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Best Chinese Herbs for Gut Health

Do tummy troubles keep you from living your life to the fullest? If so, you’re not alone. Gut health conditions like indigestion, heartburn, or constipation affect all of us at some point in our lives. Thankfully, Chinese herbs for gut health offer a natural way to improve your gut health from the root and enjoy better, healthier digestion.

Chinese Medicine for Gut Health 

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has always viewed the gut environment as essential to life. Now, modern research supports what TCM has been doing for centuries. Studies show that herbal medicine can help improve the gut microbiome and offers an effective natural solution for many digestive disorders. 

Traditional Chinese medicine considers gut health one of the key deciding factors of overall health. In TCM, the digestive organs of the Spleen and Stomach are responsible for creating the Qi that provides energy for the entire body to function. Just as in Western medicine, the lower digestive organs (Small Intestine and Large Intestine) ensure the proper removal of waste so toxins don’t build up and cause disease. 

Unfortunately, gut health issues are common in our modern times. Poor diet and lifestyle choices have left us with a range of digestive diseases (like IBS, Crohn’s disease, and Celiac disease) that impact our whole-body health.

But, not all gut health issues are as obvious as those conditions. In fact, many of us could use a little extra support to truly feel our best. Here are some common signs of poor gut health:

Signs of Poor Gut Health

If these symptoms sound familiar, don’t worry. There are many ways to boost your gut health naturally. Eating healthy, avoiding processed foods, staying hydrated, and using Chinese herbs for gut health will help you restore your digestive fire and improve your overall health. 

Chinese Medicine for Leaky Gut

A digestive phenomenon called “leaky gut syndrome” could be at the root of your health issues. Like other digestive disorders, Chinese medicine focuses on the root causes of leaky gut syndrome to help your body return to balance.

So, what is leaky gut?

Leaky gut syndrome is a digestive condition where bacteria and toxins “leak” through the gut and into the body due to “holes” in the intestinal membranes. As these toxins circulate systemically, they are believed to cause a range of health issues such as abdominal pain, food sensitivities, bloating, indigestion, diabetes, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, and fibromyalgia.

Chinese medicine helps stop this “leaking” by improving the health of the digestive tract. This often starts by reducing inflammation and any potential triggering food sensitivities. With less inflammation, the body is able to heal the intestinal lining and reduce the presence of these holes. 

Then, Chinese medicine uses immune-boosting medicinals and herbs that support proper digestion to bring the entire body back to balance. Because Chinese herbal medicine is focused on healing patterns of imbalance rather than diseases, there are no specific Chinese herbs for leaky gut.

The Best Chinese Herbs for Gut Health 

Chinese herbal medicine and dietary therapy offer a natural, effective way to improve your gut health from the root. While the right supplement for you depends on your unique condition, here are some of our most popular gut health herbal formulas. 

Chinese Herbs for General Gut Health 

Whether you have mild gut health issues or simply want to support your gut health from the root, one of these herbal formulas can help: 

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Six Gentlemen – Liu Jun Zi Wan
Liu jun zi wan is one of the classic digestive health formulas. The base of this formula is si jun si wan, a four-herb blend that supports basic digestive function by supplementing the Spleen qi. Then, it adds additional herbs (specifically ginger and pinellia) to help clear the digestive tract. This formula is best for digestive troubles such as food allergies, gluten sensitivities, and morning sickness.

 

Healthy Digestion – Jian Pi Wan
Jian Pi Wan is another Chinese herbal formula for gut health. It is best when chronic weak digestion causes issues like food accumulation in the stomach and digestive tract. When this happens, you may experience poor digestion and appetite, epigastric or abdominal distention/bloating, borborygmus, nausea, fatigue, and loose stools.
Chinese Herbs for Stomach Upset and Indigestion

Chinese Herbs for Stomach Pain and Indigestion

Everyone gets an upset stomach from time to time. Here are a few Chinese herbal supplements that can help ease stomach upset and acute gut troubles:

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Hawthorn Extract
Shan zha, or hawthorn, is a culinary herb that is used to alleviate indigestion and “food stagnation.” This occurs when the digestive function isn’t strong enough to digest food properly. It can also happen after a big, meaty meal (such as Thanksgiving dinner). This formula is especially helpful for those with a history of blood stagnation or heart conditions along with digestive upset.

Culing Wan – Curing Pills
If you regularly suffer from an upset stomach due to food sensitivities, overeating, or hangovers, Curing Pills can help get your belly back to normal. These are great to keep in your Chinese medicine cabinet for emergency relief but aren’t meant to be taken regularly over a long time.

 

Bao Ji Wan Po Chai Pills
Po Chai Pills are similar to Curing Pills – they help clear out offending foods or inflammation from the gut that cause indigestion, bloating, cramping, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain. 

Chinese Herbs for Constipation

Chronic constipation is a sign that your gut balance is off. When your microbiome is working properly, you should have 1-2 solid, easy-to-pass bowel movements daily or every other day. Along with a diet full of fresh vegetables, fiber, and probiotics, Chinese herbs for constipation can help keep you regular.

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Run Chang Wan  is a gentle formula that helps relieve chronic, dry constipation. This type of constipation often occurs in those who are low in energy and need help to keep the bowels moving regularly.

Shun Qi Wan is better if you experience a more “excess” type of constipation: heavy bloating, gas, belching, cramping, or painful bowel movements. Shun Qi Wan contains aromatic herbs that help break through stagnation and blockages in the digestive tract and restore gut health to balance. 

Chinese Herbal Teas for Gut Health 

Chinese herbal teas offer daily support to keep your digestive system working properly. Here are three of our top choices for gut health:

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Gastro Comfort  tea does just what it sounds like – it helps make your digestion more comfortable! Say goodbye to acid reflux and bloating or distention with this tea that soothes the stomach and maintains healthy gastric acid function.

Detox Master
This Chinese detox tea is a great choice for daily detoxification. It helps remove excess waste from the digestive tract and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Colon Cleansing
If you’re looking for a Chinese herbal gut cleanse, this tea can help. It contains herbs known to remove excess waste and toxins from the digestive tract and promote regular bowel movements. This is a good choice if you have a relatively strong digestive system, but struggle with constipation, bloating, or weight gain.

Restore Your Gut’s Natural Balance with Chinese Herbs

Gut health is the secret to a long and healthy life. Start on the path to better digestion, energy, and whole-body health with Chinese herbs for gut health. Shop our collection of digestive health formulas today! 

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About the Author

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kaitlan Downes, MSAOM, L.AC

Kate Downes is a Chinese medicine practitioner with a passion for herbal medicine. In fact, it was her love for plant and earth medicine that first drew her to study Chinese medicine.

Kate has a MSAOM (Master of Science, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) certification and practiced acupuncture in Indianapolis, IN for five years before packing her bags to roam the world. In order to stay in touch with the wellness community and continue to help others thrive with herbal medicine, she transformed her work from face-to-face patient care to spreading wellness through words. Her life as a remote herbalist and writer has allowed her to work with a variety of wellness brands, health pioneers, and her wonderful clients. She has a special interest in working with women’s health.

Kate thoroughly enjoys writing educational and useful pieces for Best Chinese Medicine. Her goal is to help the public gain a better understanding of the wonders of Chinese herbal medicine so they can be empowered in their own quest for natural, vibrant health.

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