The Seasonal Change: Digestion Help to Stay Healthy

This article is written by Samaya Cullerton, MTCM, LAc, Herbalist, Acupuncturist, and Education Specialist with Benedictine Healing Products.

In traditional Asian medicine, late summer is a season of its own. As the fifth season it corresponds to the Earth element. Traditional Asian medicine teaches us how to be healthy in the present season and to stay healthy in the upcoming seasons: eat seasonally, live in accordance with nature, nourish and strengthen specific body systems seasonally. When the body is naturally full of vital qi, this is the original preventative health model.

Late summer is the time of the spleen and stomach, the Earth of our bodies. While the spleen is considered somewhat of an auxiliary immune organ in Western medicine, it plays an essential role in traditional Asian medicine for digestion, the immune system, and vitality of one’s self. Our late summer blog is about digestion from a traditional Asian medical perspective, and our herbal digestive formulations.

A Worker Bee in the Garden

Earth is the foundation of everything and is crucial to the existence of life itself. The Earth element in the body is the source of our post-natal qi, or our vital energy. Earth is responsible for our ability to digest food, absorb nutrients, and transform those nutrients into our vitality, our energy, our ability to be both healthy and to recover quickly when we become ill. Entire schools of traditional Asian medicine revolve around the Earth element, devoting all diagnoses and treatment to improving digestive function, assimilation and microbiome with profound results. Digestion plays an essential role in the immune function, sleep and energy levels, and mental health in both Western and Eastern medical models.

In the traditional model I was trained in, we care for the digestive function at the end of summer to keep the immune system strong in the fall, to encourage good sleep and energy when we’re awake, to reduce anxiety and depression, and to strengthen both the blood and the vascular system. Even when people have no symptoms of impaired digestion, I work to strengthen the Earth element in people this time of year, to prepare for the upcoming challenges to our immune system that come in the fall and winter months ahead. This time of year, people are particularly susceptible to infections which cause symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping sometimes accompanied by a fever. In traditional Asian medicine they call these disorders summer heat, or summer damp-heat.

We at Benedictine Healing Products are here to support your health and wellness with our line of digestive formulations for times of sickness and good health:

Diarrhea Relief is a gentle carminative formula which astringes the bowels. The herbs in this formula are traditionally used to stop the symptoms of diarrhea, no matter the cause. It can therefore be used in acute infectious situations, or for more chronic, functional digestive problems such as irritable bowel. It is not going to treat underlying infection that would also need to be addressed if present, but will slow down peristalsis (the movement of our digestive tract), without being harsh or constipating.

Holiday Bitters stimulates your innate digestive function. Our unique blend of bitters is a delightfully palatable formula, stimulating secretions of digestive organs, energetically warming them while promoting peristalsis. This formula should be taken before large meals, before eating foods that may be challenging for your digestion, and to promote mental clarity if people become sluggish or tired after meals.

No Burp is our version of the traditional formula Shu Gan Wan. This is one of my favorite traditional formulas, because when I was first introduced to traditional Asian herbalism, it was through this formula. It changed my life. I was prescribed this formula by my acupuncturist.

Like many people who find themselves seeing an acupuncturist, I had not gone to see her for digestive issues. I was having hormone imbalance and reoccurring ovarian cysts. My wise acupuncturist honed-in on my constant abdominal bloating, burping after meals, and irritable bowel symptoms I had been living with for years believing that was my normal self. I was irritable, teary and felt emotionally sensitive all the time until I took a few rounds of Shu Gan Wan. It was the right formula for me at that time, and it did completely change my quality of life. I’m not suggesting this formula is a cure all for all the symptoms I was experiencing, but this was the perfect example of how the digestive function can be the foundation on which all health is built on. Yes, this formula helps with burping, but it can do so much more. Years later, I have traveled down this healing path, getting a master’s degree myself in traditional Asian medicine, in hopes I can pay forward the gifts this herbal formula has given me.

Tummy Ease is a very aromatic formula, designed to counter dampness and qi deficiency. The herbs in this formula are traditionally used to prevent fatigue, nausea, lack of appetite, loss of taste, diarrhea and bloating. This is a very gentle formula, wonderful for chronic functional diseases. It is not constipating, is non-habit forming, and can treat both excess and deficient digestive dysfunction. It is a great formula for patients with adrenal fatigue, impaired assimilation, and irritable bowel-like symptoms.

Our Digestive Aid Kit contains Tummy Ease, Holiday Bitters, and No Burp at a reduced price.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our some of digestive formulation. May your long summer be built on the foundation of great digestive fortitude.

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