Digestion is the core of our entire wellbeing for our mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional bodies. There are some key foods to have on hand to promote balance when there is a disharmony, or simply keep the digestion strong. Rice: steamed or cooked white rice (like congee or porridge) is gentle and easy to digest, activates digestion and warms the body. It also drains the pathogen dampness. Dampness is the root of most ailments as it's tough to get rid of, think of it like murky fluids which get trapped and hide toxins, heavy metals, and bugs. Ginger: my favourite food in the world. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and so on. It is the most beloved food of the digestive system as it provides the most Yang energy available to us. Yang (warm) powers our life-force energy. If you feel like you ate something suspect, take a few drops of ginger extract. Cinnamon bark (Rou Gui): is another key ingredient for warming the Stomach. Add a stick of cinnamon to your tea or porridge or mix fresh cinnamon powder with warm water and drink it. Adding a touch of honey to the drink will also aid digestion by strengthening the Spleen. Taking Rou Gui extract warms the body and acts like a daily vitamin. Hawthorn berry (Shan Zha) tea: bolsters the Spleen, promotes Blood flow and even helps with weight loss. Research suggests that hawthorn berry extract can lower cholesterol, widen Blood vessels, and strengthen cardiovascular activity. To make tea, simmer a tablespoon of dried hawthorn berries in two cups of water for 15 minutes or use Hawthorn extract orally or add drops into water for tea. Chen Pi is also known as aged orange peel, aged tangerine peel, ripe tangerine peel, or citrus. It is used in many herbal TICM formulas. I use it specifically for its actions of increasing digestion through the increase of specific gastric acids, strengthens the Spleen, removes food stagnation from eating harder to digest foods, decreases nausea and common IBS symptoms, morning sickness, chest congestion, and helps to remove phlegm through the Lungs.
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