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herbs and spices for IBS herbs for ibs, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, heartburn, GERD
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  • Diarrhea
  • strong odor or burning anus
  • strong odor doesn't burn anus
  • no strong odor nor burning anus
  • mucus with burning anus
  • mucus without burning anus
  • yellow and explosive
  • aggravated by stress
  • alternating with constipation
  • doesn't feel done
  • aggravated by activity
  • aggravated by cold, raw, or any food
  • appears soon after eating
  • pencil or ribbon shaped
  • undigested food visible
  • early morning only
  • dark or purple stools

  • Constipation
  • pellet shaped
  • aggravated by stress
  • alternates with diarrhea
  • with heart burn
  • severe pain
  • better with warmth
  • dry and hard, short term
  • dry and hard, long term
  • aggravated by diet
  • lined with mucus
  • difficult to finish
  • causes exhaustion

  • Abdominal Pain
  • sharp and fixed
  • aggravated by eating
  • aggravated by stress
  • with bloating
  • better with activity
  • severe
  • better with pressure

  • Gas
  • with strong odor
  • without strong odor
  • burns anus
  • aggravated by stress

  • Bloody stools
  • strong odor
  • no strong odor
  • mucus with strong odor
  • mucus without strong odor
  • less than six months
  • more than six months

  • Heartburn
  • aggravated by stress
  • worse when bending or laying down
  • aggravated by eating
  • with excessive saliva

  • Nausea
  • aggravated by stress
  • with severe cramping pain
  • worse when bending or laying down
  • with bloating, belching, and bad breath
  • with excessive saliva
  • mostly clear fluid
  • with undigested food

  • Bloating
  • with constipation or sluggish stools
  • worse with fatigue
  • relieved by gas with strong odor
  • relieved by gas with light odor
  • relieved by belching with strong odor
  • relieved by belching with light odor
  • aggravated by stress
  • worse in the afternoon

  • IBS due to Excess Cold

    Excess cold? What's that mean? Well, you know how you can catch a cold? Its like the cold weather gets into your body and causes all of those symptoms that we associate with the common cold. Excess cold is much the same thing, but instead of it ending up in your nose or chest, it ends up in your abdomen and wreaks havoc on your digestive system.

    According to Chinese medical theory, the Spleen (the key digestion organ) requires a certain amount of heat to work efficiently. If there is cold stuck in the area surrounding the Spleen and/or Stomach then the movement of Qi energy is hampered as is the ability of the Spleen to digest the food which is what causes the usual IBS symptoms such as diarrhea. But its the cold that gives rise to a very severe pain. One that causes you to double over in pain. That is unique to cold stagnation, that it could cause one to curl up in an instinctive attempt to warm the area that has been invaded by the cold. You may also find that a warm bath will help alleviate the pain.

    It is assumed that the cold got there from the outside, but it isn't always easy to track down a time in which you were physically cold to determine the moment in which the cold entered the body. There are many ways in which this can happen and sometimes the cold can get inside of you but remain sort of dormant for a while, perhaps months, until it suddenly becomes an painful issue for you.

    blue-purple tongue body

    The excess cold tongue can look blue, purple or pale. This is an example of a bluish-purple tongue that may belong to someone with internal cold causing problems in the digestion.

    The cold does two things to the IBS patient. It causes pain due to the stagnation of Qi in the body. In much the same way that when your hands are cold it is difficult to move the fingers, so it is that cold on the inside of the body will stagnate the flow of Qi energy and this is what causes the severe pain. Because the flow of this all important Qi energy is hampered, the movement of the Stomach or intestinal contents is hampered leading to constipation. The bowels just aren't moving their contents because of the cold.

    There is another manifestation that results from cold in the Spleen and that is simply put, really lousy digestion which leads to profuse diarrhea, often times with undigested bits of food found within it, or perhaps mucus in the diarrhea as well. The mucus is the dampness that is created by the Spleen when its functioning becomes inefficient due to the fact that it just isn't warm enough to do its job. Its kind of like an engine that is difficult to start in the coldest part of the winter. The base formula used for this particular issue of cold in the digestive area of the body is called Da Jian Zhong Tang (Major Construct the Middle Decoction). It warms the cold in the digestive organs, alleviates the pain and helps the intestinal Qi move downward better just as nature intended. This is a very strong formula and should it be taken for these symptoms that are not due to excess cold, it can cause problems, so be sure to only take this formula under the supervision of a duly licensed practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, or your great aunt from Taiwan. You really don't want to say "no" to her anyway.

    Other formulas that may be appropriate in the wake of excess cold:

    • Constipation with severe abdominal pain, try Da Huang Fu Zi Tang

    • Constipation Better with warmth, try Liang Fu Wan

    • Severe pain in the abdomen that is aggravated by cold, try Liang Fu Wan

      All of the formulas mentioned in this article are widely available at Chinese medicine pharmacies, though the so-called patent medicines that you'll find there aren't always as strong as they could be. These formulas come in a variety of different forms and strengths and your friendly neighborhood herbalist can assist you in obtaining them as is appropriate.

      You can purchase any of the formulas mentioned in this article by simply clicking on their names. Another option is to obtain this formula modified for your unique situation from Beyond Well Being.

      Be Well.

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