OK, so I live in the UK now and didn’t just stuff my face with Thanksgiving goodness, but I did just eat way too much Indian food and this peppermint tea is doing wonders…so I thought I’d share a few ideas to get your stomach feeling good again after the Thanksgiving binge.
There are several natural remedies, so it depends on if you need a pick me up like ginger or a relaxant like chamomile.
Peppermint is the first thing that I think of when my stomach feels a bit off and has always worked best for me. Peppermint tea is great for soothing the stomach, but even those little after dinner mints and chocolate seem to help too. Why is that?
Peppermint certainly takes the edge off of bad breath, which just makes you feel like you haven’t eaten an unnecessarily huge meal.
The menthol contained in peppermint acts as a local anesthetic, which may help reduce stomach discomfort. It activates the cold sensors, which leaves you feeling refreshed.
It is also believed that peppermint relaxes the muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach, allowing food to go up into the esophagus slightly, relieving immediate discomfort.
Unlike peppermint, ginger activates the heat sensors (it is quite spicy when eaten on its own!). It is also classified as a stimulant, so it may help perk you up after a filling dinner. I know that I start feeling a bit hyper after a ginger-heavy meal, and now I know why!
It’s gastrointestinal effects are much like those of peppermint, reducing the esophageal pressure. It also helps reduce the formation of gas.
Ginger can be had as tea, or also as ginger ale or any other sparkling drink. I’ve become a fan of sparkling ginger lemon grass cordial.
Chamomile is a daisy-like flower that when consumed induces a subtle relaxing effect. The most common way to enjoy chamomile is as chamomile tea.
Apart from being used to relax the gastrointestinal tract, it is an anti-panic substance, which is probably why it is so good as a sleep aid.
Something new that I learned is that chamomile may cause uterine contractions in women, so should not be used by expectant mothers.
Sources: Wikipedia and rd.com
Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons by SummerTomato