lifestyle

Herbs to Support Healthy Digestion (During the Holiday Season & Beyond)

Do you find that the holidays throw your system off track each year? If so, you are not alone. The holidays are a beautiful time of year filled with family, friends, and a lot of festive gatherings. Even though they are a seasonal rite of passage, holiday parties can do a number on the digestive system with all of the delicious and decadent foods, and general overindulgence.

As you enter the holiday season, it’s important to keep your digestive system healthy, so you are able to truly enjoy the foods that you’ll be eating.

Herbs To Help You Feel Your Best This Holiday Season

Herbs have been used for thousands of years to sustain digestive health including supporting the health of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract and providing relief from occasional gas, bloating, and upset stomachs.* Below are some of our favorite herbs to help keep your system in balance this holiday season.

Triphala

Triphala is an herbal blend that has been a staple in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2,000 years, and is made up of three herbs, hence “Tri” in its name. The berries that make up this blend are Amla, Belleric Myrobalan, and Chebulic Myrobalan. In Ayurveda, Triphala is used for a wide array of purposes, as it is considered a tri-doshic remedy, meaning that it is balancing to all constitutions and body types (vata, kapha, and pitta). The Amla berry used in this blend, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is reported to contain as much Vitamin C as 20 oranges. Triphala Fruit is a popular tonic that helps to gently cleanse your system and maintain normal regularity.*

Peppermint

peppermint plant in nature

With over 600 different kind of species of Mint, Peppermint is one of the more popular of the species, and it was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a stomach soothing aid. The fragrance of Peppermint is enjoyed by many in candles and essential oils, and is even delicious just as the leaf picked from an herb garden. Popular today in teas, Peppermint supports digestive health and function.* Gaia Herbs Peppermint Leaf, Certified Organic liquid extract is beneficial for those who may have overindulged with food and drink and need some extra support.*

Licorice

Licorice has been used for hundreds of centuries, and was popular in Greece, China, and Egypt for its traditional use for stomach inflammation and supporting the respiratory system.*1 Today, it is still one of the most common herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is one of the most trusted herbs among traditional botanical practitioners. Licorice is typically taken to help support GI tract health.* You can find Licorice in several Gaia Herbs products, including many of our teas and our Licorice Root.

Ginger

Grown in sub-tropical volcanic soils, Ginger is thought to have originated in tropical regions of Asia. This deliciously spicy herb is one of the most widely consumed aromatic species on the planet, whether it’s as a liquid extract, in a dish, or as a palate cleanser. Ginger supports healthy digestion and helps to provide relief from occasional nausea.* A favorite for the holiday season, vacations, and any other time you are likely to overindulge.* Our Ginger Root, Certified Organic extract is a single concentrated herb to provide relief from occasional digestive upset and nausea.* We also have Ginger Supreme, a warming blend of Ginger and Turmeric to support healthy digestion.*

Fennel

Fennel has been used for over 2,000 years and was popular during ancient Greek and Roman times. Roman bakers would place it under bread for flavor, and the Roman soldiers would eat it to provide courage. In the Middle Ages, Fennel was also believed to be an important remedy to witchcraft, and was hung on doors on Midsummer's Eve to ward off evil spirits. Today, Fennel is taken to help provide relief for occasional gas, bloating, and indigestion.* Our Gas & Bloating tea and capsules include Fennel, along with Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Caraway, and Senna to provide relief from occasional gas and bloating.*

Senna

Senna plant in nature

Senna is native to Northern Africa and has been used for thousands of years. It takes about eight hours for someone to feel the effects of the plant and is often recommended to take before bedtime, like with our Natural Laxative tea. Not to be taken for long periods of time, Senna helps to provide relief from occasional constipation.* Senna has been found to be so effective in this treatment that is an FDA-permitted monograph ingredient for occasional constipation.

Sweetish Bitters

Sweetish Bitters is a combination of herbs to help aid digestion.* It has a history of being used in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and dates back  thousands of years in some cases. Containing Ginger, Amla, Dandelion, and Fennel, our Sweetish Bitters help support a healthy digestive system.* This is popular amongst foodies and widely recommended by herbalists to take with you when traveling and experiencing new cuisines.

A Happy Belly Means Happier Holidays

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year! A little advance planning and preparation can be the key difference between having fun, enjoying the company of your loved ones, and experiencing new and delicious foods, versus sitting on the sidelines dealing with stomach and digestive issues. In addition to the herbs and supplements that we mentioned above, there are plenty of additional ways to help get your digestive system into the holiday spirit.* Enjoy your holidays!

References:

1 Licorice Root. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/licoriceroot