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Holiday Stress Soooothers

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Christmas holidays are supposed to be festive and a time of relaxation. Yet for many, this season is the most stressful time of the year. Planning meals, vacations, buying presents, and everything else can wear the mind and body down.

Christmas holidays are supposed to be festive and a time of relaxation. Yet for many, this season is the most stressful time of the year. Planning meals, vacations, buying presents, and everything else can wear the mind and body down. As a result, we can suffer from fatigue, infections, depression, anxiety, digestive problems and many other ailments. This Christmas, soothe away the effects of stress with the help of natural remedies.

Multivitamins

First, start by making sure you have adequate nutritional support. A high- potency multivitamin rich in B vitamins helps supply basic nutrients that retard the effects of stress. Studies also show that regular multivitamin supplementation helps prevent the comon cold.

Calcium And Magnesium

Consider taking 250 milligrams of calcium and 250 mg of magnesium in the morning and evening, as they relax tight muscles and promote relaxation of the nerves. These minerals are especially helpful if you are prone to tight muscles or headaches. As a bonus, magnesium works wonders for energy production. Also, supplementation of these minerals is helpful for many people who experience insomnia as the result of stress.

Kali Phosphoricum

If you are experiencing "brain fog," "jangled nerves" or anxiety, I highly recommend this homeopathic remedy. It acts as a nerve tonic to relax the nerves and also improves concentration. Take four pellets of the 6X potency three times daily. It has no toxicity and can be taken for extended periods of time.

St. John's Wort

If you are feeling the "holiday blues" and need a cost-effective natural elevator, I recommend St. John's wort. This versatile herb has also been shown to be effective for anxiety. Take 900 mg of a 0.3 per cent standardized extract daily. To avoid any herb-drug interactions, do not supplement St. John's wort if you are currently taking a pharmaceutical antidepressant. Please consult your health-care provider if you are experiencing suicidal depression.

Astragalus

Many people come down with a respiratory infection such as the common cold or flu during Christmas. Stress and a lack of sleep have been shown to suppress the immune system. To guard against infection and enhance immune function, I recommend taking 1,000 mg of this Chinese herb in the capsule form daily or 30 drops of the liquid form twice daily.

Digestive Enzymes

During the holiday season, many of us consume foods that we would not normally eat. Also, gatherings usually involve larger amounts of food than our digestive system can handle. Try to be wise with your food selection but still enjoy some of the "goodies." This is more easily done by taking a full-spectrum digestive enzyme with larger meals or hard-to-digest foods (i.e., fatty, creamy foods).

Ginger Root

If holiday foods are causing an embarrassing amount of flatulence, try ginger root. This digestion wonder herb reduces gas formation as well as intestinal cramping. Drink a fresh cup of ginger tea as needed. It is also available as a supplement in capsule or liquid form.

Passionflower

Worrying about planning all your family festivities or long nights staying up with friends or family members can contribute to insomnia. Passionflower is a great herb to safely promote relaxation of the nervous system and a good night's sleep. This herb is not known to cause the drowsiness or hangover feeling in the morning that some people experience with pharmaceutical sleep aids. Take 500 mg of the capsule form or 30 drops a half hour before bedtime.

Nux Vomica

For those who overindulge in the alcohol and are prone to nasty hangovers, I recommend the homeopathic remedy Nux vomica. It is the most effective remedy to relieve the headaches, digestive upset and fatigue associated with hangovers. It is a much better option than pharmaceutical pain relievers that can potentially cause liver and brain damage when combined with alcohol. Of course, drinking in moderation or not at all is the best treatment.

Stop by your local health food store and stock up on the supplements you and your family will most likely benefit from. Don't let Christmas stress ruin your holiday!

The Natural Physician, by Mark Stengler, ND, is available at health food stores or from alive Books: 1-800-663-6513.

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