The festive season is often associated with feasting, which can be taxing on our body’s systems.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), our digestive system transforms food into blood and qi (vital energy).
Over-indulgence, however, can disrupt this system. Here, Eu Yan Sang physician Neo Min Jun recommends some remedies for common digestive problems.
1. OVER-INDULGENCE IN OILY FOODS
WHAT: Hawthorn oolong tea
HOW: Brew 15g of oolong tea in 200ml of water. Boil 3-5g of hawthorn in water for 15 minutes. Mix both and consume warm.
Not suitable for pregnant women. Those with gastric problems should seek TCM advice before consuming.
WHY IT WORKS: Hawthorn aids in the digestion of meat and oily food. Its sour and sweet taste makes it work well in the stomach, spleen and liver meridians or channels through which qi travels.
2. BLOATED STOMACH
WHAT: Malt tea
HOW: Brew a pot of malt tea with one or two malt tea teabags.
Do not add additional sugar or sweetener. Consume warm.
WHY IT WORKS: The natural saltiness of malt works well in the stomach and spleen meridians. In TCM, bloating due to over-eating is often caused by undigested food and stagnant qi in the stomach.
Malt helps to break down carbohydrates and regulate the stagnant qi in the stomach, thus relieving bloatedness.
WHAT: Ginger and orange peel tea
HOW: Put two or three slices of fresh ginger with 10g of orange peel in 200ml of hot water. Consume warm.
WHY IT WORKS: The pungent taste of ginger and orange peel makes them work well in the lungs, stomach and spleen meridians.
When the qi in the stomach flows upwards, regurgitation and vomiting occurs.
Ginger and orange peel both help the qi in the stomach flow in the right direction – downwards. The orange peel also boosts the qi of the spleen, which helps digestion.
WHAT: White radish soup
HOW: Boil a quarter of white radish (white carrot) with 150g of pork ribs with water. Simmer the soup till the white radish softens. Add soy sauce or salt to taste. Consume the soup with the white radish.
WHY IT WORKS: The sweet and pungent taste of white radish works well in the spleen, stomach and lungs meridians.
Constipation due to over-eating may be due to congested qi in the stomach and large intestines. White radishes can help by clearing the stagnant qi.
WHAT: Pueraria flower (kudzu flower) tea
HOW: Place 15g of pueraria flower in 200ml of hot water. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Consume warm.
WHY IT WORKS: The pueraria flower has a sweet taste and works well in the spleen and stomach meridians.
It helps to increase the vigour of the stomach, relieve hangover symptoms and quench the thirst caused by excessive alcohol intake.
This story was originally published in The New Paper.