It’s that time of year again (doesn’t the time fly?!) and we’ve all been busy indulging ourselves over the Christmas holidays…
For many of us, it’s the one time of year when we really do eat and drink whatever we want, regardless of how entirely full we are from the champagne breakfast, roast turkey lunch with all the trimmings, chocolates, cakes, Christmas pudding and of course mince pies (and then, naturally, seconds and thirds). Lather, rinse and repeat on Boxing Day (just in case we weren’t quite full from Christmas Day) and finally even the most over-indulgent of us are prepared to admit that we’ve ‘overdone it’, that we ‘won’t ever look at a roast potato again’ and promise faithfully that next year we ‘won’t buy nearly as much food’.
Of course, these are all Christmassy lies induced by the sherry fumes and over-exposure to cinnamon scented things. We have exactly 364 days to un-remember lying on the dining room floor in a food coma; next year will be the same, but bigger.
The solution is simple: accept your fate and learn how to combat your immoderation with some healthy pick-me-ups to enjoy throughout the festive season! Treat Yourself Natural by Sof McVeigh is full of simple but effective home remedies to sooth and nurture your gut through this difficult time of year with a section entirely devoted to what to do when you’ve overindulged. Here are just a few of her suggestions for soothing an unsettled stomach:
This is a herbal remedy that has long been used to correct acidity in the stomach, and to absorb gases and toxins. It also has a mechanical action, stimulating movement of the stomach and intestine, therefore helping to expel whatever is not agreeing with you.
Mint or chamomile teas both have calming actions on the gut: mint tea tends to revive, while chamomile tea soothes. Also cinnamon and ginger both have good stomach settling actions when used in teas.
Fennel tea made from the plant’s seeds is a favourite to aid digestion; it is particularly good for expelling trapped wind, and for easing indigestion and heartburn. Indeed, fennel is often found in remedies for children’s colic. Fennel tea bags are readily available from health food stores, but you can make your own tea by pouring boiling water over a teaspoon of the seeds. Or chew on the seeds to freshen your breath.
The delicate wispy leaves of fennel are a fabulous sight in any garden, especially as they quickly shoot up to tower above all else. Even in winter, their tall hollow stems provide structure to any small herb garden. Fennel is very easy to grow and repeats year after year, needing little maintenance. By late autumn its cheerful yellow flowers are a welcome sight; keep a close eye on them, so come winter you are ready to harvest the seeds. The leaves will bring some of the plant’s distinctive flavour to salads.
This is the spice you will find in your spice rack for adding to curries. It stimulates enzyme production, and due to its strong anti-inflammatory action, it is great for soothing the stomach. The curcumin that gives the spice its strong yellow colour is packed with antioxidants; some even consider this the best natural antioxidant to eat. Tumeric can be used in your cooking or make a tea; just ensure you use a good quality spice, preferably organic.
So when you’re tucking into your turkey curry, turkey and pineapple on sticks and finally the ubiquitous ‘turkey surprise’ (which naturally is the most unsurprising of all Christmas surprises) over the coming days, spare a thought for your insides and treat yourself natural in the New Year!
Get your copy of Treat Yourself Natural for even more easy-to-make remedies gathered from nature.