Balance is a key principle and the foundation of TICM. Having a balance of Yin (cooling) foods and Yang (heating) foods is essential in cultivating and maintaining the proper flow of Qi (vital energy) in your body, which leads to good health. There are also key foods and herbs which help promote balance when there is a disharmony.
There are some beloved foods in TICM which help digestion:
Rice: steamed or cooked white rice (like congee or porridge) is gentle and easy to digest, and gently warms the body by draining dampness. Dampness is the root of most ailments and serious disease as that is where toxins love to hide.
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. You can buy cinnamon oil, which warms the body and acts like a daily vitamin. I add a cinnamon stick to my ginger powder tea for Blood circulation especially coming up to my period and during.
Hawthorn berry tea (Shan Zha): 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.
Tangerine peel (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 in many formula’s 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. I have dried cuts of tangerine peel at home making a cup of tea on its own or add to my ginger powder tea.