Improving Digestion & Traditional Chinese Medicine Posted on July 18, 2013

iStock_000013332422SmallYesterday I spoke about “Why laxative tea’s don’t work”. You can read about this post here.

After reading this article, those suffering from bloating, fluid retention, stomach cramping, cellulite and/or bowel irregularities (you are supposed to poop 1 x each day, are you?), simply sighed and accepted they might just have to spend a lifetime suffering however, this isn’t the case. These symptoms are often a result of poor digestion and you’re not alone (my digestion is terrible and I blame all my years of modelling for this one) but you can help your body heal naturally by working with it, not against it. 

Below I have outlined a few techniques to help improve digestion, most of which stem from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices. To coincide with these tips and tricks, I have also included an interview with the team at “Your Tea” (yes, you heard correctly), a tea that will help you nourish and heal your digestive system rather than place it under distress and purge it of all contents.

DIET
As you might be aware, poor digestion can stem from a poor diet. Make sure you are avoiding these foods and toxins:

 FOODS TO AVOID:

  • Sugars – all processed shapes and sizes. 
  • Energy drinks and packaged fruit juice
  • Fried foods
  • Carbonated/soft drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • All processed foods especially those labeled “sugar free, fat free” etc.
  • Refined table salt
  • Food intolerances you may or may not be aware of

If your diet is rich in healthy wholesome food and still you are struggling you might want to look at avoiding the following:

  • Raw fruit (1 x piece of warm, strewed fruit on occasion is ok)
  • Raw vegetables (lightly cooked vegetables are recommended)
  • Freshly squeezed fruit juice
  • Coffee
  • Cold water (switch to warm water, see below)

To improve digestion and the natural “flow” of things, I recommend the following:

BOOST YOUR INTAKE OF:

  • Hot water and lemon juice in the morning (see post here)
  • Green leafy vegetables with each meal (cooked)
  • Organic vegetables from a wide variety of colours with each meal (cooked)
  • Green tea
  • Organic & Grass-fed meats (slow cooked preferred)
  • Cinnamon 
  • Cardamom
  • Pepper
  • Chilli
  • Good quality fats like that of coconut oil
  • Foods rich in Vitamin A – Cod liver oil, dandelion greens and loads of veg!

Just a quick one, I am not slamming a raw food diet here, raw food is great – but so is cooked. Different things work for different people and those struggling with digestion, may benefit from adopting these practices, just like I did. 

Understanding Digestion & TCM  

After writing my article yesterday, I turned my attention to the “weight loss tea” market and was surprised to find a hidden gem. I am a huge fan of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), I was thrilled to find a tea on the market that focused on the same healing principles, no laxatives included. The label? “Your Tea”.

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Alyse: Thanks so much for taking the time to sit down and chat to us about “Your Tea”. To understand the benefits of YT, I think it is important for readers to understand the underlying beliefs of Traditional Chinese Medicine and digestion. Can you explain these?

YT: Sure. Lets refer to our stomachs as a cooking pot. Our ‘cooking pots’ should already be on “low-heat” before any food is consumed. When we consume cold, raw foods, the pan struggles to heat up to a point where digestion can take place easily. As such, digestion is a slow, energy consuming process that doesn’t necessarily break down food effectively. After food has passed through this process, it takes a considerable amount of time for the cooking pot to recover and we experience those symptoms associated with poor digestion like bloating, fluid retention and fatigue. When we consume warm cooked foods, the pot immediately starts cooking efficiently as foods are already warm and softened. These foods are cooked quickly, easily and effectively, nutrients are absorbed and the pan is ready for the next meal.

Alyse: So when you say “cook” your foods. What are you referring to? Many believe cooking your foods, leads to lower nutrient contents?

YT: Now we are not saying that you need to cook the living daylights out of your foods, simply “warming” of the foods is efficient.

Alyse: So, like a quick stir-fry? Or warming of foods on the stovetop for a minute or two?

YT: Exactly, as long as foods are warm. If you would like more information, you can read about “raw foods and digestion” here. Our Ambassador and TCM practitioner Nat Kringoudis explains all.

Alyse: For readers scanning through your Instagram feed, many of us would be led to believe your tea is just another “weight loss” tea. Can you explain?

YT: YT was designed to nourish the digestive system rather than purge the body like a laxative tea.  YT aims to help “warm the pot” naturally, using TCM herbs like Fu Ling and Patchouli. With a warm pot and the consumption of warm foods, YT heals and nourishes the digestive system and customers experience loss of fluid retention, bloating and in some cases, weight loss. We like to promote the health benefits of YT over at our blog and to support our claims; we have recently announced our Ambassador, Nat Kringoudis, a qualified TCM practitioner.

Alyse: Your customers have experienced a whole host of benefits associated with consuming “your tea”. Can you explain this?

YT: Sure:

  • Increase in Energy: As the tea nourishes the digestive system, the digestive system is responsible for creating blood. The tea allows the body to create a larger volume and more pure blood than previously; hence customers feel a notable increase in energy.
  • Bloating: As the tea works on digestion, it reduces bloat caused by indigestion and cold/stagnant internals. The tea heats up the digestive system while at the same time replenishing their insides. Much like fertilising a garden!
  • Happiness: customers report feeling much ‘happier’ on this tea as the ingredients tonify the spleen “Qi”. When qi is blocked, either psychically or emotionally, is causes all sorts of ramifications – hence many of which will may be resolved.
  • Skin health: significantly improves, basically because what your body can’t digest it rejects and this comes out in your skin. If your “pot” is cooking effectively, your body has nothing to reject and many find their skin will clear.

Alyse: Are there any tips and tricks you would like to recommend to clients to help them improve their digestion:

YT: To receive full benefits, we recommend customers stick to the following whilst completing the tea-tox:

  • Avoid all of those foods that are listed above, including raw foods
  • Sleep with a heat pack on your stomach each night after dinner
  • Walk every day – a 3km walk is amazing to get your system moving. Make sure it is brisk! 
  • Eat all meals warm/cooked. Avoid salad, sandwiches, cereals – this really needs to be adhered to in order to feel full benefits.
  • Fill your body with lean protein, eggs, beans, green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and seeds. Bread needs to be toasted. Sprouted bread is best.
  • A cup of hot water with lemon every morning, add a pinch of fresh ginger too
  • For breakfast: we recommend warm porridge with some oats with some nuts and seeds, or eggs with avocado. We recommend customers avoid cold yoghurts and cereals.
  • Dinner: Eat no later than 7pm and avoid large dinners (food gives you energy, energy is not needed when you’re soon to be sleeping!)
  • Get to bed at 10pm. Sleep is VITAL for healthy digestion

We have also included a meal plan, put together by TCM practitioner Nat Kringoudis, on our website for customers to follow easily. 

If you want to know more about “Your Tea”, you can check out their website at http://www.yourtea.com



4 thoughts on “Improving Digestion & Traditional Chinese Medicine

  1. Jodie

    Me too! I have tried acupuncture, colonics and chinese herbs. Nothing has worked! I’m open to anything else!

    1. Alyse Post author

      Hi Jodie,

      Send me an email and we can discuss nutrition plans and exercises that may be able to help. x

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