The Christmas holidays, and not only, often lead to meeting with family and friends and eating very large meals. You know, a laugh in company, one bite leads to another and what can happen is to eat too much, especially foods very rich in fat and sugar. The result is indigestion, slow and difficult digestion, flatulence, a feeling of fullness, nausea, heartburn and sometimes even headaches. So what to do to counteract the effects of a holiday binge? Herbal teas and essential oils help us to support the action of the digestive organs, protect the mucous membranes of the stomach and restore us. But let's try to understand which herbs and remedies it is good to keep at home to be ready for any eventuality.
Herbal teas when you eat too much
What to do when you've eaten too much and digestion becomes difficult, with stomach pain and a feeling of fullness? Help comes from herbal teas. An idea for an excellent digestive infusion to be served after dinner or after lunch is provided by the great French herbalist Maurice Messegue. You can ask a herbalist's or chemist's shop to prepare a mixture of herbs, which contains, in equal parts, chamomile, useful in case of indigestion, nausea and flatulence, black currant leaves, capable of improving digestion, tarragon, which stimulates digestion, counteracts abdominal cramps and gastritis and speeds up the metabolism, and lemon verbena, which counteracts stomach acidity, indigestion and fermentations (Ekiert et al, Front Pharmacol, 2021 - Srivastava et al, Mol Med Report, 2010 - Tammar et al, Foods, 2021).
Overeating and heartburn, here are the remedies
After very large meals it can be common to experience heartburn. In these cases, the glyceric macerate of ficus carica can come in handy, 30 drops diluted in water on an empty stomach, before main meals. Ficus carica counteracts slow stomach emptying, which in turn can cause heartburn, improves gastric motility and function (Rtibi et al, J Ethnopharmacol, 2018).
Alternatively, an herbal tea against heartburn is given by the anise infusion, as suggested by the herbalist Messegue, but as scientific studies also show, which indicate that anise, or Pimpinella anisum, regulates acid secretion in the stomach and counteracts heartburn (Mofleh et al, World J Gastroenterol, 2007). Bring a liter of water to the boil, remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of green anise. Leave to infuse for ten minutes, then filter. You can also add a pinch of lavender, which is anti-inflammatory and relaxing (Wang et al, Front Pharmacol., 2021).
The herbal tea that reduces the damage of large binges
The combination of lemon verbena, scientific name Lippia citriodora, and hibiscus flowers, Hibiscus sabdariffa, has been shown to effectively counteract the damage of a diet high in sugar and fat, such as it can happen during the holidays. In particular, this synergy has made it possible to counteract weight gain and the accumulation of body fat, to reduce blood pressure and glycemia and to support the work of the liver following the ingestion of foods rich in fats and sugars ( Lee et al, Nutrients, 2018). Bring a liter of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add a spoonful of hibiscus flowers and a spoonful of dried verbena, leave to infuse for ten minutes, then filter, the herbal tea is ready.
Headache after eating, help from essential oils
After a big meal, instead of feeling calm and relaxed you are uncomfortable because of the headache. Sometimes, in fact, eating too much can lead to headaches. Help can come from essential oils, especially peppermint essential oil. In fact, mint has an analgesic action, relieves muscle tension and reduces sensitivity to pain. Even better if mint is associated with eucalyptus essential oil (Goebel et al, Phytomedicine, 1995). In a jar you can mix a tablespoon of a carrier oil, such as jojoba, sunflower or sweet almond, and add 3-4 drops of mint essential oil, or 2 drops of mint essential oil and 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Apply a few drops to temples, forehead and neck.
Alternatively, you can use an essence burner lamp and diffuse the essential oils into the surrounding environment.