Tips to get your Digestion through the Holiday Season

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The holiday season is just around the corner, and this usually means enjoying a few more of the inflammatory foods (hello eggnog!). If you’re planning on indulging in more of your food sensitivities, this can sometimes mean a more inflamed gut. 


An inflamed gut may look like irregular bowel movements, bloating, or mucus. Ideally, we want to limit this, but during this season, sometimes it’s not always easy to do so. Here I give you 3 tips to get your digestion through the holiday season.



Bitters are herbs that are...yes you guessed it..bitter! These herbs help stimulate your “cephalic phase” of digestion, a.k.a. your first phase of digestion. They help your body produce more stomach acid and enzymes to allow your food to be properly broken down. 

A common concern I see with an inflamed gut is poor food hygiene. I talk more about this here. This essentially means:

  1. Not enough digestive power
  2. Larger food particles passing through your digestive tract and irritating your lining
  3. An inflamed gut

In addition to good food hygiene, bitters are an excellent way to boost that first phase of digestion and set things up on the right foot.


Topical Castor oil

Castor oil is a vegetable oil rich in Ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties. When applied over the skin, castor oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain. Castor oil can be oiled clockwise over the tummy, and up into the right side, over the liver, to help calm inflammation and soothe the digestive tract. I usually recommend doing this at bedtime, or in a warm bath. Please note: castor oil should not be ingested internally.


Golden Milk

Gold milk - a.k.a., a turmeric latte is a delicious warm beverage to add in during the holiday season. Turmeric is well known for its wide range of medicinal properties, including being an anti-inflammatory agent. Turmeric is often criticized for its poor absorption, however, when soothing the digestive tract (i.e. for an inflamed gut) we’re looking for local action specifically. This makes something like a turmeric latte perfect.  Here’s a recipe for Golden Milk. 


If you’re feeling inflamed more than just during this holiday season, or have been feeling inflamed for some time, consider getting fully assessed to evaluate the underlying root cause. I talk more about some of the causes here


Please note: these options may not be suitable for everyone, talk to your Acubalance doc to see if they’re a good option for you!


About Dr. Ashley Damm - Naturopath in Vancouver, BC

Dr. Ashley Damm obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University with Cooperative Studies in Research and Development. Following this, she obtained her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. She is a registrant with the College of Naturopathic Doctors and a member in good standing with the British Columbia Naturopathic Association and Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors.

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In Health,

Dr. Ashley Damm. ND

Vancouver naturopath dietician. Tips to get your Digestion through the Holiday Season.