Wow - I Ate All That! Teas for Digestion and Chinese Herbal Medicine to the Rescue This Thanksgiving!
On Thanksgiving Day, we are actually encouraged to stuff ourselves and certainly one day a year, such indulgence can’t do us too much harm. For many, these temporary feelings goes away by the next day once our body has dealt with it. But sometimes a bout of overeating can create problems that stay around for days or even weeks. In Chinese medicine indigestion due to overeating is termed as "food stagnation".
Symptoms of Food Stagnation:
Bao He Wan Saves The Day
This inexpensive Chinese herbal formula translated as preserve the harmony pill can help ease the bloating, cramping, heartburn, or other forms of indigestion that usually accompany large, rich meals.
Sound too good to be true? It's really not. Here's how it works - Bao He Wan contains herbs that help the body's digestive system break down meats, grains, and fats; stimulating peristalsis, which is the abdominal movement that keeps food moving through the digestive tract properly. You'll feel good enough to get out for a healthy, post Thanksgiving walk (I strongly recommend this).
If Bao He Wan sounds like something you'd be interested in for this Thanksgiving or for other big meals this holiday season (or anytime!) - give me a call today at (510) 210-3822 or schedule online to come in for an herbal consultation!
Teas for Digestions
But chances are, you won't have an acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist in the house Thanksgiving day. So, what to do? Below are a few different teas your can probably stock up on at your local grocer.
Tummy Soothing Tea
Combine the chamomile, fennel, ginger, and peppermint in a tea pot or mug. Pour boiling water over. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain tea, then sweeten with honey, if desired.
The recipe below is for a single serving, but you could also make a big batch of the dry tea blend and store it in a jar for easy access.
While teas are generally safe, not all herbal teas are safe for everyone. Some herbal teas, such as those made with dandelion, chamomile, black cohosh or dried ginger, may not be safe during pregnancy.
Peppermint tea may not be a good idea for people with reflux or those taking blood pressure or diabetes medications, and ginger should be avoided by those using blood thinners or blood pressure or diabetes medications. Avoid dandelion tea if you take diuretics, blood thinners or diabetes medications.
A Little History....
The use of lavender has been recorded for more than 2,500 years. Egyptians, Phoenicians and the people of Arabia used lavender as a perfume and also for mummification, by wrapping the dead in lavender-dipped shrouds. In ancient Greece, lavender was used as a cure for everything from insomnia and aching backs to insanity.
By Roman times, lavender had already become a prized commodity and was used to scent the water in Roman baths. In fact, the baths served as the root of the plant's current name. "Lavender" is derived from the Latin lavare, meaning, "to wash." Romans also used lavender as a perfume, insect repellent and flavoring.
In Medieval and Renaissance Europe, lavender was strewn over the stone floors of castles as a disinfectant and deodorant. Use of lavender was highly revered during the Great Plague of the 17th century, when individuals fastened bunches of lavender to each wrist to protect themselves from the Black Death. Thieves who made a living stealing from the graves and the homes of Plague victims developed a wash known as "Four Thieves Vinegar," which contained lavender, to cleanse and protect themselves after a night's work.
Common Ways to Use Lavender Essential Oils
Blending Lavender with Other Oils
Lavender blends well with most oils, especially citrus and floral oils. Cedarwood, Clove Bud, Clary Sage, Pine, Geranium, Vetiver, Patchouli, Coriander, Cypress, Frankincense, Geranium, Juniper Berry, Neroli, Rose
Where to Buy
I have no affiliation with these companies, they all put out a great products, choose one that suits you the best.
A common complaint I hear from patients is "I'm not getting enough sleep" or "I don't get quality sleep". Statements like this are music to my acupuncture ears. If you are experiencing insomnia or poor quality of sleep, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine thrive at getting the body back into a healthy sleep rhythm.
In my opinion, other than water, sleep is one of the most important aspects in our lives, its the ultimate “down time.” Many critical physiological functions occur when we sleep and its when our body has time to repair itself. Unfortunately for many people out there, sleep, or going to sleep, is not the daily ritual it should be.
Lack of sleep can lead to a number of problems like increased chronic pain, poor memory, decreased sex drive, lead to accidents (like car crashes or at work), depression, anxiety, increased look of aging, increased weight gain, impaired judgement, and serious illness like heart problems, diabetes, and risk of stroke.
Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes the importance of adequate sleep for physical, psychological and spiritual well being. Factors like physical injury, stress, illness, and poor diet all contribute to an imbalance that can lead to insomnia or poor quality of sleep. Since in Chinese medical terms there is no one prescription for insomnia, your acupuncturist will often ask many questions about your overall health to try and pinpoint the factors leading that are leading to your poor sleep. Everyone's treatment plan and suggestions will vary depending on your unique symptoms but most patients begin seeing some relief with in the first 4-5 sessions.
Tips for Treating your Sleep Problems with Acupuncture
Tips for Better Sleep
If you try some of these ideas, let me know how they work for you. Or, send me your sleep tips (or comment below) and I will share them – people reading the blog post in the middle of the night might be grateful
1. Keep A Regular Sleep Schedule
Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle—your circadian rhythm—is one of the most important strategies for achieving good sleep. Doing things like keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, and be smart about taking naps are great strategies for getting better sleep.
2. Naturally Regulate Your Sleep Cycle
Melatonin hormone occurs naturally and is controlled by light exposure. Melatonin main job is to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain should secrete more in the evening, when it’s dark, to make you sleepy, and less during the day when it’s light and you want to stay awake and alert. However, many aspects of our daily modern life can disrupt your body’s natural production of melatonin and with it your sleep-wake cycle.
3. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine
Chance are that if you make a consistent effort to relax and unwind before bed, you will sleep easier and more deeply. A relaxing bedtime routine sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses
4. Eat Right and Get Regular Exercise
What you eat during the daytime and how much you exercise play a role in how well you sleep. It’s particularly important to watch what you put in your body in the hours leading up to your bedtime.
5. Work on Cutting Down on Stress and Anxiety
Stress, worry, and anger leftover from your day can make it very difficult to sleep well. When you wake up or can’t get to sleep, take note of what seems to be the recurring theme. That will help you figure out what you need to do to get your stress and anger under control during the day.
6. Ways to Get Back to Sleep
7. Know When to Seek Help
If you've tried it all and are still having trouble sleeping or not feeling rested upon waking, it might be time to consider seeking outside help. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
Ouch! You've just dropped that can of spaghetti sauce on your foot, its late in the evening, the doctors office is closed, and the area is starting to swell and really hurt. What do you do?
This is where simple and effective home remedies come in handy. My favorite for a situation like the one above is an Onion Poultice.
Onion poultices are used for moving toxins out through the blood, lymph, and skin in cases of bruising, swelling, and inflammation. It can also be really helpful for lung and chest congestion that accompanies a bad cold, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
How to Make a Onion & Salt Poultice
What you’ll need:
As with anything, if you feel any symptoms of discomfort (burning or itching) or think you're having an allergic reaction. Remove immediate and rinse the area.