Plop! Plop! Fizz! Fizz! Your favorite post-Thanksgiving indigestion remedies

So it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving and I’m sitting on the couch with the usual postprandial discomfort that typically follows a big meal. Sour stomach, bloating, the whole ball of wax. When I brave the world in a few hours, I will be making a trip to the pharmacy for a small bottle of something-or-other to help get rid of it.

For stuff like this, I usually like Maalox or something similar. It typically works well for heartburn and other tummy issues, it’s cheap, and it’s easy to find. But I’m open to any suggestion since I haven’t gone to the drugstore yet.

(Note: All it is is indigestion. I don’t eat this much on a daily basis [anymore] and have no reason to think it’s anything serious. If it persists or doesn’t respond to a simple OTC remedy, I pinky-swear to see my doctor posthaste.)

I’ve been taking Prilosec OTC for years, so I’m not up on short-term remedies.

Get some Tums or Rolaids. If it’s really bad, consume nothing but ginger ale and saltines until the condition has completely passed. And take it easy on the saltines. Your best friend right now is an empty stomach.

I tend to try what I have at home first. First step is to open a jar of pickles and smell it. If it smells good, I take a small sip of the brine. If it tastes good, I take another. Often “acid indigestion” is actually a case of too little acid for the belly bomb I sent there, and the extra little acid boost from pickle brine even things out and takes away the discomfort.

If the pickle juice smells or tastes vile, then it’s probably an excess acid situation, and I reach for the baking soda and water. It’s old school, but it works, and you get carbonated burps for a little bit, which relieve the pressure (and is kind of fun.)

Then maybe 20 minutes after either the pickle juice or the baking soda, some peppermint or basil tea to settle the tummy.

Sometimes I suspect the problem is too much fat. I get a very particular (gallbladder?) pain and flavor of burps when it’s too much fat, as opposed to too much food. Then I try to find something bitter. Black coffee is okay, but it’s pretty mild. Endive is pretty good. Angostura bitters, just a drop on the tongue, are delightful. But I just keep a small bottle of Gentian tincture in the medicine cabinet. Bitterest herb I’ve ever found, and since you literally need only one drop, this 2 ounce bottle has lasted me more than 5 years. Bitter taste gets the bile flowing, and that takes care of the fat.