Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Digestive Disorders
Digestive Disorders –
TCM envisions the stomach as a cooking pot. When food reaches the pot, it is partly broken down by the cooking process. This continues the digestive process that began in the mouth.
Since a pot requires fire or heat to cook food, TCM recommends the avoidance of excess cold and raw foods including fruit & ice cream. Instead, the emphasis is on lightly steamed vegetables, and during colder seasons, more soups and stews, for easier digestion.
If you do not have enough digestive fire, your metabolism may be too slow and symptoms may include bloating, undigested food in the stools, and pain that is reduced by warmth. If you have too much digestive fire, you may suffer from heartburn, an insatiable appetite, or constipation.
Because foods can have an innate warmth or coolness, you may want to eat foods appropriate to your constitution, as well as to the weather.
For example, spicy foods are heating, but too much or too hot may cause digestive irritation. More suitable warming foods include ginger, cinnamon, fennel, winter squash, sweet potato, kale, oats, spelt, and quinoa. If you have a tendency toward heat signs and symptoms (not necessarily just feeling hot), you could consider cooling foods like peppermint, dandelion greens, cilantro, apples, watermelons, citrus fruits, tofu, millet, barley, amaranth, lettuce, cucumber, and yogurt.
The spleen and pancreas together are termed the spleen system. If you suffer from bloating, soft stool/diarrhea, undigested food in your stools, fatigue, and/or poor appetite, your TCM practitioner will likely say you have a spleen energy deficiency.
One of the spleen’s jobs is to transform food and fluid into useful nutrients and to transport those nutrients to where they are needed in the body. Treatments include foods like squash, carrots, yams, well-cooked rice, ginger, and small amounts of honey or molasses in your diet, while limiting or excluding dairy, citrus, fried or heavy foods, and too much sugar.
Digestive disorders treated by TCM Include;
- Heartburn, acid reflux and gastric reflux
- IBS including associated symptoms:- cramps, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), either Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis symptoms including
- abdominal pain
- rectal bleeding
- Abdominal Pain
- constipation & diarrhea
- flatulence, nausea, vomiting
- food allergies, cravings
- bloating, cramps, weight management