by Laurie Nigro
Last weekend was a blast. We had a big birthday bash for my daughter, which really means we invited over lots of our friends (and some of hers, too) and had a big pool party. There was enough food to feed a small city and even more to drink. Oh, and dessert too. It was a birthday, after all.
There were lots of laughs and I was happy to see some faces I hadn't set eyes on since we celebrated last summer. I love to entertain, but I tend to overindulge when there are so many choices. And then the next day arrives, and my digestive system rebels against the punishment I have doled out.
I know, I deserve whatever comes. You want to play, you have to pay, right? No one should be able to heap on the guacamole, down the BBQ chicken, sneak a few salted, chocolate covered caramels and wash it all down with a few pale ales and walk away unscathed. And I promise, I did not.
However, I am not new to this game. And I don't like to lose. I come prepared.
Before I even wash the last dish, I've taken my first dose of nux vomica, a homeopathic remedy for the treatment of overindulgence. More often then not, this will do the trick. Homeopathic remedies can be taken every 15 minutes for the first hour and then every hour until symptoms subside.
If for some reason I forget the previous step, there's still hope. Not only can you still take nux vomica the next day, there are other viable options to calm the stormy sea in my gut.
For general digestion and specifically for heartburn, papaya and pineapple enzymes are my first choice. Each of my pregnancies brought some hardcore heartburn. I was not comfortable taking over-the-counter medicines with their terrifying side effects and un-pronounceable ingredients. I kept a bottle of chewable papaya pineapple enzymes in my purse for instant relief.
Teas are one of my favorite belly-ache treatments. There are several pre-made teas offered by Celestial Seasonings and Traditional Medicinals for the easing of stomach related issues. Traditional Medicinals makes Eater's Digest, Gas Relief, Heartburn Soother and Just for Kids Tummy Comfort. The options from Celestial Seasonings include Tummy Mint Wellness and Mint Magic.
The warmth of tea helps to ease some of the discomfort of stomach pain and the herbs are an additional benefit. Though these pre-made combinations are quick and easy, you can also brew single herbs. Ginger is my go-to tea for all stomach problems. Though some people prefer ginger ale, I find the sweetness (and the fact that most ginger ales contain no actual ginger) makes me feel worse. A cup of hot ginger tea soothes many stomach woes. Alternatively, I will brew a ginger concentrate and add to plain seltzer for my own ginger ale.
Another great option for digestion is fennel tea. After going through the usual healing suspects this week, I was finding temporary relief, but each time I ate anything, the pain and burning returned. I don't know why it took me so long, but I pulled the box of fennel tea from the cupboard and within minutes of finishing the cup, I felt better. All better.
So bring on the horseradish cheddar and the jalapeño margaritas, I'm not afraid (ok, I'm a little afraid of the jalapeño margaritas...).
Acidophilus restores weak intestinal flora and is found in yogurt. I try to avoid pre-sweetened yogurt, especially when I'm not feeling my best. Find a good plain yogurt and add just a touch of honey (if needed) and a few slices of ripe banana. It's gentle on the stomach on will help restore balance to your system.