Up to seventy-five percent of patients with unresolved chronic back pain also have a history of stomach or intestinal problems.1 Symptoms of upset stomach vary widely, but may include indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation or diarrhea. Over the counter remedies and prescription medications are available to neutralize stomach acid and decrease the discomfort associated with an upset stomach. But used on a long-term basis, chemically processed medications may worsen the symptoms. Explore several simple, herbal remedies for calming an upset stomach.
According to the Mayo Clinic2, an upset stomach, also known as indigestion or dyspepsia, occurs due to discomfort in the upper abdominal region. Indigestion can occur on an occasional basis or a daily basis. For indigestion occurring on an occasional basis, over the counter medications such as Alka-Seltzer or Tums are the most common remedy. However, for long-term stomach problems, it may be necessary to consult a doctor to seek treatment. Discuss all treatment options with your doctor, including the herbal remedies below.
Peppermint oil can be used for many types of health conditions, including treatment of cold symptoms, nausea and indigestion.3 Small amount can be taken in liquid or capsule form, or diluted with another oil and applied to the skin. Consult a medical professional prior to use to avoid any allergic reactions or other possible interactions. Do not take in combination with antacids, since antacids break down the coating on the peppermint capsule and can cause more stomach discomfort.
Another herbal remedy for upset stomach is taking ginger tea, tablets or capsules.4 Many over the counter digestive and anti nausea medicines sold in the United States contain ginger. Consult a medical professional for any side effects and cautions. Consider incorporating small amounts of ginger root in stir-fry or other recipes.
Eat more meals and smaller portions per meal to aid in digestion throughout the day. This strategy also works well for increasing metabolism and aiding in weight loss. If possible, drink fluids after the meal has had a chance to begin digesting. The enzymes in your stomach work better when they are not diluted by other liquids.
As always, prevention is the best strategy when dealing with upset stomach. If traditional over the counter antacids and other prescription medicines do not work, consider herbal remedies such as peppermint and ginger, and eat smaller, more frequent meals. If stomach pain persists or grows more severe, consult a medical professional for a physical examination.