Safe Chinese Herbs for the Stomach

Herbs & Alternative Medicine for the Stomach

Stomach Problems And Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • Stomach Pain
  • Alternative Chinese Medicine for Stomach Pain
  • Chinese Alternative Medicine for Nausea & Acid Reflux
  • Herbs for Ulcers

Stomach Problems and TCM

There are many kinds of stomach problems. Indigestion, bloating, belching, nausea, acid reflux (GIRD), stomach ulcers, and stomach cancer to name a few. These stomach problems are all far too common, and some can be avoided by lifestyle changes alone. For stomach problems lasting more than a few days, be sure to first check with your doctor to rule out serious or life-threatening conditions.

There is a vast difference in the way Western medicine and Chinese medicine understands and treats these stomach problems. We believe that traditional Chinese medicine actually has a better understanding and far more effective and safe treatment for many of these stomach conditions. Traditional Chinese medicine, it should be understood, is about energy, flow, and balance. If your organs are cooperating with each other (balance), and your body has enough energy (qi) circulating properly (flow), you are well. If your organs are not functioning in harmony with each other, or if your energy flow is deficient or constrained or blocked, you are ill or will become ill. 

Causes of Stomach Pain

According to the principles of Chinese medicine;” Where there is pain, there is poor flow.” There are numerous important flows that can affect the stomach. These include the flow of food, Spleen qi (digestive energy), and yin fluids such as blood to nourish the organs, mucus to lubricate the organs, and digestive enzymes and acids needed for digestion. A restriction of any of these flows can cause both stomach pain and other digestive problems. Healing stomach problems often lies with diagnosing the cause of the flow problem and prescribing the right life changes and Chinese medicine to restore normal flow of qi, blood, food, or fluids.

As these conditions can be complex, we recommend seeing a licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine to obtain a diagnosis. People, despite what they may think, often don’t know much about their own bodies. I have had hundreds of patients who complained of stomach pain. When I asked them to point to where it hurt, more than half pointed to their intestines. Most stomach pain is within 1-3 inches of the body’s midline.

Common diagnosis of stomach pain include:

  • Food Stagnation Or Indigestion
  • Stomach Or Spleen Qi Deficiency
  • Stomach Fire
  • Stomach Cold
  • Liver Invading Stomach
  • Clumping Of Heat And Cold 


Chinese Medicine for Stomach Issues

Of course, the right herbs or herbal medicine depends on the right diagnosis. Obviously, the medicines used for indigestion are different from those used for ulcers. The following Chinese medicines are frequently used to treat various sources of stomach pain.

Food Stagnation

Mild food poisoning, or indigestion (acute onset with possible cramping, nausea, and bloating)-

Stomach Curing Pills


Stomach Fire

(acute sharp or burning ulcer like pain and/or bad breath:

BAI HE SAN – White Tiger Powder

Stomach Cold

(often achy pain relieved by the application of warmth)

SHENG JIANG – Ginger root or Dried Ginger Root tea

Liver Invades Stomach

(belching, bloating, cramping, constipation alternating with loose stool, worsens under stress)

SHU GAN WAN – Soothe the Liver Pill


mixed heat and cold

 Complicated condition requires expert diagnosis. No products noted. 

Alternative Medicine and Herbs for Nausea and Acid Reflux

In the terminology of Chinese medicine, both of these conditions are regarded as symptoms rather than actual diseases. Both conditions are caused by “rebelious stomach qi”. Digestive energy is supposed to go down. When this flow is reversed, symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and acid reflux result. As in the treatment of stomach pain, rebellious stomach qi must be diagnosed before it can be cured.

Common causes are:

Weak stomach qi – Ping Wei San

Emotional disturbance – Chai Hu Shu Gan Wan

Improper eating habits – Eating slowly and mindfully at regular intervals

Morning sickness – Stomach Curing Pills

Herbs for Ulcers

Western medicine believes that stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers are caused by a bacteria known as H. Pylori. Studies have shown the presence of these organisms where ulcers are found. These bacteria are unusual because the acid nature of the stomach usually destroys most other bacteria. Practitioners of Chinese medicine believe that other conditions in the stomach bring about ulcers and perhaps create a favorable environment for H. pylori to breed. These conditions include a deficiency of stomach yin (moistening fluids) as well as the existence of either stomach fire and/or stomach cold. These conditions may be caused by improper eating habits or the long-term stress of emotional excess.

Chinese Medicine for Ulcers

Wei Te Ling