The ‘festive season’ has begun and it’s only a few weeks to go until Christmas!
Very soon our lives will be full of luxurious rich, tasty foods and lots of alcoholic beverages at all those Christmas parties. If you can already hear your tummy crying out “Nooo!”, you’re probably not alone. As we all know, a really great Christmas followed by an awesome New Year’s party can often lead to hangovers, indigestion, feeling bloated and lethargy.
Thankfully there are some great solutions to be found in nature. Here’s a list of healing herbs that can help get you through the festive times ahead:
1. Meadowsweet herb (Filipendula ulmaria)
A very traditional herb that has been used for centuries to treat irritated digestive systems. Meadowseeet can help calm acidic digestion, gastritis, wind and bloating, it also has pain killing properties for headaches when you’ve over indulged!
Those pain killing properties come from its salicylic acid content which gives it many of the same therapeutic properties of aspirin. But unlike aspirin there is no danger to delicate stomach linings.
2. German Chamomile flower (Matricaria recutita)
Chamomile is one of the most popular herbs in the Western world.Gentle and soothing for stressed digestion, chamomile helps relieve acidity, indigestion, stomach pains and wind and soothing frayed holiday nerves. Before or after infusing a tea, a warm or cooled moist Chamomile teabag can be applied to soothe strained or inflamed eyes.
3. Peppermint leaf (Mentha piperita)
A herb which helps to clear the head and relieve irritated stomachs from cramps, nausea, wind, bloating and indigestion. Its warming and stimulating properties are particularly valuable at the onset of a cold to combat the chilly and depressed feelings that often precede the sneezing and runny nose and feverishness. It is a general tonic for the nervous system and will relieve nervous fatigue.
4. Fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare)
A fantastic herb with a taste reminiscent of aniseed. To give sluggish digestion a helping hand, relieving bloating and flatulence. Fennel seeds also stimulate digestive enzymes aiding absorption when you’ve over-indulged. In fact if your Christmas meal includes some things you find hard to digest such as cabbage or Brussels sprouts try adding fennel seeds to help your body cope a bit better!
5. Caraway seed (Carum carvi)
Caraway has similar actions to fennel helping to soothe irritable digestion and aid digestion. In fact chewing caraway seeds is a very traditional way of aiding digestion after a meal. Like fennel it can also be useful added to meals.
Another great herb you may want to include is Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), which a traditional herbal remedy used to support the liver, kidney, and gall bladder problems. Milk thistle has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and because it so effectively helps to support your liver, it also helps you enjoy Christmas cocktails and mulled wine without the after effects next day.
The dried herbs can be used singly or in combination to make a deliciously soothing cup of tea after meals. A general guide is to use one or two teaspoonfuls of the dried herb or herb mixture to a cupful of boiling water, or one tablespoon of herbs to a pint of boiling water. When using fresh herbs double the quantity of herb.
With seeds such as fennel and caraway, crush them before infusing in either water or milk. Steep for 10 minutes in a glass or ceramic (not metal) teapot or other container.
Or if this doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle you can use a tincture blend. Try mixing one teaspoon with a little water after meals.