Innocently at first with leftover Halloween candy, snacks at gatherings, maybe an extra glass of wine you didn’t plan for. Then before you know it, overeating season is in full swing. While I can never seem to completely avoid indulging during this festive time of year, I lean heavily on the wisdom of Chinese medicine to help support my digestion though it. Today, let’s talk about a formula that does this beautifully. So beautifully in fact that it shows up to every Thanksgiving dinner with me. It’s called Bao He Wan.
Bao He Wan translates into English as ‘Preserve Harmony Pill’, meaning the harmony of the spleen and stomach digestive functions. Its classical indications include eating contaminated food, or just plain too much food.
Every formula in Chinese medicine has a chief herb or herbs, and Bao He Wan has three. The first one is Shan Zha, or Hawthorne berry. Shan Zha is one of the most important herbs for reducing food stagnation from meat, alcohol, and greasy foods, aka: the holiday trifecta. Interestingly enough, this herb has been widely studied both in China and the west for its proven ability to help manage high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.
The next chief herb is called Shen Qu, which is actually a combination of several different fermented plants. We already know the benefit of fermented foods for their probiotic content, and how they help promote digestion in general. Shen Qu does just that, helping to relieve food stagnation and the full tummy sensation that comes with it.
The third chief herb is Lai Fu Zi, or the seed of the radish. Lai Fu Zi excels at moving the Qi of the stomach and helping promote the digestion of grains. In concert with four other herbs that help promote the function of the spleen and stomach, our digestive axis, this formula is a must have heading into the holiday eating season.
Part of living in harmony of the energy of the season is enjoying its festive moments. With a little bit of planning, you can focus more on enjoying yourself without upsetting your stomach. Let’s sit down and see how we can support you this holiday season. Now for that pie…
Molly Kubinski, L.Ac., (FABORM)