Look after your liver and digestion this Christmas and New Year
The Christmas cheer is starting to spread - you can feel it in the air as the holiday season approaches. Whether it's your work Christmas party, that pre-Christmas catch up with friends or the big day itself; tasty temptations abound.
Bubbly, sugary treats, rich meat dishes and carbohydrates galore - your liver and digestive system are probably already cringing at the thought!
In excess, refined carbohydrates, sugar and fat can be problematic for the liver and digestive system to process, and you might be left with indigestion, or feeling bloated or even nauseous.
Traditional Chinese medicine and the liver
Aside from detoxification and producing bile to break down fats, in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the liver is also considered responsible for the movement of Qi, blood and body fluids around the body, supporting the digestive functions of the spleen organ-meridian system.
According to TCM, eating fatty or greasy foods can interfere with the liver's ability to move Qi around the body. This may lead to liver Qi stagnation, sluggishness, digestive difficulties, and excess heat and dampness in the liver.
Good news though, you can support your liver and digestive system to get you through the holiday season. Consider Fusion Liver Tonic, which contains some of our favourite herbs including milk thistle, traditionally used in Western herbal medicine as a liver tonic, and to relieve indigestion.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, worsen change unexpectedly, talk to your health professional.
Milk thistle supports healthy liver function
Milk thistle is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine as a liver tonic, to help the digestion of fats in the diet and to relieve indigestion. Bonus, it also supports the detoxication processes and health of the liver.
Baical skullcap: traditionally taken to aid healthy detoxification in Chinese medicine
Liver Qi stagnation can lead to excess heat in the body. Based on its traditional use in TCM, baical skullcap not only helps to clear excess heat, it also aids healthy detoxification.
Citrus peel: used traditionally to relieve abdominal bloating in Chinese medicine
Another herb used traditionally in Chinese medicine, citrus peel is traditionally taken to relieve symptoms of indigestion, abdominal bloating and nausea.
More holiday season hacks
- Limit sugary and greasy treats (including alcohol) and instead enjoy healthy fat sources such as extra-virgin olive oil, oily fish, fresh salads and lean protein (like turkey and salmon) or vegetable-based proteins (such as tofu and legumes)
- Include fibre in your diet from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Fibre aids the removal of waste from the body and supports the liver's detoxification processes. Best consumed warm according to Chinese medicine if you have a sluggish liver
- Eat pungent foods, which are traditionally consumed to support detoxification and clear liver stagnation in TCM, including watercress, cardamom, rosemary and oregano, and sour/bitter foods including garlic, ginger, grapefruit and coriander
- Keep hydrated by drinking at least two litres of water every day
- Get plenty of exercise as it promotes the flow of liver Qi and can help with that sluggish feeling