Digestive and Stomachic Herbs

Stomachics and digestives are those herbs which tonify the stomach and spleen, promote digestion, facilitate distribution, and accelerate, movement of accumulated excess food in the stomach. Digestive ailments requiring treatment with these medications are indicated by symptoms of oppression and swelling in abdomen, belching, coughing up bile, nausea and vomiting, irregular bowel movements, dyspepsia, and all “empty” spleen and stomach symptoms. In cases of “empty” spleen and stomach, stomachic herbs should be combined with spleen tonics. In cases of “cold” in spleen and stomach, use with drugs which are “warming” to interior. When the digestive problems are due to damp-excess, combine with aromatic “moisture trans- forming” herbs. When energy stagnation is the source of problems, use in combination with energy regulating herbs. If symptoms include constipation, include cathartics in the treatment.

Causes of Disease – Excesses and Emotions

HAWTHORN

         CRATAEGUS PINNATIFIDA

Natural distribution: Eastern China, Japan.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Sweet and sour; slightly warm.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach, liver.

Effects: Digestive; stomachic; moves stagnant excess food; antidiarrhoeic.

Indications: Stagnant, undigested food accumulated in stomach; excess consumption of meats and fats; diarrhea; post-natal abdominal pain; scrotal pain and pressure.

Dosage: 6-15 g.

Remarks: The drug is especially effective in promoting digestion and movement of meats and fats; it dilates the blood vessels to lower blood pressure; dissolves cholesterol deposits in lining of blood vessels.

CHICKEN

GALLUS GALLUS DOMESTICUS

Natural distribution: Common world-wide.

Parts used: Gastric tissue from gizzard.

Nature: Sweet; neutral.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach, small intestine, bladder.

Effects: Stomachic; digestive; moves accumulated excess food in stomach.

Indications: Stagnant, undigested food in stomach; oppressive, full feeling in abdomen; gastroenteritis; urinal incontinence; spermatorrhoea.

Dosage: 4-8 g.

Remarks: Dry-fried with lumps of charcoal and powdered, it is applied to painful abscesses in the mouth.

BARLEY

       HORDEUM VULGARE

Natural distribution: China, Europe, America.

Parts used: Dried, germinated sprouts.

Nature: Salty; neutral.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach.

Effects: Stomachic; digestive; suppresses lactation.

Indications: Stagnant, undigested food in stomach; pressure and fullness in abdomen; loss of appetite due to weak spleen and stomach; excess lactation; weaning.

Dosage: 10-20 g.

Remarks: The herb has abortifacient properties which facilitate contractions during childbirth; it is especially effective in promoting digestion and movement of grains and vegetables.

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