Christmas Party hints and tips
With the Christmas period in full swing, it is important to discuss how to prepare and protect our bodies and mind against possible over-indulgence in food and drinks.
Christmas tends to be a time of extra visits to the afterhours doctors or emergency room. An already inflamed or vulnerable gall bladder is located on the right side of the body, directly under the liver. The gall bladder may send referred pain to the chest area, just below the sternum, in between the shoulder blades and even in the big toe! The gallbladder assists the liver with the removal of poisonous substances from the blood, through bile. Gallstones can be asymptomatic conditions, but if a stone is pushed out of the gallbladder and lodges in the bile duct, this can cause nausea, vomiting and pain in the upper right abdominal region. These symptoms often arise after the ingestion of fried or fatty food. If you have a gallbladder attack, drink one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of apple juice. This should relieve the pain, but if it does not subside, medical attention may be required. Herbs for protecting and preventing gallbladder issues include: turmeric, dandelion, barberry root, and parsley.
During the Christmas festivities, Digestive Enzymes are highly recommended to assist with digestion of rich foods, and various food combinations. Digestive enzymes will assist with bloating, indigestion, reflux, acid, constipation, diarrhoea, gout and many other issues. If you know of certain foods that irritate you, such as gluten, bread, cream, etc… but the temptation overtakes you… a couple of digestive enzymes taken with those foods will assist with reducing your adverse symptoms. Digestive Enzymes purchased from a qualified Naturopath provide the best results.
Alcohol and Milk Thistle:
There are over 30 herbs that claim to help strengthen the liver, but the one that has been researched the most is Milk Thistle. Full of an active compound called silymarin, which is found in the seeds of the plant, Milk Thistle has been shown to help make the liver cells less permeable to toxins, preventing damage from occurring. It reduces destruction of glutathione, which helps increase the speed at which the body can reduce toxins – particularly alcohol and pollutants.
It is wise to take Milk Thistle if you feel you are suffering from toxin overload. Approximately 200mg of Milk Thistle, three times per day is the recommended dose. Otherwise, it is best used as a precursor for alcohol. If you know you are going to drink on a particular day, take 300-600mg in the few days before hand. Alcohol overload sneaks up on you, however, so make sure you take a 600mg dose when you get home, 300mg the morning after and 300mg in the evening, which will help to eliminate it faster. If you still feel unwell on the second day, repeat the dosage.
A Vitamin B complex will assist with the prevention of ill effects of alcohol. If you drink alcohol regularly ensure that you have a vitamin B complex every morning before any over indulging. Ensure that you drink plenty of water, preferably purified, but any water is better than none. Have water in between your drinks and add plenty of ice to your drinks, even in your wine.
All wine contains sulphites but look for wine that says ‘contains sulphites’ but doesn’t have any numbers listed next to it. Most wine has 220, in it but if you can find wine that doesn’t have 220 listed on the bottle, it means that particular preservative will not be in there, even though there are still sulphites. This will ensure less damage is done to your body. Some bottle shops may sell a particular mix that allows you to add a few drops to your wine bottle or glass which will remove the preservatives in wine. Menopausal women tend to be extra sensitive to these preservatives.
Drink low carbohydrate beer. If you drink spirits, lean towards the lighter coloured spirits such as vodka rather than the darker spirits. The lighter spirits contain less artificial colourings etc. Mix your drink with water based mixes such as mineral water and lemon, tonic water etc. Lastly, ensure you eat before drinking. This does allow a protective lining to form on your stomach. If you eat a meal with fat, protein and carbohydrates in it, you will absorb alcohol more slowly than on an empty stomach.
Hopefully, you will now have a few hints about protecting your body over Christmas and New Year period. Please consult a qualified GP or Naturopath to check on any possible interactions between herbs and your medication.
DISCLAIMER: This is not to replace medical advice. Please speak to your Medical Practitioner if you have any concerns. Please contact your Naturopath if you would like to do a supervised detox.