Healthy Living Blog
By Rachelle Tetreault, L,Ac
Tips for Digestive Health: Starting your day off with a very warm mug of lemon water is often the best small tip given to not only improve digestion but a plethora of many benefits to sustain optimal health. This small task not only improves metabolism, aids in hydration, supplies both Vitamin C and potassium, but is also anti-aging to the cells due to its antioxidant effects. There are many Eastern herbs and acupuncture points used to not only improve nutrient absorption, increase metabolism for weight loss, but also help with a variety of gastrointestinal disorders. Stomach 36 or zu san li is one of the most researched and used acupuncture points which is known to have major positive effects on both the immune system and the digestive system. This point alone is often used to strengthen the body as a whole but has many specific uses as well. Some of the more common ailments which are often treated by zu san li are acute and chronic gastritis, ulcers, general weakness, asthma, diarrhea, abdominal distension, enteritis, and other disorders of the digestive system.
In Eastern Medicine, this pivotal acupuncture point, is known to nourish both the spleen and stomach and to tonify blood and the whole energy of the body. This stomach meridian acupoint which is located on the leg is also used to regulate the intestines, resolve edema, and to strengthen deficient conditions of the body. These deficiencies can be from long-term illness, post-surgery, a compromised immune system, or even post-surgery. Some of the major Eastern herbals used in digestive health specifically to treat nausea, vomiting, and hiccups include cardamon, aged tangerine peel, aloes wood, clove, fresh ginger, fennel fruit, perilla fruit, and many more. Round cardamon, also known as bai dou kou, helps strengthen the stomach and relieves nausea. Aged tangerine peel, known as chen pi is utilized in many herbal formulas to help move the energy of the stomach to harmonize the middle jiao for digestive purposes. It helps remedy loss of appetite, loose stools, and epigastric distension as well. Chen xiang, also known as aloes wood, is used in both asthma and stomach issues. It treats wheezing and also used for stopping vomiting and relieving nausea. Its pharmacologic properties are both antiallergic use and a smooth muscle relaxant. Sheng jiang which is fresh ginger rhizome is one of the most used herbals. The many pharmacologic benefits include ani-inflammatory, antiemetic for nausea and vomiting, hepatoprotective (protecting the liver), intestinal antiparasitic, antiulcer, and many, many more to name. It is used in over one hundred of the major eastern formulas to treat disease and regulate the body.
Food therapy for digestive health includes cooked ginger with rice. Only a thumb size of ginger is needed. This can be consumed every morning for breakfast. Avoid spicy foods, any stimulants like coffee, fried foods, and alcohol. Taking two tablespoons of steamed honey each morning on an empty stomach is an ancient tao nutrition therapy to help with peptic ulcers. Increase papaya and pineapple in the diet to add bromelain which is a major digestive enzyme to benefit overall health and inhibits inflammation. A wonderful tea for the digestive tract is adding dates (preferably black Chinese dates), ginger, fennel, and basil. This specifically helps with diarrhea. To detoxify the gastrointestinal tract, drink blended beets and cabbage on an empty stomach daily. Taking a thirty-minute walk after each meal helps stimulate both the digestive and circulatory systems.
Eating at minimum two to three hours before bed gives the body
adequate time to fully digest. Simple tasks like chewing food completely and not withholding a bowel movement with initial urge helps ensure the best gut and intestinal health. When there is an accumulation of toxins in the intestines, both herbal formulas and acupuncture is combined to clear toxic heat and to strengthen both the spleen and stomach.
These practices can promote healthy elimination of intestinal toxins providing the best nutrient absorption and digestive health. Cleansing the intestines and promoting healthy bowel function are some of the positive effects seen with Eastern Medicine practices as well as relief of constipation and prevention of intestinal polyps. Often herbals are combined to ensure these results like bai hua she she cao, da huang, shan yao, zhi he shou su, and wu wei zi.
Increasing the consumption of both fiber and water intake are also encouraged as well as staying physically active. Many gastrointestinal disorders are caused by spicy foods in the diet, lifestyle stressors, cigarette smoking, alcohol, infection, and drugs such as NSAIDs. Many of these factors may damage the stomach mucous lining of the gastrointestinal tract. There is quite a lot of both preventative and curative treatment that is offered with holistic medicine for the digestive system as a whole. Call today for your journey to optimal health. 772-353-1397