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Digestion

Outdoor Snack

Often one of the first questions I ask is “how is your digestion?” Proper digestion is central to good health in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Good gut health will lead to deeper sleep, increased energy, and better mood. Stomachs that are working harmoniously can reduce bloat and upset stomach, and ease digestive issues. I truly believe the key to good digestive health is through keeping the Middle Burner operating at 100 degrees. Ask me at your next visit if you have not heard me talk about the stomach being like a crock pot. Sometimes, though, we all need a bit of extra support - and that's where Chinese herbal medicine can help.

I have many favorite formulas but this one is all about the stomach.  In this formula there are herbs that help “descend” food in the case of overeating, and half of which help to remove “dampness” and “heat” and treat “deficiency”.  This formula was traditionally used to support people with chronic digestive issues.

Here are 5 reasons to always keep this formula on hand:

1) Gut reset

We get it - it’s easy to let your health get sidetracked.  It might start by grabbing a salad-to-go, followed by ordering a pizza for dinner, and the next thing you know, you start to feel bloated and lethargic.  It’s time for a hard reset.

2) Travel

Travel can throw off our routines.  Those of us who try to eat healthy most days can find that more difficult when we travel.  Vacations often lead to more eating out, throwing off the digestive balance. 

 

3) Holiday season is almost here!!!

The time of year for over indulging.  The herbs in this formula help move food, preventing food stagnation, you can take them after a big meal to help ease the discomfort. 


4) In place of your usual “Over-the-Counter” support

As a community, we’re starting to think more critically about what we’re consuming.  Is it plant based? Is it made of whole foods? Is it GMO and does it have additives? Again, taking after eating to support the digestive system and move the food you consume down through the digestive system.

5) Bloating

In Chinese medicine theory, bloating is (again) a result of stagnant food.  Keeping food moving helps to reduce stagnation. However, if your bloating is related to the premenstrual phase of your cycle, other formulas may be a better fit - that’s typically the case of Qi stagnation and moving the Qi will move your digestive system.

Want to give this a try or have some on hand when in need of a little support? Text or call and we can go over a personal plan for digestive needs.

Healing the Gut
If you are struggling with a weakened or inflamed digestive system, try preparing this porridge for a simple, yet powerful healing tool.

Congee is an ancient remedy in Asian Medicine for a troubled or tuckered-out digestive system. With just a few ingredients simmered low and slow on the stove top, it's also the perfect homemade dish.

Congee has long been a secret weapon of Asian Medicine as a salve for the digestive system. Rice is cooked with a much higher ratio of water to grain and simmered until mush, making it both easy to digest and incredibly nourishing for the GI tract.

To calm your irritated stomach.

8 cups of chicken or bone broth (the real stuff found in the meat section in the refrigerator) to 1 cup of white rice (I like jasmine) add 2 cups of go gi berries and 1 cup of walnuts. Cook 12hrs in a crock pot on low heat.

You can use water instead of bone broth and will still get the stomach to calm down.

How you stomach benefits is though hydration, due to the amount of water absorbed by the rice grains throughout the cooking process. Chicken or bone broth, which is the second key ingredient for congee, is also hydrating and provides a rich source of collagen. This protein is required to repair and heal the lining of the GI tract, which can be damaged due to diet and lifestyle stressors. Plus, the easier your meal is to digest the better equipped you are to reap the rewards of any protein and minerals coming in.

Here is another nice recipe which is not as soupy.

You can top your congee with a fried egg, or if your digestion is feeling up to it, add some steamed bok choy or spinach for a little green.

Cook for 12hrs on low setting in a crock pot.

  • 2 cups sushi or jasmine rice

  • 4 chicken drumsticks

  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms

  • 5 quarts water or chicken broth

  • 2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee

  • Chopped ginger, scallions, gluten-free tamari, or coconut aminos, and dark sesame oil (optional, but adds flavor)

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