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Holiday Food and Digestion

Holiday foods can bring families together and satisfy our once-a-year cravings; however, overindulgence can also cause digestion issues such as bloating, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea. The good news is that traditional Chinese medicine and natural remedies for digestive relief, can help us to enjoy the celebrations of the season. 

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 overconsumption of sweets. Supporting good digestion is important for overall health, however stress and diet can strain our digestive systems. It is recommended to eat warm food as it is the perfect temperature for our digestive 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 is to move the qi in the stomach and stimulate digestion. Curing formula is a good choice for helping with this. Another cause of indigestion is eating while under stress, which causes the Liver to be affected. Soothing the Liver and stimulating digestion is important, and 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 intake of high-fiber foods like berries, prunes, and dried apricots can help avoid bloating. 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. Pure Encapsulations Heartburn Essentials is a good choice for relieving heartburn. It contains an herbal formula including deglycyrrhizinated licorice, marshmallow root, slippery elm, artichoke, and turmeric.