December 21, 2018
After a holiday meal filled with tons of food and booze, it is fairly common for some of the folks gathered around your table to experience something in the way of indigestion, heartburn, or reflux. When this discomfort hits, there's a kitchen staple to give yourself or your guests to ensure a comfortable rest of the gathering.
While most of us are led to believe that indigestion and heartburn are caused by an overabundance of stomach acid, most indigestion-type symptoms are actually due to a lack of stomach acid, according to the National Institutes of Health. Without this acid, food can't be broken down properly and sits in the stomach longer, resulting in the creation of harmful rancid acids, which hurt the stomach.
Unfortunately, low stomach acid is not the only contributor to the discomfort. A lesser known fact is that every time we eat food, including our healthy salads, we are exposed to microorganisms, bacteria being the most common. Our immune system naturally has the defenses to fight off these harmful microbes, which allows them to pass through our gut and exit through a bowel movement. However, if our stomach acid is low and our immune system is stressed, these strains of bacteria can become part of our gut microbiome. This means that the bad bacteria can hang out in your stomach and multiply by eating up all of the sugars and carbs from your diet.
Symptoms of indigestion and reflux include burning in the chest, a lump in the throat, a feeling of choking, chest pain, and waking in the middle of the night, according to the Mayo Clinic.
To treat those symptoms, many people rely on over-the-counter medications or prescriptions, but there is natural relief available, Nicole Rivera, D.C., told MindBodyGreen: Rosemary, a common herb, promotes gut health while washing away symptoms of digestion.
Studies have shown that rosemary decreases bacterial and fungal infections of the gastrointestinal system. One study discovered the antibacterial activity of rosemary essential oil on E.coli, Salmonella, and Shigella, which are all bacterial infections associated with gut disease and symptoms. The herb spurred anti-fungal activity.
To reap the benefits of rosemary, two tablespoons of the herb are suggested daily. You can consume this via tea or essential oil, but it is best consumed as food. (MindBodyGreen recommends using the herb in pestos, marinades or salad dressing.)
Here are 40 rosemary recipes to get your started.
Or you can opt for an indoor rosemary bush which, BTW, smells divinely seasonal.