Soothing the Stomach: Traditional Chinese Herbs for Digestive Happiness

Lenore Cangeloso

By Lenore Cangeloso


Soothing the Stomach: Traditional Chinese Herbs for Digestive Happiness

Digestive health lays the foundation for overall health and vitality in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Earth Element, comprised of the Spleen and Stomach Organ systems, governs digestion and assimilation, and play a crucial role in maintaining balance and vitality within the body. 

When digestive function is compromised, it can lead to various discomforts and imbalances throughout the entire body. Fortunately, Traditional Chinese Medicine theory offers an array of solutions in the form of Chinese herbs, specifically tailored to address digestive issues and promote balance. 

This article explains the benefits of Chinese herbs for digestive health and explores how they can soothe the Stomach and restore harmony to the Earth element.

Understanding the Importance of Digestive Health

Digestion is not merely about breaking down food; it's a complex process that plays into mood support, hormone balance, and energy levels. Proper digestion ensures that nutrients are absorbed efficiently, providing the body with essential energy and building blocks for cellular function and a vast array of physiological and psychological processes. 

Best Chinese Herbs for Digestion

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Earth Element corresponds to the Stomach and Spleen, which are responsible for the “transformation and transportation” of nutrients. When the Earth element is in harmony, digestion is smooth, and the body thrives.

Chinese Herbs for Digestive Issues

Acupuncturists and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have long relied on herbs to support digestive health and address a range of concerns, from indigestion to bloating and beyond. These herbs are carefully selected for their unique properties, aiming to rebalance the Earth Element and restore optimal digestive function. 

  • Ginger (Sheng Jiang): Known for its warming properties, ginger is a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine theory for alleviating nausea, indigestion, and abdominal discomfort. It stimulates digestion, promotes circulation, and soothes the stomach, making it an excellent choice for digestive issues.
  • Peppermint (Bo He): Cooling and refreshing, peppermint helps to relieve gas, bloating, and stomach cramps. It relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract, easing tension and promoting smoother digestion.
  • Licorice Root (Gan Cao): With its sweet and harmonizing nature, licorice root is often used in TCM formulas to support the spleen and stomach. It helps to reduce inflammation, protect the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, and enhance overall digestive function.
  • Dried Tangerine Peel (Chen Pi): This aromatic herb is prized for its ability to regulate Qi ("vital energy") and relieve stagnant digestion. It aids in the digestion of fatty and greasy foods, reduces bloating, and promotes a sense of comfort after meals.
Best Chinese Herbs for Digestion
Regulating the Earth Element

In Traditional Chinese Medicine maintaining balance within the Earth Element is key to optimal digestion and overall health. Several lifestyle practices and dietary adjustments can help support the Earth element and promote digestive harmony:

  • Mindful Eating: Take time to chew your food thoroughly and savor each bite. Mindful eating promotes better digestion by allowing the body to properly break down food and absorb nutrients.
  • Balanced Diet: Emphasize whole, unprocessed foods that are easy to digest, such as cooked vegetables, grains, and lean proteins. Avoid excessive consumption of cold or raw foods, as they can impair digestive function.
Best Chinese Herbs for Digestion
  • Regular Meal Times: Establishing a consistent eating schedule helps to regulate the digestive system and support the Earth element. Aim for three balanced meals per day, with snacks as needed to maintain energy levels and support health goals. 
  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can disrupt digestive function and exacerbate digestive issues. Incorporate stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to promote relaxation and balance within the body.
Bao He Wan

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, nurturing the Earth element and supporting digestive health is essential for achieving optimal health and improving vitality. By incorporating Chinese herbs known for their digestive benefits and adopting lifestyle practices that promote balance, you can soothe the Stomach, alleviate discomfort, and restore harmony to the body. Whether you're dealing with occasional indigestion or chronic digestive issues, Traditional Chinese medicine and herbs offer a natural and holistic approach to digestive health and vitality.

Care Consideration: Just a reminder that the above information is not a substitute for medical care and is not a substitute for medical advice or recommendations from a healthcare provider.  This information is not intended to treat, mitigate or cure any disease. That said, we encourage you to connect with an Acupuncturist in your community to learn more about this and other Traditional Chinese Medicine options.  If you’ve got questions about Chinese herbal medicine or getting started with an Acupuncturist, feel free to connect with us on

Lenore Cangeloso, LAc is a state-licensed and board-certified Acupuncturist and Herbal medicine practitioner. She is the owner of Wild Earth Acupuncture in Portland Oregon. Lenore has spent many months traveling to deepen her knowledge of the human body and is a dedicated and skilled practitioner who strives to help you achieve optimal states of well-being. You can learn more about Lenore at

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