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Chinese Medicine, Nausea, Abdominal Discomfort and Late Summer

Late Summer is the short time period between seasons that most of us don’t give any attention. This is the transition time from one season to the next. Late Summer is that time where we go from the expansion of spring and summer, to the time of the inward and cooler months of Fall and Winter. This time between has to do with harmony, being centered, and unity. One of the greatest strengths of Chinese Medicine, is to recognize that different times of year have relationships with different Organ Systems. This time of year, has to do with the Spleen-pancreas/Stomach organ systems. One thing I notice this time of year is the increase of people with digestive issues such as nausea and abdominal discomfort. One reason this happens is the Spleen-pancreas and Stomach organ systems are not working optimally, and most of us are not transitioning our diet to foods better for this time of year. I see this a lot in clinic with children as well as adults. This complaint of nausea and abdominal discomfort for one to two weeks. It is not always a viral or bacterial issue. However, consult your medical doctor if you’re having abdominal discomfort and/or nausea.

So, what does this mean? How can I use this to better myself?

If we understand that this time of year has to do with the spleen-pancreas & stomach. We can alter what we eat during this time to decrease symptoms. Especially if we are someone who already has a spleen & stomach that is not working optimally. Symptoms of this system include bloating, nausea, poor appetite, and possible loose bowels.

Foods that help with strengthening the Spleen-pancreas/Stomach organ system include corn, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, squash, yams, sweet potatoes, rice, apricots, peas, and ginger root. Look towards simple dishes, keep the spices moderate, and cooking instead of raw is better at this time. Ginger root is one of my all-time favorite herbs though. It has the ability to break down protein foods such as meats and beans. As well as, help with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, aches and spasms. You can add to your hot tea, salads, and there are numerous ways to cook with ginger. Just don’t use this herb if you see any signs of heat.

As a side note, use ginger for nausea induced by chemotherapy too. Couple of articles of interest.