Peppermint is one of the oldest and most widely known methods for calming an upset stomach and improving digestion. Drinking peppermint tea after a large meal relaxes the muscles, relieving the feeling of tightness and bloating. Peppermint can make heartburn or gastric reflux worse, since it works by allowing the stomach and esophagus to relax, and encourages the secretion additional bile to help break down fats. For these reasons peppermint can cause additional acid to back-up into the relaxed opening of the esophagus. Slow-dissolving peppermint capsules have been studied for treating IBS. Patients in the study saw at 75% reduction in symptoms compared to placebo. Peppermint teas are widely available in individual tea bags, or use 1 tsp of dried peppermint to a cup of boiling water, steep for 10 minutes and drink. This remedy is not recommended for pregnant women.
Ginger has been used as an herbal remedy in Asia for thousands of years. Ginger is renowned for aiding digestion, calming an upset stomach, relieving diarrhea, and reducing nausea. Ginger has been proven to reduce sea-sickness in novice sailors and morning sickness in pregnant women. Make ginger tea with 2 tsps of fresh grated ginger root and one cup of boiling water. Candied ginger and ginger ale are two readily available forms of ginger that will help settle an upset stomach. Ginger is a blood thinner do not use if you take blood thinning medications and always check with your doctor if you are taking any prescriptions.
Turmeric is a rhizomatous plant closely related to ginger. Turmeric gives mustard and curry powder their signature yellow-orange color. Turmeric has been used in Asia for 4,000 years to treat many physical ailments and has been approved in Germany for reducing gas and bloating and improving digestion. Turmeric helps digestion by increasing acid production and stimulating the gallbladder to release more bile. Remedies that increase acid can be helpful for people with low hydrochloric acid levels. Acid production decreases as we age. Many people aren’t aware but their stomach acid may be low, which means food can’t be completely digested and nutrients can’t be assimilated by the system. Add ½ tsp of turmeric to warm milk. When the milk turns orange remove from the heat and enjoy. Milk is also effective at increasing acid, making this an effective two part remedy. Turmeric is most effective as a short-term solution. Don’t use if you take blood thinners, antacids, or medications that reduce blood sugar.
These are home remedies, not intended for emergencies, or for diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosing and treating any medical conditions.
The University of Maryland Medical Center, “Ginger” The University of Maryland Medical Center.
The University of Maryland Medical Center, “Peppermint” The University of Maryland Medical Center.
Cathy Wong, “Natural Remedies for Hypochlorhydria / Achlorhydria” About.com:Alternative Medicine.
The University of Maryland Medical Center, “Turmeric” The University of Maryland Medical Center.
Megan Yoga+ Magazine, “Turmeric Milk” Care2.
Gloria Tsang, RD, “Acid Stomach Diet” HealthCastle.com.