When you have stomach pain, whether it’s due to indigestion, heartburn or diarrhea, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. So it’s understandable if you keep a ready supply of over-the-counter medications on hand to take away the pain. Yet, there are natural options available that may calm your stomach and soothe the discomfort without any medications required.
Next time you suffer from one of these common stomach ailments, give these natural remedies a try …
If indigestion strikes, try a cup or two of peppermint tea (steep 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain). Peppermint calms your stomach muscles and improves the flow of bile, which helps your body to digest fats. This, in turn, allows food to pass through your stomach more quickly, thereby ridding you of the offending spicy, fatty or greasy foods. (Do not use peppermint for symptoms related to gastroesophageal reflux disease, however, as it may make symptoms of heartburn worse in this case.)
Herbal teas made from German chamomile, licorice or caraway may help to calm heartburn. According to Ayurveda, the ancient healing system of India, heartburn may be a sign of Pitta (fire and sun) dominance. Bringing this back into balance with your other doshas, or energy types based on basic elements, may help to relieve your heartburn symptoms.
Blackberry leaf and raspberry leaf, which can be consumed as a tea, may help to “dry up” mucous membranes in your intestine, thereby relieving diarrhea. Chamomile may also be helpful in soothing inflammation. Keep in mind that in some cases it’s inadvisable to slow or stop diarrhea, as it may be your body’s way of ridding your body of a virus, bacteria or parasite.
4. Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps aren’t related to digestion, of course, but they are soothed by many of the same herbs, including mint and chamomile. A heating pad or warm bath may also be soothing, and exercise has also been found to help lessen pain from menstrual cramps.
Constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating are the most common symptoms of trouble in your colon, so if you have stomach troubles often, it could be a sign that your lifestyle needs tweaking. You might want to consider a natural detox to help your body rid itself of toxins while also giving your body a chance to rest, repair and regroup. Additionally, you can optimize your digestive health with these 5 top tips for a healthy colon.