Indigestion is not an uncommon phenomenon, as every person is subjected to it at one point in their lives. This uncomfortable physical state causes numerous symptoms and discomfort. Some of these symptoms can be debilitating.
Medical author John P. Cunha from eMedicineHealth lists these symptoms as abdominal pain, bloating, excessive flatulence or burping, nausea (with or without vomiting), stomach pains, or a rumbling, grumbling stomach, diarrhea or constipation and a decreased appetite.
The actual cause of indigestion can come from multiple sources and is usually related to a functional problem of the gastrointestinal tract. This means that there is difficulty in processing food or stomach acids. Diseases, medications, and lifestyle are some of the causes. If suffering from these symptoms, you might be tempted to use medicine to deal with the pain and discomfort. However, it is recommended rather than going using natural methods first, and only resorting to medication if the condition is not alleviated by home remedies.
1. Have A Cup of Tea
There is a great variety of quality teas available to assist in calming one’s stomach, as well as relieving digestive disorders and restoring the normal functioning of the bowels. Chamomile tea is an excellent example of such tea. This is an age-old treatment for digestive problems.
It both calms the stomach and soothes spasms in the intestines. It is suggested taking half a teaspoon chamomile tincture thrice daily or sipping on chamomile tea throughout the day.
Another great tea option is ginger tea. An article on Medical News Today highlights how this tea is known to be a natural stomach soother. This invigorating refresher also reduces the production of stomach acid. It is recommended to drink a caffeine-free variety of this tea, using some honey as a sweetener. Many local health stores have an array of teas and the benefits of these teas are often listed on the boxes.
2. Sip On Hot Water
While some might find this experience akin to drinking a gulp of bathwater, others can’t rave enough about the health benefits of a soothing mug of steamy water. It is recommended starting the day off with a cup of hot water, flavored with lemon, to get the system working efficiently.
The water also has detoxing benefits and awakens the system, refreshing it and strengthening it to welcome in the new day. Remember, when it comes to the gut, water is king, says Healthline.com. This cleans the intestinal tract and keeps things moving along in a healthy, regimented way.
Water should be consumed daily in its purest form. It’s recommended to have six to eight glasses of drinking water every day. Those wanting to increase their water intake can put this in a bottle and carry it with them to the office, gym, store, and other places visited throughout the day.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar might not be everyone’s cup of tea but American gastroenterologist Dr. Cynthia Yoshida says it is as effective in alleviating digestive disturbances. This somewhat ‘sour solution’ to stomach problems is easy to implement. It’s advisable to mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with half a glass of water.
What this concoction does is help a person digest food by increasing the acid content of the stomach. For people living with indigestion, this might just be exactly what the doctor ordered.
This treatment works best after a large meal. If sour is not one’s taste, then add a little honey to the mixture to sweeten things up. The powerful ingredient in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. This is a weaker acid than the hydrochloric acid in your stomach. For this reason, the apple cider vinegar is able to buffer the acidity levels in the stomach.
4. Try Some Baking Soda
Medical experts on Healthline.com say that baking soda does much more than making cakes rise. Stirring a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water for drinking might be all that is needed to set one’s stomach at ease. When the stomach is too acidic, the baking soda-water solution neutralizes stomach acid, at the same time relieving painful gas and bloating, according to experts from the Columbia University Health Services.
Since baking soda, in rare instances, can result in unwanted gas in the stomach, it is recommended adding some drops of lemon juice to the mixture. This will dispel unwanted gas before you ingest the concoction. Baking soda is known as a natural antacid and in addition to indigestion, can also be used to treat heartburn and bloating. There are some precautionary measures to be taken. It is recommended not to take this substance if you are feeling too full after a meal.
5. Drink Milk
Fresh milk does more than nourish infants and provides valuable calcium for healthy bones and teeth, according to an article on health site Medical News Today. Drinking milk is also one of the best ways for easing stomach cramps and painful digestive problems.
A glass of fat-free skimmed milk should do the trick if you are looking to use what you have in your fridge to ease indigestion. Consumption of milk, one to two times daily, can do wonders for your stomach, buffering the acids in the stomach. This is because the unique pH of milk ranges from 6.5 to 6.7, and can help neutralize the stomach acids and treat indigestion.
