Digestion is well understood in traditional Chinese medicine. According to the TCM theory, the functioning of the digestive system is reliant on a few major organs; the small and large intestine, liver and gallbladder, spleen and stomach.
Together the stomach and spleen play the major role of breaking down food. The liver and gallbladder are responsible for the secretion of bile and other digestive fluids that transform food into nutrients. The large and small intestine then play a final role of assimilating and absorbing food and turning it into Yin, Yang, and Qi energy.
For these reasons, a healthy digestive function is critical for the production of biological energy that fuels the body, builds the immune system and makes it resilient. Having healthy organs is a starting point for digestive health. When the digestive organs are strong, they will replenish and generate the bodies basic energies and for this reason, Chinese Herbs that tonify these organs are helpful.
Best Gut Supporting Herbs
Chinese Bitters: This herbal formula contains both Gentian and Bupleurum. Together, these bitter herbs can help stimulate and regulate the whole digestive system. Additionally, they are good for the spleen and stomach and can help alleviate issues including nausea, vomiting, belching, abdominal fullness, and distention or pain. Bitter herbs help drain dampness, and damp spleen is a major imbalance that can negatively affect your appetite and cause poor digestion.
Codonopsis: Codonopsis is a great herb for treating many gastrointestinal imbalances due to disharmony in the Stomach and Spleen. Codonopsis harmonizes the Stomach and Spleen functions, which improves all aspects of digestion including, the breakdown of food, uptake, and metabolism of nutrients into Qi, and elimination of wastes.
- Dandelion: Liver disharmony is another cause of digestive issues; the liver manages a lot of important digestive functions. Clearing liver stagnation and regulating the flow of Qi will help stimulate the production of bile, and enhance fat digestion, as well as help neutralize stomach acid. Chinese bitters will help with this but dandelion is another great herb for this. In fact, it is a premier liver tonic herb in many ways.