The holiday season is among us! These upcoming weeks bring various parties, family gatherings, potlucks, and other instances to overindulge. Aside from the risk of gaining a few extra pounds, there is the dreaded indigestion and heartburn that follow.
Normal digestion is a complex process that involves enzymes, stomach acid, and bile to breakdown the food we eat. Heartburn and indigestion are two examples of faulty digestion.
There are some easy and natural alternatives to OTC remedies when you find yourself saying “pass the heartburn, please”.
Apple Cider Vinegar: With a pH of around 5, it increases the acidity of the stomach to improve digestion. I know it sounds counterproductive, but the more acid in the stomach, the less pressure it creates and minimizes the reflux effect into the esophagus. It can be taken before meals to prevent indigestion or mix it with water and drink every 5 minutes if heartburn occurs.
Betaine: This is a form hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is the main component of our stomach acid. It is necessary for proper digestion and absorption. Start with 1 capsule at the beginning of a meal, and increase as directed.
Digestive enzymes: Our pancreas secrets enzymes into the small intestine. Eating too fast and stress decreases the secretion of these enzymes, contributing to bloating.
Chamomile: When used for indigestion, it is often found taken as a tea. It works to calm and soothe the intestinal tract.
Ginger: Ginger can help to reduce nausea, heartburn, and bloating post meals.
Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm: An old remedy used for heartburn. They create a sticky substance, known as mucilage, which coats and protects the esophagus; exactly what you need when you feel the ‘fire’.
DGL (deglycyrrizinated licorice): Great to take for an upset stomach. By coating the lining of the stomach, it also minimizes indigestion.
Peppermint: There is a reason people often chew gum after eating. The peppermint prevents nausea and works to soothe the intestinal muscle if you get frequent cramping.
All of these can found at Keystone Pharmacy, so don’t let another meal get the best of you. If you suffer from digestive issues more frequently, please contact me to find the right protocol.