You ate the third dinner roll, you scarfed down the gravy-laden mashed potatoes and you devoured that second (ahem, third) piece of pie… now your tummy is complaining. ‘Tis the season for overindulgence, and while it might seem like a good idea at the time, our digestive system definitely pays the price. Fortunately, there are some post-indulgence remedies that can ease the pain and discomfort of holiday overeating!
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL): DGL is an excellent herb to help soothe mucous membranes of the esophagus. DGL has antispasmodic action, which means that it helps to control various muscle actions that can affect your digestive tract. It also helps reduce acid reflux by calming a cramping stomach. A chewable form is best. Chew one to two tablets and let them dissolve in your mouth. You can also do this before your meal, if you know that you are going to indulge.
Digestive Herbs – Bitter formulas, such as Pathway Digest-Ease, contain a combination of herbs such as gentian, ginger, Oregon grape, fennel and peppermint, which can provide immediate support for GI distress such as gas, bloating and stomach pain. These herbs stimulate the body’s ability to secrete more digestive juices to enhance digestion. I recommend taking about 30 drops in a small amount of water just before eating a meal.
Digestive Enzymes – Enzyme supplements, such as Pathway Superzymes, help the body absorb certain foods more efficiently and can aid digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. This formula contains hydrochloric acid (HCl) for extra support, boosting stomach acid levels to help with protein digestion, and ox bile to aid in fat digestion.
Ginger / Mint Tea – Drinking a cup or two of a hot herbal digestive tea after meals is a great way to promote healthy digestion and ease stomach distress. Peppermint, fennel or ginger based teas are particularly helpful for indigestion, gas, and relieving a sense of fullness. These herbs help to promote the flow of digestive juices and are pleasant tasting. I particularly like Traditional Medicinals Belly Eater’s Digest Tea or Yogi Stomach Ease.
Beyond using these natural remedies, other helpful tips to combat indigestion include taking a walk after eating, doing gentle stretching, and deep breathing. Taking measures to support your digestive system on a daily basis can also help to support optimal digestive health. Eating fiber-rich foods, avoiding/limiting processed foods, eating slowly and mindfully, as well as taking a high potency, multi-strain probiotic supplement such as Pathway 35 Billion Probiotic, are all great ways to promote ongoing GI wellness.
Photo from here, with thanks.