3 Herbal Cures for Thanksgiving Troubles
Natural ways to deal with anything this big holiday dishes up.
Some people adore Thanksgiving, declaring it to be their favorite holiday. They find it a time of reflection, when familial bonds are strengthened, and cherished traditions get renewed. Others find it a forced slog at best, contentious colonialism at worst. But wherever you fall upon this spectrum of thought, hopefully you can make this holiday into a meaningful one for you. That may translate to turkey or tofu; spending time with family, chosen family or a blend of both; acts of service or cheering for your favorite football team; leading prayers or leading a gratitude circle. For this week’s Healthy Habit, here are three herbs that can make the day go more smoothly, no matter how you celebrate.
Calm down with: Ashwangandha
Cooking jitters? Family drama? Deep breaths are good. So is this adaptogenic herb. Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat stress, fatigue and anxiety, this popular herb has been shown in some studies to have anti-inflammatory effects, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In another double-blind, placebo controlled study, subjects took a 300 mg. capsule containing extract of the root twice a day for 60 days and found that it lowered stress levels.
Soothe tummy trouble with: Fennel
Okay, that third serving of Aunt Edna’s stuffing wasn’t the brightest move, topped off with apple pie. Treat the resulting heartburn and indigestion with fennel. Fennel tea can be made from the fresh plant’s leaves, from the bulb, or from the dried seeds, and is widely available as a prepackaged tea as well. It’s an ideal beverage to serve after a big meal—and keep some on hand for leftovers tomorrow.
Boost immunity with: Oregano
Planes, trains and automobiles, and now you feel like you’re coming down with something. Oregano contains volatile oils that reportedly support a healthy microbe balance within the body. Some naturopathic doctors recommend 1 to 3 drops of oregano essential oil in water to treat sore throats and respiratory infections; others will say it can be used around the ear for ear infections—dilute it first with a carrier oil such as coconut. A 2013 study done on animals found that dietary intake of oregano and sage improved innate immune system function.
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