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Food and Digestion in the Summer

Social eating during the summer is a pleasant and fun experience most of the time.  However, it is also a time we are vulnerable to food-borne illnesses, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive issues.  Feeling heavy or overeating can make the summer heat unbearable and cause our digestive system to be imbalanced. 

Food safety in hotter temperatures is important and can help avoid food-borne illnesses.  Some tips include refrigerating perishables within two hours, wash hands before prepping food and handling raw meats, and use a thermometer to check meat temperature.  In addition, there are many TCM and natural approaches to strengthening and supporting digestion. Coptis, also known as Huang Lian Su Wan, is a good formula for addressing symptoms of food poisoning and intestinal bacteria.

Weak digestion is usually due to deficiency of qi or yang in the spleen, which is the main organ of digestion in TCM.  In addition, weak digestion can also be due to dampness caused from over consumption of sweets. Maintaining good digestion is important for overall health, however stress and diet can strain our digestive systems.  It is recommended to eat warm food which is the perfect temperature for our digestion system, in addition eating in moderation is helpful for avoiding food stagnation.  Avoid eating too much fried food, spicy food, dairy, and alcohol as this will just aggravate digestive function and cause discomfort.

Overeating and some food combinations can cause digestion issues, this is known as food stagnation in TCM, a way to relief this is to move the qi in the stomach and stimulate digestion.  Curing formula is a good choice for helping with this, they are also available in pocket packs perfect for traveling! Another cause of indigestion is eating while under stress, which causes the liver to be affected.  Soothing the liver and stimulating digestion is important, a good formula for this is Shu Gan Wan.

Natural ways to help digestion include reducing foods that can cause gas, such as beans, cabbage, and broccoli.  Increasing fiber intake can help avoid bloating, high fiber foods like berries, prunes, and dried apricots can help. Drinking lots of water can help flush out toxins and aid in digestion.

Some natural herbal remedies include aloe vera juice, peppermint, licorice, slippery elm, chamomile, and fennel seeds. Triphala is an ayurvedic remedy which can be used for diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion.  For bloating, gas, and feeling of heaviness after meals; we suggest Gaia Herbs Gas and Bloating to relieve symptoms with fennel seed and other natural herbs.   

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.