Published: July 28, 2023

Historically, herbal medicine has fostered digestive health and addressed diverse gastrointestinal concerns. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), digestion holds immense importance as it deeply impacts overall well-being and health. Through a thoughtful combination of various herbs, Chinese herbal medicine creates tailored formulas to address specific needs. A healthy diet is part of TCM practice, along with acupuncture, herbal formulas, and more.

In TCM, digestion intertwines with qi (energy) and the delicate equilibrium between yin and yang within the body. When disruptions occur, digestive symptoms and disorders may arise. 

Herbal formulas help restore this balance and enhance optimal digestion by employing herbs with specific properties and actions. These herbs yield diverse effects, including improving digestion, reducing inflammation, alleviating symptoms like bloating or indigestion, and fortifying the digestive system.

Healthy Diet in TCM

A healthy diet in TCM encompasses various food groups, including vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, nuts & legumes, meat, spices, herbs, and beverages. TCM uses each food’s unique flavor and temperature to categorize its benefits. 

For instance, beets are considered cool and sweet. The coolness of beets aids in calming the heart, countering the heat in the chest, while their sweet flavor nourishes and builds, promoting the generation of bodily fluids. Beets have a beneficial effect on the blood and heart, and they also act as lubricants for the intestines and cleanse the liver. 

On the other hand, chicken, a beloved staple, is classified as warm and sweet. It is a favorable food for most individuals, except those experiencing excessive heat symptoms. The warmth and sweetness nourish the blood and qi while strengthening the kidneys, spleen, and stomach. As a robust builder, chicken replenishes the body’s resources. To maximize its properties, cooking the entire chicken and using both the meat and bones is recommended. Making bone broth from the chicken bones or storing them in the freezer for later use helps harness its complete nourishing potential.

Digestion Trouble

In TCM, the primary focus centers around the liver, spleen, and stomach, as these organs play crucial roles in well-being. The liver’s function can influence digestion, as it is affected by stress and impacts either the spleen or the stomach.

When the liver affects the spleen, various symptoms may arise, such as irritability, abdominal distention, pain, an unusual sensation of getting full after just a few bites of food or lacking the desire to drink despite being thirsty, as well as alternating constipation and diarrhea, along with excessive gas.

On the other hand, when the liver affects the stomach, upper-digestive issues like acid reflux, hiccups, belching, nausea, vomiting, and longer food retention in the stomach with upper abdominal distention may manifest.

A well-rounded and healthy diet recommended through TCM practices can contribute to better health and a more balanced body. However, some digestion issues may require additional assistance to alleviate, like using herbal formulas. 

Herbs For Digestion

TCM recognizes the involvement of other organs and different patterns that could lead to digestive issues, and a few specific herbs have shown efficacy in addressing these concerns. These herbs are often combined with others to build herbal formulas for the best results. Some herbs are readily accessible, while others require consultation with a qualified TCM practitioner.

  • Peppermint (Bo He): With its cooling properties, peppermint is a popular choice to soothe digestive issues like bloating, indigestion, and abdominal pain.
  • Ginger (Sheng Jiang): Revered for its warming attributes, ginger is a go-to remedy for easing digestive discomfort, alleviating nausea, and enhancing appetite.
  • Chinese rhubarb (Da Huang): Renowned for its laxative effects, rhubarb aids in relieving constipation and ensuring regular bowel movements.
  • Licorice root (Gan Cao): Frequently integrated into herbal formulas for its anti-inflammatory properties, licorice root supports the stomach and digestive system.
  • Hawthorn fruit (Shan Zha): Utilized to promote digestion, hawthorn fruit effectively addresses concerns such as food stagnation, bloating, and poor appetite.
  • Chinese skullcap (Huang Qin): Boasting anti-inflammatory benefits, Chinese skullcap is often employed to calm gastrointestinal inflammation and foster digestive well-being.

Herbal Formulas

Herbal formulas involve combining ingredients to create blends that work well together and improve the impact of individual herbs. Bao He Wan, Li Zhong Tang, and An Zhong San are often recommended for digestion issues.

Before using any of the above herbal formulas, it is essential to consult a TCM practitioner to ensure safety and appropriateness for your specific condition. 

A Balanced Diet And A Balanced Body

TCM adopts a holistic approach, considering an individual’s overall health and the pattern of disharmony they exhibit. Consequently, a TCM practitioner conducts a comprehensive assessment to determine the most suitable herbal formula to address specific digestive concerns.

To ensure optimal results, seeking guidance from a qualified TCM practitioner or herbalist is recommended. They possess the expertise to assess your condition thoroughly and offer personalized recommendations. 

Using quality herbal formulas is essential when seeking proper treatment. KPC has been crafting quality formulas through five generations. KPC works with the finest ingredients and only delivers herbal formulas that meet the highest quality, safety, and efficacy standards. Learn more about the formulas and manufacturing process through the KPC website.


*Please note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to suggest specific treatments for patients or that any supplements mentioned prevent or cure diseases or problems. Before taking any herbs, all patients should discuss their options with a licensed practitioner, including any other medications the patient is currently taking, as there may be contraindications between pharmaceuticals and herbs.

Stay up to date on events, products, and more.

Take a Look at Our

Browse Catalog