Digestion is crucial to overall health. If your digestion isn’t working, then the rest of your body can slowly start to fall apart: Your sleep will become poor, you'll lack energy, your bowel movements will change, your skin will be affected, and much more.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the most important organs that we look at are the liver, spleen, and stomach. The liver can affect your digestion because stress affects the liver, and the liver will affect either the spleen or the stomach. If the liver affects the spleen, you may see symptoms such as irritability, abdominal distention, and pain; you may be hungry but get full only after a few bites of food or thirsty but have no desire to drink; there may be alternating constipation and diarrhea and a lot of gas—to name just a few symptoms. If the liver affects the stomach, you might see more upper-digestive issues such as acid reflux, hiccups, belching, nausea, and vomiting, and you may retain food in your stomach for a longer period of time and have distention in you upper abdomen, and more.
Also, if you've experienced hunger so strong that no matter how much you eat, it's still not enough, we may diagnosis this as “Stomach Fire." This means that there's so much heat in your stomach that it just burns up all the food and you have to eat more and more. You may also have symptoms such as bad breath, bleeding gums, mental restlessness, acid reflux, and an intense thirst for cold drinks.
In TCM, other organs may be involved and certainly other patterns can cause digestive issues as well. But there are just a few herbs that could help people suffering from digestive issues. These herbs are often used in combination with other Chinese herbs for best results. Some of the herbs are easy to get, and others only your TCM practitioner can get for you. Please consult your TCM practitioner before taking any of the following herbs: