It’s the season of fun and enjoyment, but the holiday period is often the season of over-indulgence as well. Of course, everyone wants to enjoy the delicious food at this time of year—and perhaps the occasional tipple as well—but it’s tempting to enjoy the rich fare and drink just a little too much, leaving us feeling regretful the next morning. But before you reach for the pills, why not give your body a break and opt for some simple natural remedies instead?
This is one of the commonest symptoms of overindulgence, usually caused by too much rich food. One of the simplest remedies is a soothing herbal drink that combats stomach cramps—try a glass of clear chamomile or mint tea first thing in the morning. A simple brew of lemon juice and hot water will do the trick as well.
Nausea another regular symptom of overindulgence, but natural help is at hand. Firstly, rest your stomach by eating little and often, and by sticking to plain foods such as dry toast or plain cookies. Ginger is a famous cure for nausea, so snack on a few pieces of crystallized ginger or make a settling drink by slicing some root ginger and steeping it in boiling water with a dash of honey.
3. Heartburn and acid reflux
Sadly, it’s not just indigestion and nausea that can make our holiday season a misery. Heartburn and acid reflux are also common. Rich foods and alcohol can create excess stomach acid, but the simplest remedy is a slowly-sipped glass of cold milk. If you prefer a warm remedy, herbal concoctions such as marshmallow root, dill tea or slippery elm tisane will help rebalance your stomach too.
4. Bloating and gas
All that rich food traveling through the gut can upset the colon too, causing bloating and gas. This is horribly uncomfortable, but herbal teas such as fennel, caraway and parsley are all good natural solutions—drink regularly throughout the day, and you’ll soon see a difference. Pineapple also contains natural enzymes that help combat gas and bloating, so a glass of pineapple juice each morning can help too.
Rich food also tends to be low in fiber which slows the digestive transit. Getting blocked up makes us feel sluggish and lethargic, but increasing our fiber intake will solve the problem. Raw vegetables are packed with fiber, so nibble on a few carrots or celery sticks throughout the day. If you prefer cooked vegetables, try making a hearty soup—adding beans or lentils will increase the fiber level further. And a dried fruit compote made from figs and apricots makes a delicious addition to your breakfast oatmeal.
The dreaded combination of rich food and overindulgence in alcohol can cause a nasty headache. The best way to prevent this is to alternate alcoholic drinks with fruit juice or non-alcoholic beverages, and to drink plenty of water. However, if the worst happens, don’t despair. Firstly, drink lots of clear fluids such as fruit juice, herbal teas or just plain water. A homemade electrolyte mix of 1tsp of salt and 8tsp of sugar in around 5 cups of water also works well—add some orange juice if you’re looking for added flavor. Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast too.
Getting dehydrated makes the urine stronger, which can sometimes inflame the urinary system and cause cystitis. Some people find red wine can also trigger this painful condition. As a first step, reduce the strength of your urine by drinking plenty of water, perhaps mixed with a little fruit juice if you prefer. Cranberries are recognized as a superb natural remedy, so drink cranberry juice regularly throughout the day as well. And don’t avoid using the bathroom, even if it’s painful.
8. Sluggishness and lethargy
Lastly, all these issues can make us want to slump on the couch and forget the world, but moving our bodies and getting out in the fresh air actually works wonders for most symptoms of overindulgence. You don’t have to run a marathon—a brisk walk or steady bike ride will do the trick just as well. The fresh air will help lift headaches and nausea, and moving your body gives your digestive system a boost too.