‘Tis the season for joyful eating, and for doing it at other people’s houses and far-off places. Big meals and travel can put stress on the digestive system, and a stressed out digestive system can really ruin a good party. Here are some simple, easy, and portable remedies that can help not only with the heaviness of holiday feasting, but with the stress associated with travel as well.
Perhaps the easiest digestive remedy of all, sipping a mug of hot water is “nectar to the digestive system”, as Dr. Vasant Lad says. In Ayurveda, hot water is recommended daily for the removal of ama, or the sticky plaque that forms in the gut from unprocessed food and accumulated toxins.
Hot water cleanses the digestive system, dislodges intestinal blockages, and encourages easy bowel movements. Drinking a mug of hot water first thing in the morning can work wonders the morning after a holiday feast. It’s also excellent for stress, which often accompanies holiday travels. Insulated thermoses are a great way to transport this simplest of all digestive aids.
Triphala is as close to a panacea for the digestive system as can be. This 3-fruit formula normalizes digestive imbalances from A to Z. It tones and strengthens the digestive organs and gently cleanses the tissues. Common digestive complaints of gas, stomachache, nausea, bloating, inflammation, reflux, constipation, low appetite, diarrhea, mucus, you name it, can be balanced by Triphala.
Triphala comes in tablet form, which are easy to transport. To start, try 2 tablets in the morning and 2 in the evening. It can also be taken as needed to soothe reflux, encourage elimination, process a heavy meal, or for extra digestive TLC any time.
Fennel, cumin, and coriander tea is a time-honored Ayurvedic digestive blend. These three carminative herbs combine beautifully and deliciously to soothe and aid the digestion. This aromatic blend is extremely effective for taking the edge off of large, fatty, or sugary meals, and it is often used in weight loss protocols.
The mix is typically brewed as a tea, but it can just as easily be chewed, so it’s handy for travelers. It will freshen the breath as well! All you have to do is get the seeds and mix them together, and you’ll be set to go.
The taste of bitter herbs on the tongue stimulates the digestive system and immediately sets the juices to flowing. Many of the herbs in bitters formulas are hepatics which strengthen, tone, and stimulate the liver. Taking a bitters formula before a heavy meal can help the liver tremendously with digestion and assimilation.
Bitters are liquid supplements and usually come in 1 or 2 ounce tincture bottles– easy to transport in a bag or purse. It’s a great time for bitters, as more unique bitters formulations are popping up every day, tailor-made to suit a variety of digestive compositions and taste preferences. Find one you like and take it with you on holiday feast days. My favorite is here.
No digestive remedies list would be complete without mentioning ginger! This classic digestive herb stimulates the digestive juices, encourages healthy gut flora, and increases intestinal absorption. It can be taken effectively for gas problems, nausea, and toxic accumulations in the digestive tract. It helps detoxify the effects of sugar, especially when combined with cinnamon and cardamom.
Drinking ginger tea, chewing a bit of ginger root, or eating candied ginger before a meal builds the digestive fire and increases nutrient absorption. Sipping a small cup of ginger tea during a meal is also extremely effective. But for travelers, ginger candy or GingerForce capsules are the way to go.
Happy eating and happy traveling!