Isvaiyah has been a licensed pharmacist at Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia) for nine years. She earned her M.Sc. from the same university.
Natural Indigestion Remedies That Help
Many of us suffer from indigestion, which is often made worse by our busy lifestyles. Indigestion is also known as dyspepsia. The symptoms include a feeling of pain or burning in the upper abdomen, or an unpleasant feeling of fullness during or after a meal. Sometimes you may also feel nauseous.
What Causes Indigestion?
The possible causes of indigestion include:
- Eating too much food.
- Eating too quickly.
- Eating too much fatty, greasy food.
- Eating a lot of very hot, spicy food.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Certain painkillers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Home remedies can deal with most cases of indigestion. Occasionally, indigestion can be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. Bacterial infection of the stomach with Helicobacter pylori can lead to stomach ulcers. These are best treated by a course of antibiotics. However, keep in mind, please: Always consult a qualified physician if your indigestion persists for more than two weeks.
Heartburn is a different condition from dyspepsia. With heartburn, you feel a burning sensation move upwards through your chest. It is not caused by heart problems, but is associated with acid reflux, when acid from your stomach moves up your gullet.
How Do I Get Rid of a Painful Indigestion Problem?
First of all, cut back on whatever is causing your indigestion. If you are eating a lot of fatty food and drinking a lot of alcohol, you need to start eating more healthily.
Other useful tips include:
- Eating a balanced diet, including plenty of fruit and vegetables.
- Eating small meals, spaced regularly throughout the day.
- Eating slowly, as gulping down your food will only encourage indigestion.
- Never eating last thing in the evening, as your body won’t have time to fully digest the food before you go to sleep.
- Trying to give up or cut back on alcohol.
- Avoiding aspirin or ibuprofen.
Stress is a common cause of indigestion problem. We cannot make our lives entirely stress-free, but we can minimize the pressure. Plan your schedule carefully so that your time is well-managed. Set aside time to relax when you can. Don’t waste a lot of time dealing with trivial issues. It's easy to spend the time on unimportant things then get stressed when you are struggling to meet important deadlines.
7 Powerful Home Remedies for Indigestion Relief
There are a number of commercial Over-The-Counter (OTC) medications that can be taken for indigestion. However, many people prefer to treat themselves.
The following are good natural home remedies for indigestion problems:
Natural Home Remedies for Indigestion Problems
Drink a cup of warm ginger tea after each meal.
Drink a cup of peppermint tea after each meal.
Sip a little skim milk when indigestion takes a toll on your daily activities.
Chew one teaspoon of fennel seeds after a meal.
Take artichoke capsule (follow the package directions).
Drink a cup of warm chamomile herbal tea after each meal.
Take 500 mg of turmeric capsules 3 - 4 times a day.
1. Ginger Root
Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for indigestion. You can eat some grated ginger root with a meal, or take a ginger capsule afterwards. Many people find ginger tea soothes indigestion.
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Lemon and ginger tea is a popular blend; tea bags are commercially available from a number of suppliers. Drink a cup after each meal.
"NOTE: Ginger cookies or crystallized ginger may settle your stomach, but all that sugar won’t do your general health any good. Try to take ginger in an unsweetened form."
Peppermint is good for general indigestion or Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. This herb relaxes the internal muscles and inhibits any spasms in the digestive system
German researchers have reported that a fixed combination of peppermint oil and caraway oil (90 mg peppermint oil to 50 mg caraway oil) was an effective treatment for indigestion.
Peppermint is very easy to grow. Plant peppermint in a fairly shady position in moist soil. The plant spreads by underground runners, so it can spread too much through the garden. You can confine it to a large pot, or prevent its spread by the means of underground plastic boards, etc.
What to Do?
Take a peppermint oil capsule after a meal, or have a cup of peppermint tea.
A Warning Word
Don’t take peppermint for acid reflux or heartburn, as this herb tends to make indigestion complaints worse. Also, avoid peppermint during pregnancy.
A small drink of milk can help settle your stomach, making it a useful home treatment for your indigestion problems. The fat content in full-fat milk, however, can sometimes make the condition worse.
Sip a little reduced-fat or skim milk when you have indigestion. Some people find that goat’s milk is more effective than cow’s milk.
4. Fennel Seeds
The seeds of common fennel or Foeniculum vulgare are particularly effective against stomach cramp and bloating. It can also ease excess flatulence. The plant is classed as a non-native invader in many states, so don’t try to grow it, unless you live in Asia or Europe.
What to Do?
Try chewing a teaspoon of fennel seeds after a meal, or taking a cup of fennel tea. Fennel capsules and tea bags are available from a number of suppliers.
A large-scale scientific study by German researchers, published in 2003, showed that artichoke leaf extract was significantly better than a placebo (dummy treatment) in relieving indigestion.
Normally, we eat the bud of the artichoke plant. However, the leaf is a useful natural treatment for indigestion. Artichoke leaf extract capsules are available. Follow the dosage recommended on the packaging. It is believed to stimulate the gall bladder and aid effective digestion.
German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is another good treatment for indigestion and heartburn, which can soothe the digestive system effectively. This herb has been used for centuries for stomach complaints.
It is very easy to grow German chamomile from seed. Sow in spring on a windowsill, planting the small plants out in late spring or early summer. The plants prefer a sunny position and well-drained soil.
The tea is made from the flowers. The plant is an annual (or dies after one year), so remember to save some seed for next year.
A Warning Word
It is normally taken as an herbal tea after a meal. Although a very gentle herb, it should always be avoided if you are allergic to ragweed.
This spice, used in many Indian dishes, is a good home remedy for indigestion. Capsules and tablets are available. Take 500 mg three or four times a day until your indigestion disappears. Turmeric contains a substance called curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an anti-oxidant.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2017 Isvaiyah