Preventing Montezuma’s Revenge with Chinese Herbs

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Chinese herbs for digestion

Anything with the word “revenge” can’t be good.   Commonly called Montezuma’s revenge, traveler’s diarrhea is a common illness for adventurers.

Traveler’s diarrhea was a concern of mine when we were trekking in Peru.  I’ve always known that I had a sensitive stomach when traveling, and I remember getting sick when in other countries.  I wanted to try to avoid it on this trip.

I was still in graduate school during my Peru trip, and I did not have that much experience with treating traveler’s diarrhea.  I asked my favorite teacher, Dr. Kejian Xiao, who is a master herbalist about what to take for traveler’s diarrhea.

Herbs for Traveler’s Diarrhea

First, need to observe the intensity and symptoms.

If you have mild upset stomach, mild to moderate diarrhea, possible slight nausea, slight chills, no pain or burning, then you need to use a formula that will warm the stomach.  This formula is Huo Xiang Zheng Qi tang.

This formula is aromatic and it helps to warm the stomach and the digestion.  Many of these herbs are helpful for killing bacteria in food such as zi su ye, perilla leaf, and ginger.   Perilla leaf and ginger are both commonly eaten with sushi.  Not only do they add to the taste, but also help to mitigate any possibility of bacteria in the foods.

Huo xiang zheng qi tang
 is a very safe formula.  But in some people it can slow down the digestion.

For more severe symptoms and burning, the huang lian su may be a better choice.

Huang lian su is an extract from the herb huang lian which is called berberine.  This herb is very strong anti biotic properties as well as immunological regulatory properties. Berberine has been shown to stop diarrhea.  It is very bitter and cold and can lead to cause constipation.

Regulating your stomach after getting sick is also important

The best formula for this is called Curing Pills. Curing pills are a great remedy for digestive issues.  They are mild and help to regulate digestion, ease bloating, and constipation to help your stomach recover. Acupuncture is very effective for constipation.

Joseph Alban

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.

Joseph Alban is a Doctor of Acupuncture, New York Licensed Acupuncturist, and NCCAOM Board Certified Herbalist providing the highest quality Acupuncture and Chinese medicine care tailored to your needs.

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