Too much spicy food causing you stomach trouble? Or maybe your nerves are on edge and your gut is trying to send you an SOS signal? Stomach pain, bloating, gas – whatever the symptom, it’s just not fun.
There are all sorts of reasons for stomach ache, many of which are benign and symptoms pass quickly. But before popping over-the-counter antacids from your travel bag or medicine cabinet, try a natural fix found in your kitchen or storage closet. There are good home remedies for upset stomach that can improve your digestive health and leave your gut in good order. Plus, they’re inexpensive and you may have them on hand already…
Here are my top four home remedies for upset stomach, with some easy ways to use them:
Take a pass on after-dinner coffee and try a cup of peppermint tea. It does wonders to improve digestion naturally. Buy it fresh for a DIY brew, and steep a few leaves of the fragrant herb for about five minutes.
Peppermint leaves act as a natural analgesic, providing almost instant stomach pain relief. The herbal tea works to soothe and calm the muscles of the stomach and digestive system, reducing nausea and stomach pain.
Not a tea person? Try chewing peppermint gum (a natural sugarless brand from the health food section) or sniffing peppermint oil – both good options to help relieve your symptoms.
Your mother probably used this acidic pantry staple for cleaning purposes – a vinegar and water solution is great for streak-free windows and shower doors – but apple cider vinegar has long been used as a home remedy for upset stomach. Studies have also linked it to good blood glucose control, making it particularly helpful for people with diabetes; it’s also been associated with blood pressure control and weight management. Lots of good reasons to give it a try!
To improve your digestive health, though, a small amount of apple cider vinegar, taken just prior to a meal, can help stimulate the production of digestive juices. You need those juices to break down your food properly so nutrients can be absorbed and used by your body. Mix one tablespoon with a cup of warm water (or cold, if you prefer) and add a little honey to sweeten the drink.
Make sure you’re using apple cider vinegar, not malt or white vinegar that you put on your fish and chips. Apple cider vinegar is made from cider or crushed apples, giving it a yellow-brownish color. Unlike the clear stuff, apple cider vinegar contains nutrients and bacteria that make up the cobwebbed, cloudy sediment at the bottom of the bottle. That’s the good stuff!
It’s the enzymes that are produced during the fermentation process that make apple cider vinegar so good at tackling digestive symptoms.
Grate some fresh ginger into your soup or brew it for a soothing tea. Ginger root has a long history in traditional medicine as a natural remedy for stomach upset, among numerous other ailments. To naturally improve your digestive health, some contend it works by speeding up the pace at which food moves into the small intestine from the stomach. When your digestion is motoring along, irritants don’t sit in your stomach and cause you distress.
A University of Miami study concluded that ginger extract could be a substitute to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) for pain. The study compared the effects of a concentrated ginger extract to a placebo in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The ginger reduced pain and stiffness in knee joints by 40 percent over the placebo. Why the relief?
Researchers say that the herb has anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer and antioxidant properties, so offers quite the therapeutic package. If your stomach lining is inflamed or irritated, ginger could provide natural relief.
Don’t underestimate the healing power of heat therapy! Your hot water bottle or heating pad, placed right on your stomach for a good 10 minutes, is such a simple home remedy for stomach turbulence.
The heat increases blood flow to the skin surface, so it moves your perception of pain from inside your stomach to the outside. It’s like playing a mind-game with your brain’s control center, temporarily blocking chemical messengers that cause pain to be recognized by the brain.
The heat from your hot water bottle doesn’t just provide comfort and have a kind of placebo effect. Much like pharmaceutical painkillers, the heat from the hot water bottle or heating pad deactivates the pain at a deep, molecular level, giving you much-needed relief.
So instead of reaching for pills, try these natural home remedies to improve your digestive health. Your gut deserves some care and attention, especially if you’re experiencing aches, pains or annoying gas or cramping. No one needs those! Try these natural, simple fixes and see how you feel.