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#9 Revealed Secret of Health from the 12th Century

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Health Secrets From The 12th Century


Though Maimonides’ final piece of advice is mostly a review of his first and second health secrets, the unique part of his last statement deals with an essential bodily function not everyone likes to discuss: bowel movements. The renowned physician, also known as the Rambam says:

“As long as a person exercises and takes care not to eat to the point of satiation and keeps his bowels soft, he will not fall ill, and his strength will be fortified even if he eats unhealthy foods. The opposite is true of someone who leads a sedentary life, takes no exercise, fails to relieve himself when necessary and allows himself to remain constipated.”


Some patients say that they do not have any issues with constipation, yet they also report only one or two bowel movements per week. It is generally considered normal to have one bowel movement each day without the use of any supplements, over-the-counter meds, enemas or suppositories. A normal stool should be formed and “soft” as Maimonides describes. It should not consist of hard pellets or be a formed stool composed of hard, compacted pellets.

Constipation greatly affects overall health. Besides absorbing nutrients from food, the intestines’ main purpose is to eliminate toxic waste. The liver, the major detoxifying organ of the body, discharges the toxins as bile and then empties them into the small intestines. If these toxins are not excreted in a timely manner, they are reabsorbed resulting in further bodily imbalances.


A health condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) has recently drawn the attention of the medical community. SIBO is commonly due to the slowing of the passage of food and waste products into the digestive tract. It occurs when there is an abnormal increase in the overall bacterial population in the small intestine, particularly of types of bacteria that are not commonly found in that part of the digestive tract.

Symptoms of SIBO include bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort. Over time, SIBO leads to the development of “leaky gut” which has a myriad of systemic effects on health, including chronic diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, headaches, joint pain, confusion or difficulty concentrating, and skin problems, such as acne, rashes, or eczema.

It is imperative that a physician evaluate the state of the patient’s digestive system. Determining if the patient has constipation dictates what treatment methods should be used. If constipation is present, the patient should be treated with acupuncture or homeopathy. 


Rabbi Mosche Ben Maimon was an acclaimed physician during his time. The wise advice revealed in his nine health secrets pertains not only to healthcare providers but also to every human. This ancient counsel serves as a road map to a healthy, fulfilling life. If you are interested in experiencing the joys and benefits of a holistic approach to healthcare, please call Renaissance Health Centre to schedule an appointment today.

Copyright © 2022 Terry Pfau D.O. H.M.D. All rights reserved.

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