Aromatic Spices for Digestion – Warm the Middle.

With the global pandemic of Covid 19 or Coronavirus, Chinese Hospitals are seeing many patients not only display upper respiratory symptoms of sore throat, fever and cough, but also digestive symptoms.

CBS News: Almost half of Coronavirus patients have digestive symptoms, study finds.

Traditional Chinese Medicine talks about "keeping your middle warm". This dates back to a school of thought in Ancient China. These scholars wrote a famous medical classic called the Pi Wei Lun (Treatise on the Spleen) and firmly believed in looking after your digestion.

Just as now we understand more fully the connections between the Gut, Immune system and Brain, these scholars believed a strong Spleen/ Digestive system was the key to good preventative health.  We don't want to panic people any more than what's already happened with current situations. So let's look at some helpful tips to help keep your middle warm and strengthen your digestive system; another gateway to your immune system.

Warming Spices, not Chilli.

Warming Spices are all your delicious curry spices; Think Indian food!

Cinnamon, Cardamon, Ginger, Fennel, Fenugreek, Clove, Star Anise, Cassia, Black Pepper and more. In Chinese Medicine (CM) we call them aromatics and they are not too overpowering in the heat department, but enough to stimulate digestion.

Some Indian favourites that incorporate these spices:

  • Samosa - Vegetarian or Carnivore
  • Korma - Vegetable or Chicken, Lamb
  • Massaman - Beef
  • Rogan Josh
  • Tikka Masala
  • Vegetarian Dal - Channa Dal, Mung Dal, Dal Makhani, Yellow split pea Dal.

Chilli is too hot. Chilli lovers that are hooked on the scorching kick it gives may be generating too much heat for their digestion and body, presenting with sign and symptoms of thirst, sweating, red ruddy face, red tongue, restlessness at night, insomnia, skin rashes and skin dryness.

Lets take a closer look at some of the Aromatics we use in Chinese Medicine:

Cinnamon Twigs

Cinnamon Twigs (Gui Zhi)

  • Acrid, sweet and warm. Warms the meridians, releases the muscle layer to relieve pain. Expels cold, transforms thin mucus. Dispersing and warming into the chest, warms the Yang. Warms the middle and directs turbid yin and phlegm downwards.
  • How to use: Stewed apples and pears with Cinnamon.


Cassia Bark / Cinnamon Quills (Rou Gui)

  • Strengthens and warms Kidney and Spleen, works on a deeper layer and more interior than Cinnamon twigs. Disperses deep cold, warms the meridians, eases pain. Assists in the generation of Qi & Blood.
  • How to use: Beef Massaman

Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang)

Dried Ginger

Fresh Ginger (Sheng Jiang)

Fresh Ginger

  • Warms the stomach, disperses cold, important herb for easing vomiting, harmonises stomach, reinforces spleen.
  • How to use: Grate fresh ginger into a glass of boiling water and drink as a tea or Ginger Crunch Recipe thanks to Be Good Organics

Fennel (Xiao Hui Xiang)


Cardamon (Sha Ren)

Heading into the colder Winter months and with viruses about, keep in mind these tips to keep your digestion functioning at optimal levels. Keep warming your middle with aromatic spices and don't over do it with the chilli.

For more support on keeping your middle warm and your digestive health optimal with prescription Chinese herbs, please make contact at



Sources: American -


Digestion; warm the middle

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