22 January, 2020 PULSE TCM

Chinese New Year Health Tips

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, it is important to take care of our health while indulging in this festive season. Here are some common issues and tips to counter it.

Tip 1: Managing indigestion with Acupressure and Hawthorn Green Tea

When faced with the variety of delicacies available, it’s a challenge not to overeat. One of the most obvious signs of overeating is the feeling of bloating, which is an indication of indigestion. Other symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, undigested food in stools, and pungent stools.

Hawthorn (山楂) is a Chinese fruit used in Chinese medicine concoction to aid in digesting food. Coupled with fat-burning green tea, this drink can ease indigestion symptoms after a greasy meal. However, pregnant women and people with diabetes or acid reflux should take it with caution.

 


How to prepare it

Step 1: Prepare a sachet of green tea bag and 2-3 slices of dried hawthorn.
Step 2: Add 250ml of boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes

 

Acupressure:

  1. EX-UE10, 四缝 ‘Si Feng’

Located on the palmar surface, in the midpoint of the transverse creases of the proximal interphalangeal joints of the index, middle, ring and little fingers. Massage these 4 points!

  1. CV10, 下脘 ‘Xia Wan’

Located on the anterior median line of the upper abdomen, 2.0 inches (or 3 finger widths) above the umbilicus.

 

  1. ST36, 足三里 ‘Zu San Li’

Located 3 inches (or 4 finger widths) down from the dent at the anterolateral of the knee cap. 

 

Tip 2: Relieving nausea with Acupressure and Ginger Tea

Other accompanying symptoms of indigestion include nausea. Ginger tea can be taken to reduce any nausea felt.


How to prepare it

Step 1: Prepare a packet of ginger powder or 2-3 slices of ginger
Step 2: Add 250ml of boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes
Step 3: Add honey/rock sugar to taste (optional) 

 

Acupressure:

  1. PC 6, 内关 ‘Nei Guan’

Located on the inner forearm at a three-finger distance from the wrist crease, between two tendons. Apply prolonged and constant pressure for 2-3 minutes directly on the acupoint using your thumb. Release for 5 seconds and repeat the process till the symptoms are relieved. 

 

Tip 3: Relieving sore throat with Manuka Honey Lemon drink

Lemon is packed with vitamin C and antibacterial properties. Together with the anti-inflammatory effects of Manuka honey, it is great for soothing the throat and boosting immunity.


How to prepare it

Step 1: Prepare 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey and 2 slices of lemon
Step 2: Add 250ml of warm/room temperature water and let it steep for 5 minutes

 

Tip 4: Countering ‘heaty’ symptoms with Acupressure and Green Bean Soup

TCM emphasises on the balancing of ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’. ‘Heaty’ relates to ‘Yang’ while ‘cooling’ relates to ‘Yin’.

Chinese New Year delicacies such as bakkwa, pineapple tarts, love letters and sambal prawn rolls are classified as ‘heaty’ foods as it causes inflammatory symptoms in the body when consumed in excess. These symptoms include sore throat, constipation, yellow urine, or preference for cold food. 

To balance the Yin-Yang equilibrium, ‘cooling’ food can be consumed to counter these ‘heaty’ symptoms. During this occasion, green bean soup acts as a great ‘cooling’ dessert by bringing down the body temperature with its high-water content.

(For more information about the TCM theory of ‘heaty’ and ‘cooling’, click here)

How to prepare it

Step 1: Rinse 150g of green beans in a pot
Step 2: Add 2 litres of water and start boiling
Step 3: Partially cover the pot and simmer for about 45 minutes
Step 4: Add a small amount of rock sugar to taste (optional)

 

Acupressure:

  1. LV3,  太冲 ‘Tai Chong’

Located in the groove between the first and second metatarsal bones of the feet. Massage this point using your thumb for around 30 seconds to 1 minute.

 

  1. LI4, 合谷 ‘He Gu’

Located at the back of the palm in between the thumb and index finger metacarpi. Massage for about 1 minute using the thumb on your opposing hand. 

 

  1. HT9, 少冲 ‘Shao Chong’

Located at the base of the pinky finger nail at the lateral side. Using your thumb on the opposing hand, massage this point for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until you feel a slight soreness.

 

Tip 5: Curing hangover with Ge Hua Tea

During this festive season of feasting and drinking, some might experience a hangover after consuming alcoholic beverages. Ge Hua(葛花), Pueraria lobata, has is used in ancient remedies to treat alcohol intoxication due to its effectiveness in lowering blood alcohol level. 


How to prepare it

Step 1: Prepare 3g of Ge Hua
Step 2: Add 250ml of boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes
Step 3: Add honey/rock sugar to taste (optional) 

 

Tip 6: Reducing blood glucose with Mulberry Leaf Tea 

Chinese New Year goodies, especially pineapple tarts, contain a high amount of sugar. It can contribute to a spike in our blood glucose level and this is a major concern, particularly in diabetic patients. Apart from limiting our sugar intake, Mulberry leaf (桑叶) tea can be taken for better blood glucose level management due to its blood glucose and lipid lowering effect. 

How to prepare it

Step 1: Prepare 3g of Mulberry leaves
Step 2: Add 250ml of boiling water and let it steep for 5 minutes
Step 3: Add honey/rock sugar to taste (optional) 

 

Tip 7: Adding Chinese herbs to steamboat broth 

Steamboat is a staple during this season. Instead of the usual chicken broth, Chinese herbs can be added for a healthier alternative.

 

 

Tip 8: Exercising 1-2 hours after a meal 

Don’t rush into exercising after a guilty meal. The blood vessels connecting to the skeletal muscles dilate during a workout to provide nutrients required while the blood vessels connecting to the digestive system constrict. A decrease in blood flow to the digestive system affects the breakdown and absorption of food, which contributes to indigestion. Whether you’re taking a stroll or doing intense exercise, there should be a 1-2 hour window after your meal to prevent indigestion.

 

Article by Physician Klaryce, Charlotte, and Yuan Ming

 

Note: Information provided is not a substitute for a physician or any form of medical care. Individual symptoms differ due to different body constitutions and diagnosis. One should consult a licensed TCM practitioner for accurate diagnosis and treatment.