Stomach upset? Discomfort in the upper stomach, accompanied with bloating, belching or nausea? You may have indigestion, also referred to by its clinical name: dyspepsia. In our household, we use a quick and easy remedy whenever these symptoms appear: peppermint. By drinking a glass of water with a few drops of peppermint oil, eating mints with natural peppermint, or drinking an herbal tea infused with crushed peppermint leaf, we generally experience fast relief for indigestion. If the symptoms persist or become worse, then we know that it’s not common indigestion, and seek medical advice.
We were led to this home remedy for calming an upset stomach twenty-five years ago by our family doctor, John O’Donovan. Dr. John was then in his sixties, and was in all ways a family country doctor. By that I mean he would still make house calls, open his clinic for emergencies on weekends, and believed in providing his patients with the most economical means for health care. When my husband asked the doctor about a persistent upset stomach, Dr, John told him to use peppermint – or any other natural mint that was available. He went on the say that most over-the-counter medicines cost more and generally included some of the same properties as peppermint. Of course, if the condition persisted or worsened, my husband was instructed to return to the doctor’s office for further tests and analysis. As it turned out, peppermint was just the right prescription. We have used the home remedy since then, with brilliant success.
For us, the use of natural peppermint is the preferred remedy; however, in a pinch, the use of other mints generally works well, but more slowly. It has not always been convenient to grow peppermint, have peppermint oil in stock or keep dried peppermint on hand to make an herbal tea. But we do always keep a tin of natural peppermint mints handy. In an emergency, when away from home, I even have eaten a chocolate covered mint patty or hard candy that included the natural mint ingredient, all with decent results. Peppermint oil in a glass of water seems to work the fastest. An herbal tea, with infused crushed peppermint leaves is the second choice; but any commercial herbal mint tea will work fine. As a last resort, anything with natural mint should work for common indigestion, but results generally are a bit slower than peppermint.
Peppermint is a hybrid, a cross between water mint and spearmint, and grows throughout Europe and North America. There is archaeological evidence placing the use of peppermint for medical use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago. Modern medicine also acknowledges the use of peppermint. According to the Mayo Clinic some people may find relief from indigestion by drinking herbal tea with peppermint. More of their information about the use of peppermint for indigestion may be found here.
Also, the National Institute of Health (NIH) discusses the use of peppermint oil for the use of stomach and bowl conditions. They site positive test study results for the use of peppermint oil for improving irritable bowl symptoms, relief of indigestion and the use of the oil for other health conditions. You can go here to read more about NIH’s review of peppermint use for calming an upset stomach.
Our household’s favorite homemade remedy for calming an upset stomach is peppermint. It has worked well for us for many years. We especially are comfortable with the remedy since it was first recommended by a trusted medical doctor and is referenced by both the Mayo Clinic and National Institute of Health. Best of all: Mint tastes good, too.