Overindulging at Christmas?
Did you know the average Christmas dinner contains a whopping 900 calories and 40g of fat? It’s no wonder so many of us suffer with indigestion at Christmas. From heartburn and bloating to constipation and stomach cramps, the symptoms of indigestion are varied, but each is a reminder your tummy is having trouble coping with the amount or types of food it is being asked to process. Tame tummy troubles this Christmas with some of our favourite natural remedies for indigestion.
Peppermint is recognised for its antispasmodic effect on the body, making it a great choice for stomach problems like nausea, indigestion, colic and wind. Drink a cup of peppermint tea after meals to quickly soothe your stomach after eating.
Bitter stomach herbs are as they sound, medicinal plants with a bitter taste. Popular examples are artichoke and dandelion. The bitter taste on the tongue triggers production of gastric juices in the stomach, encouraging better digestion.
Bitter herbs are best taken in liquid form 5 to 10 minutes before each meal. A.Vogel Digestisan contains the tinctures of artichoke, dandelion, boldo and peppermint, to help relieve bloating, fullness and flatulence.
L+ lactic acid
Derived from fermented whey, L+ lactic acid has been used as a digestive supplement in Switzerland for decades. It can be found in some fermented foods such as yoghurt and naturally pickled vegetables used as accompaniments in meals such as curries and fatty meats to help the digestive process.
If your main symptom of indigestion is bloating, try Molkosan Fruit. Rich in L+ lactic acid, it works as a pre-biotic supporting good gut bacteria. It also contains calcium which contributes to the normal functioning of digestive enzymes. Take one glass daily, as a digestive tonic, to help maintain a healthy digestive system.
If nausea is a problem, ginger is another festive favourite to consider. It is recognised by many as a digestive tonic that can help with flatulence, cramps and nausea. Its active compounds, called gingerols, are responsible for its distinctive taste and smell. Try steeping some fresh ginger in hot water to make a ginger tea, and if the taste is not to your liking, try adding a little honey and lemon to make a great winter warmer.
Whilst we might be more inclined to roast, chip and mash our potatoes, freshly squeezed potato juice has been used as a traditional natural remedy for stomach complaints in Switzerland and Germany for many years, with one small study reporting a significant improvement in symptoms of acid reflux and indigestion in two thirds of participants after just one week .
Not convinced? Try Biotta’s Potato Juice and see for yourself!
Milk thistle is also a great herb at this time of the year. It is well known for its role in protecting the liver against alcohol-related toxins and is often called upon to help counter the effects of a hangover, but because the liver also produces the bile needed to digest fats, it can also be supportive of the digestive system. Without adequate bile you may find you feel nauseous after eating fatty foods. Bile is also important for helping to keep cholesterol under control.
And finally, some food-chewing basics…
Remember, Christmas get-togethers are supposed to be a social occasion, so don’t gulp your food down. Take your time and chew your food. It sounds obvious but so few do. Digestion starts in the mouth. Chewing not only breaks your meal down to a manageable size, it also alerts the stomach to the imminent arrival of food, giving it the time to produce the digestive enzymes it needs to digest food properly.
You should also stay seated for at least 20 minutes after your last fork or spoonful, as sitting helps to relax your digestive system.
 1. NN, 1993. Solani tuberosi tuber recens (Kartoffelknolle). In: Ha¨nsel, R., Keller, K., Rimpler, H., Schneider, G. (Eds.), Handbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis. Band 6, Drogen P-Z, pp. 749–750.