The winter holidays are coming and with it, a meal with with family and friends. However, we sometimes tend to eat a bit too much during these holiday feasts, which can make us feel bloated and uncomfortable. In Chinese tradition, tea made from certain herbs is served at the end of a meal, so it makes the discomfort a little more manageable. This way, everyone could continue to enjoy having fun.
Overeating is considered "Food Stagnation" in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This means that there is a problem digesting food and it's going through the Digestion track slower than normal. There could be several reasons for the stagnation, so the tea depends on what was served with the meal. A tea from Hawthorn (山楂 - Shān Zhā) is used for food stagnation from too much meat or greasy food, radish seed tea (萊菔子 - Lái Fú Zǐ) helps with acid foods that cause regurgitation, and Shén Qū (神麴) is used for any type of slight digestion issues.
While Hawthorn by itself is a good tea to use daily for heart health, it is usually combined with other herbs to supplement the effect. Two other herbs to work well with it are orange peels and magnolia bark. Orange peel (陳皮 - Chén Pí) also help with food stagnation and aid digestion, much like hawthorn, but it also helps in taking away bloating in the upper part of the stomach by the diaphragm. Magnolia bark (厚朴 - Hòu Pò) helps relieve distension in the stomach area and is made stronger when combined with orange peel.
If this tea sounds like something you'd like to try out, we'd like to let you know we now have it available! In our online store, we now sell a digestive tea with hawthorn, orange peels, and magnolia. While great by itself, you can also use your own tea to add more flavor. We would recommend Pu'Er tea for its ability to lower cholesterol, help digestion, and stress relief. Oolong tea also works very well for its cholesterol management and antioxidants.
Be aware that hawthorn has a similar effect to the medication Digoxin (Lanoxin). If you happen to use Digoxin daily, be sure to speak with your Physician first before using the tea.