“I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”
It’s been the catch phrase of commercials, and the punch line of jokes, but the phrase holds true, especially at this time of year.
With Thanksgiving just behind us, and a whole host of holidays and celebrations on the horizon, now might be the perfect time to offer up some good old-fashioned, all-natural remedies for what ails you. For the tummy troubles that can often follow hearty holiday meals, we’ve got seven tried-and-true, all-natural remedies to keep you feeling fit as a fiddle into the new year.
Remember when you were a kid and your mom would give you ginger ale when you had a belly ache? Well, turns out, mom was right—sort of. Ginger has long been tauted for its health benefits. Besides having terrific anti-inflammatory properties, it aids in digestion and has been shown to ease stomach pains in numerous studies. It’s best to use fresh ginger. I like to grate it and make a tea. But you can add fresh-grated ginger to your food, or buy ginger capsules at your local health food store. Although mom was on the right track, ginger ale often contains large amounts of sugar, which, despite the tummy-helping ginger, can actually make you feel worse. So you may want to opt for our other ginger suggestions before reaching for the fizzy fix.
Just like ginger, peppermint works to settle the stomach. Mint also helps aid with digestion. It can also stimulate the appetite, and help relieve stomach cramps. A warm peppermint tea seems to be the best way to enjoy this helpful herb, although chewing on a raw fresh peppermint leaf seems to be a quick fix for tummy troubles, too. In a pinch, a peppermint candy will do, but remember those candies are often full of sugar which is counter-intuitive to treating a tummy ache.
Whether you’ve eaten too many holiday cookies or indulged in a little too much holiday wine or champagne, chamomile tea can be the answer. Not only does chamomile have properties that help soothe an aching stomach, it relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract to aid in digestion and relieve cramping. As an added bonus, it not only relaxes your digestive tract but can also help calm the nerves and relax the rest of you, so it helps if you are having trouble sleeping in addition to a stomach ache. A tea is the easiest and most popular preparation of chamomile and can be found on the shelves of virtually any grocery store.
Turns out that little box in the back of fridge does more than just absorb food odors. Most of those antacids or Alka-Seltzer you buy for heartburn or indigestion are made primarily from sodium bicarbonate, which is simply common baking soda. Save the money, plus added sugar and coloring, by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of warm water and drinking it. The result is the same but without the expense or the unhealthy, unnatural additives.
Apple cider vinegar
While you may have heard that apple cider vinegar is effective for use as a natural antiseptic, it can also be used to aid in and digestion and to treat stomach aches. Just mix 1 to 3 teaspoons (the more you can tolerate, the better) in a glass of lukewarm water. I recommend using the natural raw organic apple cider vinegar for the biggest health benefit. This type of vinegar is also said to help your body absorb vital nutrients, so it's best to drink it before mealtime.
Milk and honey
If it's overindulging in alcohol that has your tummy in knots, try a healthy smoothie. Mix a banana with a few teaspoons of honey and some milk to make a tummy-taming treat. The bananas helps to soothe the stomach, as does the milk, which also helps rehydrate you. The bananas are also rich in magnesium and potassium, which is sapped by overindulging in alcoholic beverages. The honey tastes good and contains natural sugars to help restore out-of-whack blood sugar often associated with heavy alcohol consumption.
Yogurt can be effective for tummy cramps and for diarrhea as well. The live cultures in yogurt can help put back the good healthy bacteria that gets flushed from your system when you have a stomach virus or diarrhea. It can really help get your system back to running normally again.
Along with these seven super tummy tamers, drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, getting lots of rest, and avoiding overindulging to start with are all good advice. But for when the belly blues have got you down, try one of these natural quick fixes before heading to the medicine chest or pharmacy.