Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pills for the tummy!

If you read my blog, you know I have a sensitive tummy. Irritable Bowel Syndrome they call it.

Lucky for me and Mum, we found out early what triggers my tummy upset - nasty things like artificial flavorings and colors, and unnatural ingredients in some foods and treats.

The nice thing is that Mum never gives me that kind of stuff, but on occasion I'll pick up something off the ground that another pup left, or the nice retired guys down the street will sneak me something when we're on our walks and visit with them.

A few times, in past years my IBS got so bad I was sick for a week. One time it turned into gastroenteritis and I was out for over a week, missed an agility trial too. During that bout, we talked at length with our vet and she prescribed some Chinese Herbs that would help settle my tummy faster, so that I wouldn't have to go through the suffering and constant trips outside, or hopefully miss a coveted agility trial!

I have to say that this herb has been a lifesaver (well, at least a belly saver) many times over the past few years, not only for me, but for Gracie too when she get's into something she's not supposed to.

So what is this herb? It's called Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Wan. Kind of a weird name, but it is a Chinese Herb.

We looked it up and here are some of the ingredients: Agastache rugosa herb, Atractylodes macrocephala rhizome, Magnolia officinalis bark, Platycodon grandiflorum root, Citrus reticulata peel, Glycyrrhiza uralensis root, Pinellia ternata rhizome, Areca catechu peel, Angelica dahurica root, Perilla frutescens leaf, Poria cocos fungus, Ziziphus jujuba fruit, Zingiber officinale rhizome-fresh

At first we didn't know what all that ingredients was good for so we looked it all up. Here's a bit of a rundown:

Agastache rugosa herb - also known as Korean Mint, promotes sweating for the breaking of fevers. Improves digestion, and the highly potent anti-oxidants boost the immune system in the prevention of infection.

Atractylodes macrocephala rhizome - Atractylodes is thought to dry dampness, strengthen the Spleen or digestion, and promote diuresis, the formation and excretion of urine. It is used for diarrhea, generalized aching, mental fatigue, dizziness, lack of appetite, vomiting, edema (accumulation of fluids), and spontaneous sweating.

Magnolia officinalis bark - also known as Magnolia bark has been used to treat menstrual cramps, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating and gas, nausea, and indigestion.

Platycodon grandiflorum root - also known as the Balloon Flower (which we've seen around these parts) helps to treat skin swellings, including abscesses in the lungs and intestines.

Citrus reticulata peel - also known as tangerine peel helps to dry up mucous in the lungs and stomach. It helps regulate and strengthen digestion, and is a component used to treat diarrhea, nausea, dyspepsia, and cough.

It's not a natural acne treatment, but, you get the idea :).

The nice thing about using this herb for my tummy upsets is that it works quickly at the first sign of symptoms, and has kept me from progressively getting worse. If it's really bad, Mum of course takes me to my holistic vet to have me checked out.

At the first sign of troubles, Mum gives me two teapills (they are little round black/brown pills, Gracie gets three since she's bigger). Since we've been using these herbs, I've gotten over any tummy upset within 24 hours and kept the week bouts at bay.

And I don't have to use some of the usual things that vets prescribe and are given to dogs for tummy troubles, like Pepto (which has unnatural ingredients, and artificial flavors and colors, which would only make it worse for me).

It hasn't happened since we've been using these herbs, but if by chance my tummy is really screeming, Mum will give me the pills, fast me for about 12 or so hours, then start to intro me to a very bland diet for a few days with some boiled chicken, a little rice, low fat plain organic yogurt (to get the good bacteria going) get the idea. And then ease me into my regular food. But usually just one or two doses of the two teapills and I'm pretty much back to normal in a day.

Mum makes sure to keep me hydrated during the process with a little Emergen-C, which we get at the health food store, in addition to my regular filtered water. Much better than the Gatorade or Pedialyte that many times contains sugar (which would just make me worse).

So we just wanted to share this info with you, because the first time and every time since we've used the Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Wan they have worked so well for me!


  1. Thanks for the info. I'll have to have Mommy ask my vet if this might be good for my tummy troubles!

  2. Great info for alternative treatments Johann. Sorry about your tummy troubles but it seems you can keep them under control now.

  3. That's great you can handle the tummy problems better now. Mom gives my doggie mom some kind of natural herb mixture for her Cushing's (we're not sure but that's the suspicion 'til we confirm it but she's much better now). I'm just glad I have an iron tummy 'cause I eat everything!


  4. Thank you for this. Chinese herbs are a GIANT hole in my knowledge base. :)

    When Qay was a puppy, her spine was so out of whack that her digestion was all messed up... all we had was pepto to give her.. poor little thing... she was a disaster when we got her. She's okay now, but I wish I had known about these herbs then!

  5. Dear Jojo,
    Where can we get these herbs? The stuff the vet gave me really didn't do the trick, and I'm not talking about sitting up or rolling over or playing dead. I am a forager and I have frequent bouts of digestive distress.

    Aaaaaanyaway, where do we get them?

    Eddie Boy

  6. Hey Eddie my friend!

    We got them from our vet, but found the very same stuff on the Internets.

    200 TeaPills

    Dosage on the package says 8 pills 3x a day for humans. My vet prescribed 3 pills 3x daily for me at 16 lbs. But I usually only have to take 2 one time, if I just have a minor upset.

    When Gracie has an upset Mum gives her three, if she's better she doesn't give her anymore, but gives her three 3x a day (every 8 hours) if not.

    When I got gastroenteritis the nastiest tummy upset ever, Mum gave me the 3 3x per day for five days, with my bland diet.

    Here's the link:

    or you could contact a local shop that sells Chinese Herbs near you.

    Sure hope it helps! You know I have to say this...always good to check with your vet too! :)

  7. We were visiting Shawnee and saw your post. Thought we'd drop by and say hi. Good info to know about the herbs. Thanks. Those coats look great and sound good. Mom has been making ours. We may check into them sometime.
    Ernie & Sasha
    pee ess: Drop by and visit us sometime when you get the chance. We like to meet new peoples.


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