Alcohol!! Do I dare talk about it? Do you dare to listen?
One of those potentially awkward questions I ask in my consultation with clients is how much alcohol do you drink in a week?
The shuffle in the seat & the quick reply, indicates that most know the deal with alcohol, its not great for your health. Does that mean you can never drink again? No certainly you can enjoy a couple of drinks, however here are some factors to take into consideration! When we drink alcohol, of any sort, our body sees it as a toxin, thus our liver goes into defense mode & starts clearing the alcohol out. Which is great, however if you've already have some health conditions this can become a problems as your main organ of elimination is also working over time to clear the alcohol meaning your body is more susceptible to accumulation of other toxins. Alcohol also depletes our B vitamins, good bacteria in the gut & magnesium - all of which are imperative for a healthy nervous system & healthy body. Excess alcohol consumption has also been linked to leaky gut. Alcohol Is a central nervous system depressant, slowing brain function & neural activity. Many people use alcohol as a way to help relax the body & mind, which is certainly can do, however it can have the side effect of low mood, anxiety & depression, particularly the next day as the alcohol starts to wear off. Alcohol is also susceptible to environmental toxins - pesticides, herbicides & fertilisers. Vineyards are one of the most toxic places, they're full of chemicals to keep bugs & weeds away, sprayed with some pretty potent endocrine disrupting toxins. One of the organic vineyards in Barossa once told us, "look under the vines, are there weeds growing? If not, why? It's been sprayed".... So if you're already burdening your liver with alcohol & then the added load of toxins from these pollutants, you can only imagine how hard your liver is working. So now you've got the run down on alcohol, here are a couple of my favourite delicious, refreshing alternatives to alcohol beverages.
- Kombucha - it's fizzy, sugar free & good for your gut - Sparkling water - it's bubbly, it's hydrating and if you add some freeze dried berries and a drop of your favourite essential oil, its almost as if you are having a cocktail.
- Soda water - similar to sparkling water -you can order this one out with a wedge of lemon or lime.
- Herbal teas to relax you - as above mentioned some use alcohol as a way of relaxing, especially of an evening after a hectic day at work, you can swap it up for some even more relaxing herbal teas - passionflower, chamomile, skullcap, St Johns wort, valerian.
So, to answer your question, yes I do drink alcohol, but I now have it very rarely and keep it for special occasions, and try to always drink organic wine.
IN health and happiness
Sarah Emily Herbalist