After eating big meals, some people experience what is called heart-burn or acid reflux. It refers to the abrupt bringing up of gastric contents into the esophagus producing inflammation or pain in the chest. It occurs with or without regurgitation of food.
In Chinese Herbal Medicine, the main patterns present in this condition are:
· Liver-Stomach/Spleen disharmony caused by long-term emotional upset,
· Cold dampness developed from excessive consumption of raw and cold foods, or
· Food stagnation in the Stomach caused by dietary irregularities
Because of the complexity of this condition, not a single herb but a formula is more effective in alleviating symptoms and/or working to address the root cause of the problem. Below are two exemplary formulas historically used for acid reflux in the traditions of Chinese and Ayurvedic herbal medicine.
Bao He Wan: Used for food stagnation with intermittent acid reflux, a burning feeling in the chest, nausea, vomiting of sour fluids, belching with offending odor and poor appetite, constipation or diarrhea. This formula relives food stagnation and harmonizes the Stomach. Contraindicated with Stomach and Spleen weakness.
Avipattikar Churna: Used for pitta aggravation with heat, acid regurgitation, sour taste, thirst, undigested food, and constipation. It is mildly laxative carrying acid toxins that are inflammatory out of the intestines. It reduces acid and burning in the chest and stomach areas.
If you have a health issue, are taking medications, are pregnant or lactating, it is best to consult with a clinical herbalist before use.
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