The answers to your questions are not meant to replace your health care provider. Please see our disclaimer.


What’s Causing Gut Discomfort?

Nearly everyone experiences some sort of Gastro-intestinal (GI) discomfort at some point or another. It can manifest as abdominal pain and cramps, bloated belly and flatulence, chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn, acid reflux and nausea. What’s worse is, a full third of those who suffer say they can’t find an effective solution that eases their symptoms. There’s no question that GI discomfort and digestive issues can affect your quality of life. PROGAST Gastro-intestinal Support Drops contains 10 botanical extracts that has shown to help with GI distress. If you are one of the 33 percent who haven’t yet found a product that works well for you, PROGAST may be your solution.

There are many reasons for gut discomfort, but what if you’re getting enough probiotics and eating healthily, yet you’re still experiencing belly bloat and discomfort, gas, or occasional constipation or loose stools? It may surprise you to learn that even those with a healthy gut microbiome can suffer from time to time with digestive discomfort! There are many reasons why:

  • A stressful or demanding lifestyle.
  • A genetic predisposition making you susceptible to gut issues.
  • Undiagnosed food sensitivities, intolerances or allergies.
  • A diet that’s excessive in fructose and other sugars, all linked to loose stools, flatulence and tummy noise.
  • Inflammation in your stomach from taking over the counter or prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • An issue with your gut-brain cross talk.

GI issues affect both men and women, but for various reasons, women suffer more than men.

Why use so many herbs in one remedy?

The art of the combination of herbal preparations is a typical feature within phytotherapy and has been at the heart of herbal medicine for thousands of years and in all ancient cultures. A combined herbal preparation has the potential of becoming more than the sum of its parts. As a general rule, the action of a single herb does not usually meet the requirements for the treatment of a complex condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Typically, combinations of, for example, aromatic and bitter substances are used in synergy.

Can one use it long term?

Yes you can use Progast® long term.

Will my medical aid cover Progast® drops?

Some medical aids will cover Progast®. The NAPPI code is 723067001/2/3.

Can I use Progast® with other medication for acid reflux?

Try Progast® on its own, without the over the counter heartburn product. One has to look at everything you take to get a clear picture of what could be causing it, as some of the herbal ingredients in Progast® are specifically for the symptomatic relief of heartburn. See cautionary note about prescription heartburn products.

Will it help with chronic reflux?

We are sure Progast® will help as it contains ginger, licorice and slippery elm. The root of the ginger plant is a well-known herbal digestive aid plus it tightens your lower esophageal sphincter, thus preventing acid from refluxing. It has been a folk remedy for heartburn for centuries. Licorice and slippery elm increase the mucous coating of the esophageal lining, helping it resist the irritating effects of stomach acid.

Will it help for a hernia?

We honestly cannot say that Progast® will help for hernias specifically, as they are related to naturally occurring weaknesses in the tissues that normally anchor the gastroesophageal junction to the diaphragm and to activities or conditions that increase pressure within the abdomen such as heavy coughing, vomiting, straining while defecating, sudden physical exertion and pregnancy. Progast® may relief the heartburn symptoms. A hernia may get larger over time, it can cut off blood flow and lead to the death of the affected tissue, requiring immediate surgery. Please keep monitoring it.

Does the tincture contain alcohol?

Alcohol is a necessary ingredient in some liquid herbal medicines, including Progast®, because it helps extract and dissolve the herbal components. The alcohol in Progast® also works as a preservative. A single adult dose of Progast® (20 drops) contains only a small amount of alcohol, just 0.24 g. By comparison, an average glass of apple juice contains 0.3 to 0.7 g of alcohol.

I have terrible pain in my colon. Will it help?

Many people say Progast® helps for pain.

I have been diagnosed with spastic colon, is this remedy helpful?

A number of herbal extracts in Progast® all have anti-spasmodic action:
German Chamomile eases irritated, spastic smooth muscles in the digestive tract and assists with cramping. The flower heads contain flavonoids, which contribute to the spasmolytic activity and is therefore used in painful gastrointestinal spasms as well as acute gastritis, ulcers, and dyspepsia (spastic complaints of the upper gastrointestinal tract).
The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia describes the actions of Angelica as spasmolytic. Lemon Balm has many properties and is used by phytotherapists to treat colic, spastic colon, cramps and flatulence. Artichoke extract is used in spastic states of the gastrointestinal tract. Liquorice is mainly known for its anti-inflammatory and mucosa-protective properties and its ability to reduce spasm of smooth muscle. The British Herbal Compendium noted the action of peppermint leaves for the painful component of spasmodic colitis.

Will this be of help for diverticulitis?

Diverticular disease is increasingly being recognized as an inflammatory disorder that may be related to a disturbed intestinal microbial ecosystem, sometimes called dysbiosis. By helping restore the balance of intestinal flora and reduce inflammation in the colon, probiotic supplementation may be of benefit in both acute and chronic diverticular problems. Numerous ingredients in Progast® has immune modulation and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as their ability to inhibit intestinal colonization by harmful microorganisms. EPA and DHA have been extensively studied for their general anti-inflammatory activity. Butyrate is critical to colonic mucosal health. Other anti-inflammatory compounds include Curcumin, Boswellia. L-glutamine has been extensively studied for its ability to preserve structural and functional health of the intestine, and to promote intestinal recovery.

Can Progast® help with ulcers?

We have looked into the benefits of the herbal ingredients in Progast® as a remedy for ulcers and found the following:

  • Antiulcer effects of ginger have been proven in many scientific studies
  • Angelica showed anti-ulcerogenic activity against gastric ulcers
  • Several studies have shown the ability of liquorice to heal ulcers. This is done far more effectively than ulcer medications, by improving the protective lining of the intestines instead of reducing the acid needed for a healthy microbial balance and for the absorption of calcium. In another small study of 40 people who were referred for surgery because their ulcers were so severe, took 3g of liquorice for 8 weeks and 4.5g of liquorice for 16 weeks. None of the patients required surgical intervention during the year of follow-up.
  • It is now known that one of the leading causes of ulcers is the H. pylori bacteria. Liquorice and German Chamomile possesses anti-H. pylori activity.

I hope this is helpful.

Prescription drugs for digestive conditions – a serious concern.

I am concerned about the side effects of the prescription drugs I am on for heartburn. It has received negative press lately.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used for ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), and indigestion, used for 5 years, increase your risk of hip fractures by 62%1. PPIs increase your risk of heart attack by 16% while continuous use of histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2 blockers), increases the risk of cognitive impairment by 242%.2 And many people are prescribed both PPI’s and H2 blockers.

A further  concern is the recent announcement by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that it has learned that some ranitidine (acid-reducing and heartburn medicines, including those known by the brand name Zantac), contain low levels of an carcinogenic impurity: N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA.3

References:

  1. CMAJ 2008;179:319-26
  2. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2007;551248-53
  3. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/13/health/fda-zantac-ranitidine-carcinogen-impurity-bn/index.html?no-st=1569328953

Progast PDF leaflet

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