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Do you often feel bloated after having a meal? Or find yourself belching a lot despite hours after having your last meal? If you experience any of that, you are probably having indigestion. Excessive saliva, heartburn and phlegm are also signs of this digestive disorder. 

In some severe cases, along with indigestion, acid reflux can also occur. Patients who have acid reflux will often feel a burning pain in their chest. This happens when the stomach acid along with its content flows back to the oesophagus because the muscular valve that connects the oesophagus and stomach is not functioning properly to keep the gastric acid in the stomach. In the long run, this can damage the lining of the oesophagus. 

中医, indigestion is seen as a sign of imbalance in the yin and yang in the stomach. This can be due to their lifestyle habits such as smoking, unhealthy diet, alcohol and also being on certain medications. 

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TCM physicians will aim to balance the yin and yang in the stomach by regulating the flow of QI in the stomach through herbal medication, acupuncture as well as acupressure massage. 

To keep indigestion at bay, here are 3 TCM herbs that can help to strengthen your stomach!

1. Dried Orange Peels [Chen Pi]

Since the ancient times, the Chinese have been drying the peels of an orange or tangerine instead of throwing them away like what most of us would do now. Eating orange peels can help to stop nausea and vomiting, as well as bloating. In TCM, the orange peel’s natural bitterness can help to dispel dampness that is affecting appetite from the body. 

2. Hawthorn [Shan Zha]

Shan Zha, also known as Hawthorn is one of the common herbs that you can easily find around TCM stores in Singapore. They are usually sold as dried hawthorns in packets which you can let it steep in hot water and drink it as tea. It is recommended to drink a cup after each meal. Other than aiding in the digestion of foods especially oily and fatty foods, hawthorn is also known for its cardiovascular health benefits! 

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3. Ginger

Ginger is one of the most well-known herb to dispel wind from your tummy and help to relieve bloating. It helps to dispel the wind and dampness in your body.  

Cut a few slices of ginger and let it steep in hot water for a few minutes. Add some honey for taste and you have a delicious cup of honey ginger tea that can help you to get rid of indigestion! Adding honey is also good for soothing the throat! 

Other than drinking ginger tea, you can also purchase ginger candy that is more convenient for when you’re on-the-go! Though ginger is good, it is recommended that you take no more than 3-4grams of ginger per day as too much consumption can lead to heartburn and a burning sensation in your throat.