Natural Ways to Relieve Indigestion
Indigestion is caused when the acid that is inside your stomach irritates the stomach lining or your throat. Although it can cause a burning feeling and uncomfortable pain, it is usually nothing more serious, and most people will suffer from indigestion at some point.
There are certain life choices that can actually make indigestion worse; including certain medicines, smoking and alcohol. On top of this, stress can commonly make indigestion worse as well. Indigestion in pregnancy is often very common, particularly in the later stages, as the baby grows and pushes on your organs; however, your midwife will be able to recommend some suitable remedies or medicine for you. If you are pregnant, check with a medical professional, or your midwife before trying any of the following remedies.
Common symptoms of indigestion will typically follow eating and drinking, and might include; heartburn, which is a painful, burning feeling in the chest which happens more often after eating; feeling full and bloated; feeling sick; passing wind, either belching or farting; bringing up your food, or bitter tasting fluids.
Like we said, indigestion is not normally serious, and there are many home remedies that you can try, without the intervention of a doctor; however, there are certain times that it is recommended that you visit your GP. These include; if you keep getting indigestion, or you are in very bad pain with it; you are over the age of 55; you have lost a lot of weight without meaning to; you are having difficulty swallowing, otherwise known as dysphagia; you keep vomiting; you have been diagnosed as having iron deficiency anaemia; you feel like you have a lump in your stomach; or you have blood in either your vomit or your stools. These can be a sign of something more serious and should be checked out.
So how can you treat your indigestion naturally? Below are just a few remedies you can try to make you feel more comfortable.
There are so many different uses for this succulent plant, but one of the best and most common uses is how it calms your digestive system and counteracts any acid, thus helping to reduce the symptoms of indigestion. It can be really useful for those who suffer from acid reflux, as it can help to fight inflammation.
It is easy to turn your aloe vera plant into a drink that will calm your stomach by simply blending some of the gel, with the clear part of the leaf, along with half a glass of orange juice. The great thing about this drink is that it can be used as a preventative as well if you know what causes your indigestion usually.
If you do not own an aloe vera plant, you can get hold of some powdered aloe vera or aloe vera gel fairly easily from most health food shops, which works just as well.
Fennel seeds are great at relieving the symptoms of indigestion that is associated with eating fatty or rather spicy foods. In fact, in some areas around the world, people will actually chew on fennel plants after they have eaten a meal to reduce the possibility of getting indigestion, with the added bonus of freshening their breath as well. On top of this, the oil from the seeds will also help to control excess gas that you might have, and reduce nausea as well.
It is simple to get the full effects of fennel. Fennel seeds are readily available in most supermarkets, and all you have to do is take approximately half a teaspoon of ground fennel seeds with some water twice a day. You can also chew on a teaspoon of fresh seeds if you have them, or add two teaspoons of crushed seeds to a cup of hot water, and make some fennel tea by leaving it to steep for ten to fifteen minutes, before sieving and drinking.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is often used in natural remedies, and there is a lot of controversy surrounding the effectiveness of the product; however, it is suggested that apple cider vinegar can help to relieve indigestion. This is because the cause of indigestion is often due to the stomach acid that comes from eating too much sugar, which then forms an acid in the body.
Apple cider vinegar is alkaline forming once it is inside the body, so although it does not seem to make sense to drink something that is acidic, when you are trying to relieve the pain that acid in your stomach is causing, actually, by drinking the product before you eat can prevent indigestion from happening, but can also help the body to start the digestion process, meaning your food will break down much more easily and will be better absorbed.
To try this simple drink approximately two to three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before your meals to reduce the acid level in your digestive system.
Ginger is a fantastic ingredient to keep in the home, as it can be used to relieve a number of medical symptoms.
It has been suggested that chewing on a piece of fresh, peeled ginger, or by drinking some ginger tea, or sucking on a ginger lozenge can actually give you relief from your heartburn and indigestion. This is because the ginger will actually stimulate your digestive system, which will produce more of the enzymes needed for better digestion. More often than not, food that is not properly broken down during digestion will give us indigestion, so it is only natural that ginger can help this.
Most people will have cinnamon in the house, but not be aware of just how useful it can be. The wonderful spice can help the digestion process, providing near enough instant relieve from indigestion, and bloating and cramps that can often come with it.
