Do you suffer from stomach aches, frequent trips to the bathroom, indigestion, bloating, having to avoid certain foods? These are all signs of a digestive system in distress and not functioning at its best. The belief that a healthy balanced diet is the foundation of good health is a central idea in Chinese medicine. Food is a form of medicine, in fact, many of the herbs we prescribe as part of more complex formulas are actually ‘food-like’ substances. Some examples of this are orange peels, goji berries (wolf berries), black sesame seeds, Chinese yam, dandelion, etc. Many of these things can be rather easily incorporated into our normal diets to bring balance to our digestive systems.
It is important to note that in Chinese medicine there is never a ‘one diet fits all’ way of addressing digestive dysfunction. That is part of the beauty of the medicine – we are all individuals and we should be treated as such. Eating a lot of salads and cooling vegetables or fruits may be great for someone that suffers from constipation, irritability, restlessness and red face, but these same foods can be detrimental to someone suffering from chronic diarrhea, cold limbs, nausea, abdominal pain and a pale face.
One great way to combat stomach pain is with bitters. We are excited to now be offering Vermont’s own Urban Moonshine Bitters! These are a wonderful addition to almost anyone’s diet. The bitter flavor is mostly lacking from our modern diets and is closely related to the digestive system. It helps to ‘spark’ digestion and get those digestive juices flowing and ready to deal with incoming food. Consuming bitters regularly helps to regulate digestions and even curb cravings. There are lots of fun ways to enjoy them – on salads, as an aperitif mixed with sparkling water or just straight spray right onto your tongue. We carry three delicious flavors to choose from, and they come in a convenient small spray bottle that can easily be taken with you.
In order to most effectively address symptoms relating to digestion, it is best to come in for a consult so that your practitioner can go through a comprehensive health history with you and come up with a treatment plan that compliments your specific needs. This often involves a combination of acupuncture, dietary therapy and often herbal formulas.