Food for thought: Home remedies for combating Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pains:

*Remember if the pain persists, please see your primary care physician*

Simplest causes of abdominal pain:

  1. Pathogenic cold: This can occur in two ways: Catching a cold (cold by nature) or Overeating raw or cold food

Common symptoms include: Strong cramp-like pains, scanty and runny stools, cold feet and hands, aversion to cold

*These symptoms may be relieved by covering the abdomen and applying warmth and ingesting hot or warming foods.

  1. Blocked digestion of food:

Common symptoms: abdominal pains accompanied by heartburn, indigestion, lack of appetite, possibly diarrhea.

*These symptoms may be relieved by having a bowel movement. If the poor digestion is due to a weak Stomach/Spleen then the cramps may grow worse when you are overtired or hungry.

  1. Psychological distress:k.a. Anger, Worry, Frustration all block the free flow of qi in the body. In turn, these emotions weaken the Liver, Spleen and Stomach causing bloating and abdominal pains.

Below are a couple of simple recipes you can do at home to help combat abdominal pains:

Garlic and Ginger Broth:

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

2 tsp. (10 grams) minced fresh or dry ginger

4 tsp. (20 grams) brown sugar

2 cups (500 mL) water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Boil for 15 minutes over a low flame.

Drink the broth hot to warm, as often as you would like. Eat the garlic and ginger pieces.

Ginger Vinegar:

*Kept in many Chinese homes for emergency treatment of abdominal pains*

½ cup (100 grams) fresh ginger, thinly sliced

1 cup (250 mL) rice wine vinegar

Place the ginger and vinegar together in a bottle. Cap the bottle and store. (The longer the vinegar is stored the better. Ideally you should leave it for a month, but a few hours will do in an emergency.)

Take 2 tsp. every morning on an empty stomach.

*Sometimes garlic is added for a richer brew. In this case use ½ cup of ginger, ½ cup of Whole garlic cloves and 2 cups of vinegar. Add the garlic whole.

Cinnamon Water:

1 tsp. (5 grams) ground cinnamon

1 glass warm water

Dissolve the cinnamon in the water. Drink slowly. For maximum effectiveness this remedy should be taken three times a day.

Sesame, Walnut and Ginger paste:

¾ cup (150 grams) sesame seeds

¾ cup (150 grams) walnut meats

¾ cup (150 grams) dried ginger, chopped

¾ cup (185 mL) honey

Grind the sesame seeds, walnuts and ginger into a medium-grained powder, using

preferably a stone grinder or a pestle. Roast the powder in a dry frying pan or wok

for 2 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Transfer the powder to a small bowl. Mix

with honey while still hot.

Take ½ cup (100 grams) of paste on an empty stomach whenever you suffer from

abdominal cramps and pains.

Hot salt compress:

1 cup (250 grams) rock salt

Dry cloth towel or muslin bag

Heat the salt in a dry frying pan or wok. When the salt starts to crack, transfer it to a dry towel or cloth bag. (If you are using a towel, fold it to create a pouch for containing the salt)

Apply to your abdomen for five-ten minutes while lying down. Repeat 3 times a day (reusing the salt)

Source: The Healing Cuisine of China: 300 recipes for vibrant health and longevity by ZHUO ZHAO & George Ellis

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