The message is clear. When it comes to digestive issues, Canadians don’t need to suffer. Yet they do, with over 20 million Canadians experiencing digestive disorders every year, including acid reflux, heartburn, diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. With these come emotional, physical, and financial costs.

“Digestive disorders overall are a leading cause of doctor and pharmacy visits,” says Sherry Torkos, a natural health expert and pharmacist based in Fort Erie, ON, and author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. “We’re constantly dispensing medications for them and there are limitations to how much they can do.” Providing holistic alternatives for those suffering is important to Torkos because of her own battle with digestive issues in the late 1980s, which was eventually diagnosed as celiac disease.

“When I first started working in this field 25 years ago, there wasn’t much awareness around digestion and how crucial it is for overall health,” says Torkos. Fortunately that has changed, with increased awareness among health care providers. At the same time, chemicals, dyes, and additives consumed — many in processed foods — continue to contribute to digestive issues.

Some symptoms can be addressed with drugs, but these drugs don’t work for everyone, have side effects, and may only work for a limited time. For other conditions, no drug treatment is available. Torkos often recommends A. Vogel’s Bold-o-cynara Complex, a proven natural digestive complex, developed by the Swiss pioneer of naturopathic medicine Alfred Vogel. Formulated with fresh, organic ingredients including artichoke, milk thistle, boldocynara, and dandelion, it’s designed to reduce common digestive conditions, from bloating to nausea.

“It addresses digestion, not just from the gut, but with liver support, too,” says Torkos. “Many people don’t realize that the liver is also actively involved in digestion. It’s an extremely taxed organ due to various external factors such as lifestyle, stress, or over-indulgence.”

A clinical trial in 2015 found a 78 percent decrease in the frequency of digestive symptoms (heartburn, acid reflux, nausea, bloating) after six weeks of treatment with Bold-o-cynara Complex.

Torkos recommends that those who suffer from chronic digestive issues should use Boldo-cynara daily for a six week period twice a year to cleanse the liver and enhance its function. For those with occasional indigestion due to excessive food or drink, two before bed will do the trick.

For Canadians looking for natural solutions, Bold-o-cynara is a natural option that helps optimize the underlying mechanisms involved in digestion.