It is advisable, however, not to opt for full cream versions and rather to go ‘skinny’ using skim varieties. This is because full cream milk consumption can exacerbate the problem. When it comes to indigestion, it’s best to stick to tried methods.
6. Eat Slowly
One way to combat indigestion is to take some advice from grandparents. Most people have memories of guzzling down a burger or piece of cake, only to be told to chew slowly and thoughtfully. This method of eating is actually the right way in order to prevent indigestion. It is a known fact that chewing one’s food thoroughly and eating slowly helps with digestion and is one of the best preventative steps one can take to facilitate the digestive process.
This is because the actual process of digestion begins in the mouth when food is first ingested. While it might be tempting to wolf down food, this could make you swallow gas which inevitably results in bloating and even more gas. The exact timing of one’s eating is also crucial. Eat the last big meal of the day a few hours before going to sleep. A person’s body doesn’t digest food well while sleeping.
7. Get Chewing
Chewing on some gum might seem a pointless activity, but it can help with digestive ailments, such as heartburn and indigestion. Chewing gum is an unassuming way to get the digestive juices working. This everyday commodity is arguably one of the best non-medicinal treatments for heartburn.
Researchers from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, in an in-depth 2001 study, found that chewing gum increased esophageal and pharyngeal pH levels. This directly benefits the digestive process and reduces heartburn.
Some studies have indicated that people have been able to achieve weight loss through this method. Chewing on your favorite gum literally floods the esophagus with alkaline saliva. This has many benefits – one being that it neutralizes acids which cause the burning which so often accompanies indigestion. For this reason, keep some chewing gum handy and easily accessible. Chewing gum sticks are easy to carry around and one never knows when one might need them.
8. Bitter Is Better
A bitter beer might seem a bitter pill to swallow but it is a known fact – at least among drinkers – that beer contains hops and that the bitter varieties are especially rich in this. Hop is a herb that helps to stimulate digestion. Still, this isn’t a reason to go on a drinking binge.
A Reader’s Digest medical article advises drinking half a glass of beer in the event of indigestion. This should do the trick in stimulating the system and restoring normal functioning.
Beer is easy to attain and can be found at local supermarkets or bottle stores. It can also be kept in storage at home with minimal effort. Beers like Guinness, which is a traditional Irish beer, contains other nutrients, in addition to hops, and is known for increasing iron levels in a person suffering from anemia. Again, not reason enough to begin a drinking habit.
9. Use Ginger Essential Oil
The use of essential oils is well-documented to have many health benefits. They are great in alleviating discomfort and pain in the abdominal region, according to a study published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine. Ginger essential oil is recommended for relieving gastrointestinal tract discomfort, as well as stomach pains. It has been advised using one to two drops of ginger essential oil each day.
These should be added to a favorite herbal tea or drink and consumed at least 20 to 30 minutes before each meal.
In the event of indigestion due to reflux, rub a few drops of ginger essential oil directly onto your stomach area for relief. This will work wonders in calming the stomach. In-depth information on essential oils, benefits, and uses a vast but also makes for educational reading. Qualified health store professionals should be able to assist one in finding quality essential oils suited to one’s specific physical condition.
10. Eat Fennel Seeds
With a distinct licorice flavor, fennel seeds can be consumed in the form of a tea, or added to a liquid soup. Fennel consists of certain oils, amongst this fenchone and estragole. According to American gastroenterologist Dr. Cynthia Yoshida, quoted in Best Health Magazine, these compounds help to both prevent and to remove the gas from the intestinal tract.
They are powerful in the effect they have on gastric juices, and ingesting them helps to boost the production of these juices, to bring about a smooth digestive process. At the same time, fennel also has antispasmodic properties. This means it helps relax muscle cells lining the respiratory system, stomach, and intestines.
They can be purchased from health stores and most supermarkets. Health store attendants will also be able to direct one to various products containing fennel and even give advice for fennel consumption. If licorice is your thing, then this is for you.