According to the National Toxicology Program Fact Sheet, “Medicinal herbs are among our oldest medicines and their increasing use in recent years is evidence of public interest in alternatives to conventional medicine.” Home remedies for calming an upset stomach date back to Roman times when physicians like Hippocrates used dill and other carminative herbs, like artichokes, to soothe upset stomachs. Dill seeds were offered after dinner – like today’s mints – to sweeten the breath and aid digestion. Carminative agents help gas pass through the digestive system and prevent it from forming. Gas is the major cause of digestive ailments.
Carminative Herbs for Calming an Upset Stomach
Here is a look at four of the most widely used carminative herbs as well as other alternative remedies for an upset stomach. These herbs are on a list of treatments for stomach upset considered to meet “reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit” by the University of Michigan Health System.
The use of ginger and ginger derivatives is familiar to most; flat ginger ale is a time-honored remedy for upset tummies. What is not as well known is the reason why this pungent plant is so effective as an anti-nausea treatment. Ginger contains the active ingredient gingirols which has demonstrated benefit in clinical trials for treating nausea. (1)
How to Make Ginger Tea for Upset Stomachs
Ginger tea is easy to make and calms upset stomachs. Just take a small piece of ginger root and slice it thinly. Cover with about four cups water and bring to a gentle boil over low heat. When the water boils, turn off the heat and let the tea steep for about 20 minutes. Strain, and serve hot or chilled.
How to Use Peppermint and Caraway for Digestive Problems
Peppermint and caraway used in combination are effective digestive aids. Either can be used separately, as they are both carminative herbs, but when combined a greater effect is usually demonstrated. The active ingredients in peppermint are menthol essential oil and menthone. Carovone and limonine are the essential ingredients of caraway. Follow this recipe for caraway tea or try this digestive tea to test the combined efficacy of peppermint and caraway.
How to Cook Artichokes for Tummy Aches
Artichokes have been prized throughout history for nutrition and healing powers, and their effect on the digestive system is well documented. While these funny looking vegetables may look scary and hard to cook, it is really quite simple when a step-by-step method is followed.
Artichokes are an amazingly versatile plant that can be grilled, steamed, boiled, roasted, stuffed, marinated, or chopped and made into dip. They are delicious either hot or cold, so try one the next time home remedies for calming an upset stomach are needed.
Although it does not earn as high a rating on the University of Michigan’s carminative herb study, borage or fireweed, has a strong anecdotal history of being effective in treating stomach and digestive ailments.
The next time home remedies for an upset stomach are needed, why not give one of these herbal treatments a try? The information presented in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat or diagnosis any illness. Please check with your health care provider prior to starting or changing any treatment protocols.
1. National Institutes of Health, “Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials”, Ernst, E and Pittler, M.H, March 2000, accessed 04/30/2010
National Institutes of Health, National Toxicology Program Fact Sheet, 2006, accessed 04/30/2010