Early in the festive season, stress levels can creep up with extra hours of work, financial pressures and family obligations. As our emotional state becomes heightened, the body readies itself for action by shutting down unnecessary function. This can result in decreased digestive activity, less digestive enzymes that help break down and digest your food, less stomach acid that breaks down protein, B12 and calcium, less bile that breaks down fats and tells the bowel to keep moving! Our sleep can be affected, further adding to our ability to handle stress and protect ourselves from illness.
While alcohol acts as a social lubricant over the festive period, it is also very hard on the digestive system and can cause inflammation. Heartburn, nausea and diarrhoea are common symptoms after a night of excess. Low mood and increased anxiety that can accompany a hangover compound feelings of stress and further aggravates poor digestive function. Simply eating too quickly, not chewing your food and slumping after a meal can also affect your ability to digest your food. You may not get away with eating too much food and stuﬃng yourself with rich, fatty, sugary delights washed down with alcohol. What goes in, may not be coming out as fast as we would like, resulting in constipation, bloating, pain and wind - very uncomfortable!
Silicol gel is an oral gel that can line the digestive tract, soothing and relieving the symptoms of heartburn, nausea and diarrhoea. And best of all, it works quickly! Avoiding acidic or irritating foods like coffee, spicy things and alcohol, will give the body a rest and allow it to heal.
Bitter herbs like dandelion and artichoke stimulate production of digestive enzymes and bile to help with the breakdown of cholesterol and fats. This is why bitter foods (and aperitifs like martini cocktails) are are traditionally served before a meal. Increasing bile can also help stimulate peristalsis which is the muscle movement of the intestine. People who don't have a gall bladder or who have a sluggish bowel often benefit from improved bile flow.
A.Vogel's Digestisan is a combination of both artichoke and dandelion and can be recommended to help with the metabolism of fatty foods and to reduce discomfort after eating. A few drops are taken in a little water before each meal. Its bitter taste is part of the stimulating action.
Dandelion has the added benefit of a diuretic action to help with water retention and puﬃness. Artichoke can help the body rid itself of excess cholesterol and is a great herb to recommend for high cholesterol levels. A.Vogel's Milk Thistle Complex is a combination of milk thistle as well as dandelion and artichoke. Milk Thistle protects the liver form damage and is traditionally used to help reduce the effects of overindulgence.
For wind and bloating A.Vogel's Molkosan is a wonderful fermented food that can easily be added to water, juice or smoothies. Made from organic milk it contains L+ lactic acid, this is a prebiotic that helps creates the perfect acid for our own good bacteria to thrive.
A sluggish bowel or a diet rich in yeasts and sugars can sometimes make what feels like a little beer factory in our gut; churning, bubbling gasses and excessive volume pushing out our waistbands and creating foul winds! This is what happens when foods hang out for too long in the bowel and when undesirable microbes are allowed to flourish in our guts.
Molkosan is balancing, discouraging these fellows and helping the good guys which digest our waste and keep the environment down there in good shape, reducing wind and bloating. It also gives pancreatic support and can help reduce sweet cravings. 70% of your immune cells line the intestines so it makes sense to love your gut and treat it well.