Overeating and Bao He Wan

To combat the feeling of overeating after the Thanksgiving feast we usually pop a few Tums and take a nap. On the other hand, TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) uses perfectly balanced herbal formulas to promote digestion and relieve symptoms of overeating. In TCM there is a term for the side effects of over eating and over drinking called Food Stagnation. The indications of Food Stagnation may sound familiar.

Indications of Food Stagnation

  • Indigestion with abdominal bloating and fullness
  • Possible intermittent abdominal pain
  • Acid regurgitation, belching or nausea
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Sounds like many of the common symptoms of overeating and over drinking, right? One of the most popular herbal formulas to address Food Stagnation is called Bao He Wan (Preserve Harmony Pill).

Actions of Bao He Wan

  • Promotes digestion and reduces food stagnation
  • Regulates digestion, improves appetite
  • Relieves acid, indigestion, bloating and regurgitation

How does Bao He Wan achieve these actions? By careful combinations of specific herbs with particular functions. The herbal actions are described below.

TCM Actions

  • Shan Zha (Fructus Crataegi) promotes digestion of meat and fatty, greasy foods
  • Shen Qu (Massa Medica Fermentata) strengthens the Spleen and promotes digestion of alcohol and stagnant foods
  • Lai Fu Zi (Semen Raphani Sativi) guides Qi downward and promotes digestion of carbohydrates
  • Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae Tematae) and Chen Pi (Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae) activate Qi circulation and harmonize the Stomach
  • Fu Ling (Scierotium Poriae Cocos) strengthens the Spleen and dispels Dampness
  • Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae Suspensae) clears Heat associated with Food Stagnation

Bao He Wan may be the perfect formula to have on hand after Thanksgiving feast to relieve bloating, heartburn and diarrhea. The formula is gentle enough that you can even share with the family members you like!


Source : Chen, John K, Chen, Tina T. Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications. City of Industry: Art of Medicine Press. 2009.

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