For many the holiday season is about eating lots of food and indulging in drink. Both of these tend to, what naturopaths call “overloading the liver”. This can cause bloating, indigestion, headache, constipation/diarrhea and even increase blood pressure of too much over-indulgence takes place. The real trick is to just take it easy with the amounts, but for those who tend to over-do-it here are some basic tips to take the stress off your system:
The liver produces an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase, this helps break down alcohol, it requires B6, zinc and vitamin C and the amino acid cysteine. So think about taking a B-vitamin, a multi-mineral and get some protein in to you to get the amino acid cysteine. Acetaldehyde is actually the culprit that causes the hang-over, which is ultimately a toxicity symptom. N-acetyl-cysteine with B-complex may help detox from this chemical. IV saline solutions are also known to do the same, taking bicarbonate of soda to alkalinize the system also seems to help. The best way is moderation, hydration and good sleep.
If over eating:
Taking digestive enzyme with meal can help support you system in decreasing the digestive load the body has to go through when eating more than usual. Digestive enzymes can decrease bloating, heart burn, cramping, and that feeling of being “stuffed”.
The liver has to process all this food and drink and it is wise to support it. The clinic has one of the best liver remedies available, A-hepatica taken 1 or twice during the days leading up to the big dinner can help immensely. We have used this products for years, including for those with GERD.
If you take anti-acid medication keep in mind they decrease acid in the stomach and therefore decrease proficiency of digestion, another reason why digestive enzyme are probable called for. In this scenario probiotics will also be required as the drugs tend to cause havoc on the good bacteria that colonize our gut.
Spices like sage and thyme can cause heart burn as can cranberries. Again, liver remedies, digestive enzyme and/or probiotics can help take the load off you digestive system and help you enjoy your time this holiday season.
From all at the Northshore Naturopathic Clinic, we wish you a safe and healthy holiday season and a prosperous new year!
Have a Happy Holiday!
A traditional herbal tea combination for liver support
- 1 part dandelion root
- ½ part burdock
- ½ part slippery elm
- ¼ part ginger
One way to make this tea is to boil the ginger, alone first for 5-10 minutes then add dandelion root burdock for about another 5 minutes. Add the slippery elm to the the boiled ginger, dandelion and burdock root decoction. Make sure the herbal combination is covered as it steeps for 10 minutes or so. Sip slowly and feel its warming action. The bitter taste is actually part of the herbals reflexive action on the liver/gall bladder. If too bitter dilute with hot water.