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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 Yin or Blood Deficiency

    There are basically four substances and energies that we work with in traditional Chinese medicine. They are Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood. Yang and Qi are warm and active. That's like metabolic heat and metabolism itself. The Yin and Blood are more physical. Yin is the body fluids and Blood is specifically that red stuff that vampires are so fond of. Chinese medicine gives Blood some other functions too. Biomedicine considers these functions to be hormones and neurotransmitters.

    The key point here is that Yin and Blood are necessary in the Large Intestine for the proper passage of the stools. Should either Yin or Blood be deficient, you can have dry stools that are difficult to pass.

    The Yin deficiency tongue can lack coating. If the problem is advanced, the tongue can appear more red than the usual pink as well.

    red tongue, scanty coating

    The Stomach Yin deficiency tongue indicates that the Yin deficiency is limited to the Stomach and/or intestines. In this case we might see patches of tongue coating missing. We call this a geographic tongue coating because of the resemblance of the coating to a map.

    geographic tongue coating

    The Blood deficiency tongue simply looks pale in color. No Blood, no red. Simple is good.

    pale tongue body

    Yin deficiency's no fun. So what to do? Well, we would probably take a look at herbal medicines and formulas to help lubricate the Large Intestine so that the stools flow out better. Acupuncture is utilized to regulate the Stomach and intestines as well. There are four points on the abdomen called "the four doors" that help with both constipation and diarrhea.

    One herbal formula in particular is wonderful for this kind of dry stooled constipation. Its called Wu Ren Tang. Wu Ren Tang translates to Five Seed Tea. Basically, the herbs in this formula are all seeds. Seeds are great for lubricating the intestines for two reasons. One is that in seeds there tends to be some oil which ultimately helps to lubricate the intestines. The other reason is that these seeds in particular have the unique ability to assist the body's creation of more Blood and Yin/body fluids. This ends up lubricating the intestines and the stool passage.

    There are a variety of herbs in fact to help with the creation of Yin and/or Blood. The category of herbs that we call Yin tonics have the capability to act upon the Kidneys in such a way as to prevent all the fluids escaping as urine. They help the kidneys reabsorb more water for those who are thirsty all the time or those who have one of many symptoms of dehydration including constipation, dry lips, dry mouth, constant thirst, hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, or hot palms and soles.

    Blood deficiency signs include insomnia, dry eyes, hair loss, brittle nails, dry skin and a few other things above and beyond the usual fatigue and dizziness that commonly arrives with the Western diagnosis of anemia.

    Points on the Spleen channel can help generate more blood and points on the Lung and Kidney channels are used to generate more Yin for the body.

    If either of these scenarios are sounding familiar, you'd probably benefit from either an herbal formula for strengthening your Yin or your Blood. In the meantime, a little flax seed oil in your diet might help to move things out that are slow to make their exits.

    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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