Digestive disorders can be simple like flatulence or gas, or they can be much more serious, such as Crohn’s disease. But regardless of the severity of the disease, there is no doubt digestive disorders affect far more people than they should, especially in the United States. A recent survey reports nearly 74 percent of all Americans are living with digestive issues. Most people don’t report it to their doctors either, because they assume it is normal to have gas, bloating or abdominal pain. But these symptoms can be indicators of much more serious underlying problems.

The gut is also the “second brain” of the body. When there areproblems in the gastrointestinal tract, it can manifest mentally as well asphysically. The enteric nervous system, our gut/second brain, is composed ofmore than 100 million nerve cells that line the gastrointestinal tract from theesophagus to the rectum. The ENS can trigger emotional shifts experienced bythose suffering from gastrointestinal issues. But what science is alsodiscovering is that emotional problems can also trigger issues in the ENS. It’sa two-way street and if one is out of whack, then the other may bealso.  

Thereare ways we can help our gastrointestinal tract and digestion, though.Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical system that has been around forthousands of years, and it focuses on treating the person holistically, meaningevery part is addressed at once instead of individually. TCM uses modalitieslike acupuncture, acupressure, herbs, formulas and nutrition to treat eachpatient. Here are some herbs used frequently in TCM to help with digestion andgastrointestinal issues.

Dandelion or Pu Gong Ying

Thisherb has been used for millennia for liver and digestive problems. It is usedspecifically for its diuretic properties. Pu Gong Ying promotes healthydigestive functioning and unlike pharmaceuticals used as diuretics, this herbactually restores potassium rather than depleting it.

Hawthorn Berry or Shan Zha

ShanZha is a great herb to have on hand after those big family dinners, likeThanksgiving. This herb works to remove food stagnation in the digestive tract,and it works especially well on meats and fats that are harder to digest.

Orange Peel or Chen Pi

Oneof the best herbs around for regulating the whole digestive system. It is usedfor spleen and stomach issues in TCM, including nausea, belching, vomiting,abdominal distention and pain. Due to its bitter flavor, it can also draindampness that may cause loose stools.

Ginger or Sheng Jiang

Gingeris a great digestive herb, as well as a warming spice that helps thecirculatory system. It is a natural remedy for heartburn and nausea. It alsohelps expel gasses from the gastrointestinal tract.

Peppermint

Whilenot formerly used in TCM, it is still one of the best digestive herbsavailable. Peppermint can be used to relieve indigestion, soothe stomach achesand relieve diarrhea caused by colic. It is also a good addition to help treatirritable bowel syndrome.

Herbscan be very beneficial and help keep the body free from illness. The herbsmentioned above are just a few examples that would be good to have around ifyou suffer from digestive issues. Ask us to find out more about these herbs. Wecan help you navigate the world of medicinal herbs and find the exactcombination right for you.