It is so easy to make a cinnamon tea as well, which is pleasant to drink and will help to relieve symptoms, by adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon to one cup of boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes. The tea should be enjoyed warm as opposed to hot.
Alternatively, you can make a batch of tea by boiling eight to ten cinnamon sticks in a large pot of water for approximately ten minutes. Remember to remove the sticks after this time, but you can then have enough tea to drink before or after every meal to prevent indigestion from starting.
Coriander promotes the production of digestive enzymes, which help to calm the stomach and ease the symptoms of indigestion. It is another spice that is often used in natural medicine and is thought that it has a lot of healing properties.
Coriander aids in the secretion of enzymes and digestive juices in the stomach, which in turn help the liver to function properly, and stop diarrhoea.
To get the benefits of coriander, and use it to relieve the symptoms of indigestion and heartburn, simply add one teaspoon of roasted coriander seed powder to a glass of buttermilk and simply drink it twice a day. Alternatively, extract the juice of fresh coriander leaves and mix a teaspoon of this juice into one cup of buttermilk, to reduce the acidity in the stomach. This mix can be drunk two or three times a day.
This is often an ingredient that people have in their cupboards, particularly if you are a fan of baking; however, it has so many health benefits that you might not have been aware of, including helping to relieve the symptoms of indigestion and heartburn.
A mix of baking soda and water is a really simple, but effective way of counteracting excess stomach acid. By mixing half a teaspoon of baking soda in half a glass of water will neutralise any stomach acid, and give you relief from bloating if you suffer from this as well.
Basil is another really effective herb that can give relief to both indigestion and acid reflux. On top of this, it has carminative properties, which can help to relieve any intestinal gas that might be causing you harm as well.
The reason that basil works so well is because it is rich in flavonoids, terpenes and phytosterols, which will all have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
In order to use basil to relieve heartburn and indigestion symptoms, add one teaspoon of basil to a cup of hot water and allow it to steep for ten minutes. You can drink this tea up to three times a day. Alternatively, you can mix five or six ground basil leaves, one-quarter teaspoon of sea salt and a little black pepper powder in two to three tablespoons of plain yoghurt, and eat this two to three times a day.
Drinking certain herbal teas after you have eaten a heavy meal, will help to reduce the symptoms of indigestion. Both peppermint and chamomile tea will help to calm your stomach and are great at relieving any digestive problems that you might have.
We’ll take a closer look at why these two types of tea, in particular, are so good at helping to relieve the symptoms of indigestion. Chamomile tea is known for being incredibly high in dietary antioxidants. It contains several different flavonoids, polyphenols and terpenoids. The first two are both soluble in hot water and are responsible for the high antioxidant activity. So, in order to get the full effects of these and enjoy the benefits that the antioxidants provide, is to make yourself a chamomile tea.
Peppermint is often used for medicinal purposes, thanks to its analgesic, anaesthetic, antiseptic, astringent, decongestant, inflammatory diseases, expectorant, stomachic and carminative properties, and is often used to treat problems, such as stomach ulcers, and other stomach problems.
You can buy both peppermint tea bags and chamomile tea bags from the majority of supermarkets, so all you need to do is cover dip your chosen tea bag into a cup of hot water, and then cover it for five minutes. Finally, whilst it is still warm, sit back, drink it and enjoy all of the benefits.
Finally, some tips to prevent heartburn and indigestion:
Although the above natural remedies are effective in treating both heartburn and indigestion when they are causing you discomfort, the ideal scenario would be to prevent this from happening in the first place, and the good news is that there are few simple do’s and don’ts that will help you to stop indigestion from becoming a problem in the first place.
Try cutting down on the amount of tea, coffee, cola or alcohol you are drinking as these can all make it worse; prop your head and shoulders up in bed, as this can help to prevent any stomach acid from rising whilst you sleep; try and lose some weight if you are deemed to be overweight. This will, of course, have a huge number of health benefits, not just preventing indigestion. Try not to eat three to four hours before going to bed; and try and avoid rich, spicy or fatty foods if you are prone to getting heartburn; don’t take ibuprofen or aspirin. These can often be harsh on the stomach lining, which can make indigestion worse; and finally, if you are a smoker, and you suffer from indigestion, seriously consider giving up. Of course, again, this comes with far more health benefits than just stopping discomfort from indigestion, so really is worth doing.