3 Best Herbs for Upset Stomach

3 Best Herbs for Upset Stomach

An upset stomach can really ruin your day. It may be a nagging sharp pain, bloating or cramping that stops you in your tracks. These 3 best herbs for upset stomach may do just the trick to get you back on your path and, in some cases, just as fast as an OTC (over the counter) remedy. Remember to always check with your doctor before taking any herbal supplement as certain herbs may interfere with your health history and/or current medications. Also see your doctor immediately if your upset stomach is severe or it is a chronic (persistent) discomfort that will not go away.

First, Cut the Sugar

Eating sugar on top of upset stomach can be like adding fuel to a fire. Although everyone has good intentions and may recommend that you try their “family secret,” when discomfort arises stay away from sugar at all costs. Things like sugar laden soda (ginger is good, ginger ale is not), candy (peppermint is good, peppermint candy is not), foods (papaya is good, sugar coated papaya is not) or any other recommendation that has sugar in it should be avoided. The sugar can simply react in the digestive tract causing bloating which could exasperate upset stomach. According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, “These sugars then go to the colon where the bacteria ferment the sugar and turn into gas. This can cause cramps. Because it may take a number of hours for this to happen, the pain is not felt at the time.”

The Spicy Savior

Fresh ginger can be a real help when it comes to acute upset stomach. Peeling and grating this root into hot water and letting it sit for about fifteen minutes makes a potent tea that when slowly sipped could act like a fire department putting out a forest fire. It’s spicy but it can be beneficial.

Feel the Fennel

Fennel is a licorice tasting herb which is  member of the carrot family that comes in the form of a kind of thick celery stalk. Simply chewing on a piece of fennel can stimulate powerful digestive enzymes to quell just about any upset stomach. It may be difficult to find fennel which usually only shows up in high end supermarkets or at some local farmer’s market. However, a good health food store should have a fennel tincture (liquid) you can mix with a little water or fennel seeds that can be chewed.

Powerful Peppermint

The University of Maryland Medical Center describes peppermint when being used for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), “a more recent study conducted in Taiwan found that patients who took an enteric coated peppermint oil formulation 3 – 4 times daily for one month had less abdominal distention, stool frequency, and flatulence than those who took a placebo. Nearly 80% of the patients who took peppermint also had alleviation of abdominal pain…Peppermint calms the muscles of the stomach and improves the flow of bile, which the body uses to digest fats. As a result, food passes through the stomach more quickly.” Peppermint is best in a tea as the oil can be too potent for stomach digestion possibly causing heartburn.

Note: Lemon juice can exasperate acid reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) so check with your doctor if you suffer from these before taking lemon juice.

When Herbs Are Scarce

Sticking to room temperature water when you have upset stomach can help. If no other herbs are available, adding fresh lemon to water may do the trick. Lemon juice is full of enzymes that can:

  • Contain compounds similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices.
  • Help bowels eliminate which can ease upset stomach.
  • Helps reduce phlegm in the digestive tract.
  • Stimulate the liver to aid in optimal digestive health.

Note: Lemon juice can exasperate acid reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) so check with your doctor if you suffer from these before taking lemon juice.

These 3 best herbs for upset stomach could be your “ace in the hole” if you don’t want to reach for an OTC choice.

 

 

Image courtesy of Ohmega1982 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 



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