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The digestive tract is governed by the Spleen and Stomach (Pi Wei). Functionally, the Stomach includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach and small intestine and is potentially sensitive to over- and under- consumption of food and liquid. Irregularity in eating may occasionally impede the ability of the Stomach Qi to smoothly regulate peristalsis and the healthy movement of food and liquid through the GI tract. The healthy activity of the Stomach enables the Spleen to receive the pure digestate (Gu Qi) essential for producing the Pure Essence (Hou Tian Zi Jing) necessary for daily life. On the other hand, if food stagnation or accumulation (Shi Ji) develops, the Spleen may be compelled to transform and process excessive Moisture and impure substances, leading to stagnation and insufficiency of Qi and Moisture and the emergence of Dampness and Phlegm.

Food is a cultural force a means for gratifying social intercourse and a metaphor for personal fulfillment. Overeating, missing meals, eating too fast, inadequate food preparation, abuse of coffee, alcohol, fat and sugar, food intolerances and parasites, as well as psychological and physical stress, all infringe upon the human gut. Our sometimes unbalanced relationships with food and eating constitute a complex and knotty problem in modern society. Beginning in early childhood, eating habits profoundly affect our growth, development and immunity.

Regardless of the formative conditions out of which many disharmonies of the Spleen and Stomach arise, herbs that prevent and eliminate food stagnation provide a gentle and positive method for supporting good digestion and contributing to the improvement and maintenance of human health.

Middle Mover assists digestion, regulates Qi and activates peristalsis. It is appropriate for almost everyone, benefiting those with occasionally sluggish digestion, whether excess or deficient, undernourished or overindulgent.

RATIONALE

The core ingredients in the formula are Chinese hawthorn fruit and Medicated leaven (wheat, apricot seed). In addition to their particular value in the elimination of food stagnation and accumulation, Chinese hawthorn fruit and Medicated leaven have enzymatic effects on protein (especially meat), fat and carbohydrates.

Chinese hawthorn fruit contains naturally occurring enzymes that benefit the digestion of fats and proteins. Medicated leaven also aids in the digestion and absorption of mineral rich herbs and foods.

Poria harmonizes the Middle Burner, strengthens the Spleen and, when used with ginger cured Pinellia rhizome and Tangerine dried rind of mature fruit, counters the Dampness and Phlegm that are generated by excessive amounts of food in the stomach and small intestine. Quisqualis fruit, Radish seed and Chinese rhubarb rhizome and root support the downward movement of Stomach Qi, encouraging normal peristalsis and promoting intestinal regularity. Saussurea root with Tangerine dried rind of mature fruit and dry fried Bitter orange mature and immature fruit regulate the Qi in the Middle Burner, alleviating occasional reflux, gas and bloating. Finally, Chinese amomum fruit strengthens the Stomach, supports the appetite and allays occasional nausea, while Forsythia fruit clears the Heat and dispels the Du generated by stagnation, fermentation and undercooked, spoiled or contaminated food.