Herbal Digestive Remedies For Holiday Eating

’Tis that time of year.  You know…  When all of your best intentions about not scarfing down mass quantities of holiday delectables go out the door.  What to do when you’re at a holiday gathering and your belly is starting to bloat like a hot air balloon, but you forgot to wear stretchy pants?  Well, if you planned ahead, you take out your little brown bottle of digestive herbs.

And what, specifically, would be in said bottle?  Here are a few tried and true ideas:


1. Before-You-Even-Begin Bitters Blend

It’s best to prepare before that dinner party.  Use a bitters blend to help ready your belly for the onslaught!

  • 1 part ginger
  • 1 part cardamom
  • 3 parts burdock root
  • 3 parts dandelion root 

You can blend liquid extracts of each.  Say, mixing 1/2 teaspoon (1 part) each of ginger and cardamom with one-and-a-half teaspoons (3 parts) each of burdock and dandelion root and stick it in a 1-ounce tincture bottle.  Take a squirt anywhere from 30 minutes to just before eating (or even while eating, if you forget!).  Note that parts can be any unit of measurement you want…teaspoons, tablespoons, ounces, milliliters, gallons, pounds… They just make a helpful tool to use when blending.

This blend works well as a tea as well.  Say, you blend 1 teaspoon each of ginger and cardamom and 3 teaspoons each of burdock and dandelion roots. Simmer 1 teaspoon of the blend per every 8 ounces of water for 5-10 minutes, then turn off the heat and steep another 5-10 minutes. Strain. Take 1-3 ounces anywhere from 30 minutes to just before eating.  You can make a few days’ worth and store it in the fridge.

2.  Big Belly Bloat Blend

Forget to take your bitters?  Don’t fret. This tasty blend should help, even if it’s after the meal.  

  • 1 part spearmint or peppermint
  • 1 part fennel seed 

Unless you want to have a thermos of tea with you at the holiday gathering, this blend is convenient as a liquid extract…a teaspoon of each mixed in a small dropper bottle, and a squirt per dose. For tea, add 8 ounces hot water per teaspoon herb and steep for 15 minutes.  Drink 4-6 ounces right off the bat, then sip some more over a couple of hours.  

3. Happy Holidays Hangover Blend

While I don’t encourage you to get plastered over the holidays, if you do partake, here is a blend to help with the next day bluckiness. 

  • 2 parts chamomile
  • 2 parts Oregon grape root
  • 2 parts burdock root
  • 1 part ginger

This may be easier to get down as a liquid extract but can also be done as a tea following the instructions for blend #1.  Use before going to bed, again if you wake up during the night, and again in the morning. 


Happy holidays, and try not to get too carried away!  Which means “Do as I say, not as I do,” if I’m going to be completely honest…