issues. Its seeds relieve digestive discomfort, including gas, bloating, and indigestion. They can help relax the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, promoting the passage of gas and reducing bloating.

It contains compounds that act as natural antispasmodics that relax the smooth muscles in the digestive tract and alleviate cramps and spasms associated with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  Fennel is also believed to have a mild acid-neutralizing effect, making it helpful for individuals experiencing heartburn or acid reflux which can help soothe irritation in the esophagus and reduce discomfort.

Chew on fennel seeds or consume its tea to regulate your appetite and aid the processes associated with healthy digestion.

Other Herbs for the Digestive System

Here are some herbs that are commonly used to support the digestive system: