Traditional Chinese medicine has a rich history of herbs for stomach pain. Rooted in centuries-old tradition and bolstered by modern research, these herbs offer a holistic approach to addressing digestive discomfort. Whether you’re seeking relief from occasional discomfort or aiming for a more balanced digestive system, this blog aims to illuminate the natural remedies that could make a meaningful difference in your well-being.
Chinese Herbs for Stomach Pain – Scientific Support
Si Ni San is a formula in traditional Chinese medicine consisting of four herbs: Bupleuri radix (Chaihu), Paeoniae radix alba (Shaoyao), Aurantii fructus immaturus (Zhishi), and Glycyrrhizae radix et Rhisoma (Gancao). These herbs target disturbances in GI reflux and irritation.
The review analyzed 83 studies with a total of 7,762 participants. The research reported outcomes based on symptoms relief, GI endoscopy, radiology, and pathology. The study suggested that Si Ni San significantly improved all three disorders, especially lower GI disorders.
Because Si Ni San can target GI issues along the entire GI tract, This formula is incredibly helpful for a large range of GI pathologies!
Functional Dyspepsia Pain
In functional dyspepsia, indigestion occurs without an obvious cause. An individual may feel pain or burning in the stomach after eating. Physicians may recommend a prokinetic or a proton pump inhibitor for functional dyspepsia. Prokinetics strive to increase motility in the stomach to support digestion. However, these pharmaceuticals have limited effectiveness for functional dyspepsia.
The review found Chinese herbal medicine to be an effective alternative for stomach pain and inflammation symptoms of functional dyspepsia symptoms. Notably, the herbal formulas were found to be more effective than prokinetic drugs for the alleviation of dyspeptic symptoms.
The researchers’ findings supported the effective use of LJZT and XSLJZT as therapies of functional dyspepsia. The study did not find side effects for these herbal formulas. Controversially, prokinetic drugs cause side effects such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and even an upset stomach. (Aren’t those the symptoms you are trying to relieve in the first place?)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) manifests as abdominal pain and a change in bowel habits. The syndrome can be quite disruptive to an individual’s day because not only is it painful, but an individual may find themselves needing to excuse themselves to go to the bathroom often and/or sit in pain because they cannot find relief.
Chinese herbs for stomach pain and inflammation vs Antispasmodics
Chinese herbal medicine
Abdominal pain and stomach aches may be due to spasms in the stomach. Antispasmodics are drugs that help calm smooth these muscle contractions in the GI tract, but not without an unfortunate list of negative side effects.
One example is Glycyrrhiza uralensis, commonly known as Chinese liquorice. Glycycoumarin, an isolate from the herb, inhibits the spasmodic activity of carbamylcholine, a chemical that normally induces contractions in the middle of the small intestine.
This study showed significant efficacy for these herbs to manage spasmodic disorders and related stomach pain.
Abdominal pain is caused by a variety of insults, from food poisoning to chronic irritable bowel syndrome. Chinese herbal medicine offers a plethora of effective formulas for abdominal pain relief. The above studies show how these formulas not only offer significant pain relief but also may be even more effective than some pharmaceutical alternatives.