When a person has an upset stomach, there is no better way to cure it then with herbs. Curing a stomachache with herbs is more healthy and natural than any manmade concoction consisting of synthetic ingredients. I highly recommend two herbs for an upset stomach, which can be used separately or together. Whenever a family member or friend complains about an upset stomach, I suggest they try one of two herbs ginger root or peppermint, because that is what gives me relief.
Although it is referred to as ginger “root”, it is really a rhizome or a fat, gnarly stem that grows under the ground. Popular in a variety of culinary dishes, such as cookies, breads, jams, jellies and some meat dishes, ginger root is a favorite in Asian cuisine. It is also used for medicinal purposes in Chinese and western herbal medicines.
The healing properties of ginger root contain compounds such as gingerols and shogals, which make it an excellent remedy for upset stomachs. To get the full benefits of its healing properties ginger root should be allowed to stay and grow for long durations in order to become hotter and spicier.
Over the years, I have grown many varieties of peppermint in my garden, such as orange, chocolate and pineapple; however, nothing compares to what I refer to as the basic variety of mint, peppermint.
Peppermint can grow up to three feet tall and bloom from July through August with tiny purple flowers. A native to Europe and Asia, it has become naturalized in North American and I have even found it growing in the wild. It has square, slightly hairy stems and dark green fragrant leaves.
Peppermint can grow in just about any kind of soil, but prefers well-drained, rich dirt. It is an invasive plant, as I found out, and can quickly grow beyond its allotted area. If planted near one of its cousins such as orange or pineapple mint, it will become the dominant mint, and the others will obtain the peppermint aroma, losing their original scent. Thus, if you want to grow different varieties of mint, make sure they are spaced several yards apart.
According to Herbal Musings, the healing property of peppermint is attributed to its active component of menthol, where the peppermint oil comes from. The compounds in the oil (thymol and eugenol), are the two that helps suppress indigestion occurring in the stomach.
Ginger Root and Peppermint Tea
Combining ginger root and peppermint together is a sure way to help or even prevent an upset stomach as they both help in the digestion of food. Add one teaspoon of grated ginger and one teaspoon of peppermint leaves to boiling water. Steep for three minutes and drain through a tea strainer or cheesecloth. I lightly mash my peppermint leaves before adding the hot water, as this seems to make a stronger mint taste.
Sources: Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Herbs, Personal Experience, Mountain Valley Growers