Indigestion Remedies and Cures
Our great grandparents soothed their stomach pains with some of these comforting cures, but no matter which of these remedies you choose, you will also need to take a careful and critical look at the foods you eat – as well as how often you eat and how much.
You might want to look at what you wear, too: clothes that are tight around the middle put pressure on the abdomen, forcing your stomach contents upwards.
Home remedies for indigestion
Chew and swallow a teaspoon of fennel or caraway seeds when you have indigestion (or after you've eaten a big or especially spicy meal that might cause indigestion). These seeds contain oils that relieve nausea and also help to control flatulence.
The ancient Greeks relied on liquorice to ease tummy pains, and research has found this herb to have all sorts of benefits. Deglycyrrhizinated liquorice (DGL) has a beneficial effect on the digestive tract, soothing stomach upsets and indigestion by coating the lining of the oesophagus and stomach. (Caution: Don't take pure liquorice that contains glycyrrhizine–as opposed to DGL–if you have high blood pressure: it can raise blood pressure and can also be dangerous if it is taken with certain diuretic drugs).
Some people claim that drinking a simple cup of hot water eases indigestion just as well as anything else.
Warm ginger ale or lemonade or flat cola are also said to soothe an upset stomach. If there are any gassy bubbles, get rid of them by first stirring the drink briskly.
Try drinking a teaspoon of cider vinegar stirred into half a glass of water, especially after a large or rich meal. It will help you to digest the food if you don't have enough acid in your stomach. Add a little honey to sweeten the taste.
Stir a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a glass of water and drink it. This solution neutralises stomach acid. Sometimes, bicarb can produce quantities of gas in the stomach, so some experts suggest adding a few drops of lemon juice to dispel some of the gas before it hits your stomach. (Caution: Do not take bicarb if you are on a low-sodium diet as it is high in sodium.)
Teas and infusions
Camomile is an age-old treatment for indigestion. The herb is best taken as a soothing tea – widely available from health food shops and supermarkets. Drink 3 cups of camomile tea a day, before meals.
Ginger has long been used for settling stomach upsets and quelling nausea. Ginger is easily taken in capsule form: take 2x 250mg capsules after food. (Caution: Do not take large quantities of ginger if you are taking blood-thinning medication such as warfarin.) Or follow a meal with a few pieces of candied root ginger or a tummy-warming cup of ginger tea. To make the tea, stir a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root into a cup of boiling water, steep for 10 minutes and strain.
Make a seed infusion by steeping 1 teaspoon of a mixture made up of equal parts caraway, fennel and anise seeds in 250ml of boiling water for 2 or 3 minutes. Strain and divide into 2 or 3 servings. Drink over the course of a day before meals.
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