Amidst the wonderful family holidays approaching often come the unwelcome guests of nausea and bloating. Overeating, overindulging in alcohol or eating the wrong foods - sometimes all three together - can contribute to a bum belly. And no one likes to feel green around the gills during the holidays.
That’s why it’s helpful to have a few go-to’s for when the occasional episode of nausea hits you or a loved one. Instead of running to the local drugstore for stomach remedies that often come with unwanted side effects, your kitchen can offer even faster, more natural relief.
Here are a few natural remedies that can help you tame holiday tummy safely and quickly:
1. Citrus oil
Lemon oil as well as tangerine and orange oil have been shown to help reduce nausea when inhaled deeply or dabbed on your pulse points. Aromatherapy can bring about strong physical and psychological effects very rapidly and citrus notes in particular have been used for centuries, especially by midwives, to address morning sickness. Even adding lemon or orange slices to cool water or herbal tea can help you feel better instantly.
Ginger today is fairly well-known for its “carminative” properties, or ability to reduce nausea, bloating and gas. Ginger is warming yet calming on the digestive system. Research suggests that ginger’s tummy benefits may be linked to its ability to stimulate saliva, which contains ptyalin, a natural compound to digest carbohydrates, and enzymes which improve digestion. Brew an easy ginger tea by boiling slices in ginger in pure water for ten minutes and straining. Or you can keep these tasty ginger candies in your pantry.
Enjoying the aroma of peppermint can be an effective remedy for nausea as can actually chewing on fresh mint or drinking a cup of mint tea. In fact, in a study of post-operative women who had undergone a C-section, peppermint oil helped reduce their nausea faster than conventional anti-emetics (anti-nausea medications). Try mixing 1-2 drops of peppermint oil with a “carrier” oil like almond, jojoba or olive oil and rub on the back of your neck. Or enjoy a strong cup of mint tea. Try pure peppermint tea from Traditional Medicinals or blended with licorice from Pukka. Or you can try my cooling Good Belly Tonic.
4. CBD Oil
No silly… not the kind that gets you high. CBD oil is made up of a non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol referred to as CBD. It can be taken as a tincture to activate a monoamine neurotransmitter that can reduce the feeling of nausea. It has been shown to be one of the only effective substances in reducing nausea in chemo patients. Just make sure you are buying a reputable brand from a trusted healthcare provider.
If you are experiencing vomiting along with nausea, hydration is super important. Try rehydrating with coconut water, water with sea salt, broths, green juices and/or simple smoothies. And of course, if your nausea persists or is accompanied by pain, fever or other health symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider.
If your nausea is more than just an occasional episode, it is important to investigate the underlying causes and whether something else may be going on. Bacterial overgrowth can contribute to nausea as can migraines, hormone imbalances, stress, reactions to medication or supplements, and more serious causes including liver and gallbladder issues.
Here’s to a happier tummy this holiday season!