As we gather around the dinner table to celebrate with our nearest and dearest this holiday season, we may be inclined to overindulge in our favorite foods and drinks because they’re oh so tasty. This, however, can throw our bodies off and slow down our digestion.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, we learn that it is not only what we eat that promotes optimal health, but also how well the body digests what we eat. Proper digestion is the key to the body being able to properly absorb nutrients. We see the benefits of healthy digestion in strong nails, shiny hair and dewy skin. A strong digestive system also helps aid in the body’s natural detox systems.
If you’ve overindulged on all of your favorites during the holiday’s celebration and are feeling the effects, here are a few herbs and tips that may offer the body additional support and get your digestion moving smoothly and working powerfully once again:
Chlorella is a green-blue alga that has been around for 3 billion years and even used as a supplement since WWI! It has fibrous cell walls that may aid the body in detoxing heavy metals from the blood and organs. Due to Chlorella being so fibrous it also may enhance digestion as well as stimulate healthy probiotic growth in the gut. We recommend adding ½ tsp in water to drink upon waking!
Moringa has been called the “miracle leaf” because of the plant’s high levels of minerals and vitamins B, C, D and E. Moringa also has over 40 anti-inflammatory compounds that may reduce bloating, gas and settle upset stomachs. We recommend adding ½ tsp to hot water to sip if you feel your digestion is off.
Triphala is a mixture of the dried fruits Amalaki, Haritaki, and Bibhitak from three plants native to India. Ayurvedic physicians have been recommending Triphala to their patients for centuries to strengthen digestive fire. Triphala may promote proper digestion and assist in detoxifying the body through improving liver function. It also helps get things moving, which is great for elimination and removing toxins from the body!
Image courtesy of Sun Potion
In addition to herbal remedies, here are two exercises to use if you’re experiencing an upset stomach or any gut discomfort:
ROCK POSE - Sit with hips on heels - if knees feel tender place a blanket under the knees or place a block under your seat. Once comfortable, close eyes and breath in this position for 5 minutes. This pose may stimulate digestion and it is said when you can master this pose, you can even digest a rock! (We wouldn’t recommend trying that though…)
ACUPRESSURE - When you feel too full from second helpings or are experiencing an upset stomach, massage acupuncture point ST36. To find the point, place four fingers under the bottom of your knee cap and then feel the outer boundary of your shin bone. Gently press into the spot and gently massage the area for a few minutes. This will help alleviate stomach discomfort, nausea and fatigue.
Image courtesy of Amanda Blair
Feature Image by Nitsa Citrine
If you enjoyed this piece by Amanda, click here to discover her wellness and beauty routines in 'Bio-Active Honey for Radiant Health.'
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