Medicine Cabinet Makeover! Natural Ingredients to Ease Indigestion!

Medicine Cabinet Makeover! Natural Ingredients to Ease Indigestion!

indigestion

That uncomfortable full feeling you get in your gut when you eat a heavy meal is generally a symptom of indigestion. Some of the symptoms include frequent belching, nausea, heartburn, stomach pain and general discomfort in the belly. All of us have had it at some time and  have reached for tums or some pepto bismol to soothe the discomfort. Next time you get the pangs try something natural. It may just soothe the discomfort and ease the indigestion without the meds. It’s not a bad idea to keep these foods/ herbs on stock. They are probably are in your kitchen already!

Natural foods for indigestion:

Ginger: Helps to prevent nausea and vomiting. It also helps as a mild digestive ingredient. Fresh ginger is my preferred form. Slice 3 or four pieces and steep into hot water or your favorite herbal tea. Drink as often as you need when the slightest pangs of discomfort start. Juicing an inch of ginger with 2 or 3 apples makes a tasty digestive drink, kind of like natural ginger-ale. Ginger is a staple in my diet which is probably the reason I rarely get indigestion. I carry ginger tea packets in my purse and drink it after  a heavy meal at restaurants.

Fennel/ Fennel Seed :This is an ancient seed used extensively in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It can help fight gas, cramps, acid indigestion, and help ease spasms in the intestinal tract. It has been used to treat infant colic in some cultures in the form of grip water or water mixed with fennel powder. You can steep a few seeds in warm or cool water and make fennel water which eases digestion. I grew up on fennel water and believe me, it’s really good. It has a mild sweet fresh taste which is one of the reasons the seeds are used as an after meal mix at Indian restaurants.

Chamomile and peppermint tea: Both of these teas soothe a bloated, gassy tummy.  They also help to rehydrate when you have diarrhea. Fresh peppermint steeped into hot water would work too. Peppermint leaves in cold water make a refreshing mild detox drink that soothes the gut as it infuses some healing magic.

Probiotics: These are little gold nuggets when it comes to rebalancing the gut after a bout of diarrhea or vomiting.  Probiotics soothe the stomach and release healthy bacteria into the gut that counteract the effect of the stuff that upset the balance in the first place. They strengthen the gut and are keep the bowel flooded with healthy flora. You can take probiotic pills or if you prefer to go even more natural, take 2 cups of more of plain Greek yogurt, Kefir or any other yogurt with live cultures. To read more about the benefits of probiotics, click here.

DGL: This is a form of licorice that can be used to treat indigestion and heartburn. It acts by increasing the mucous coating in your stomach and intestinal tract, thus protecting those tissues from irritation by stomach acid. It soothes the stomach and helps treat the symptoms of GERD. Don’t confuse DGL with the candy licorice!! It’s available at most health food stores in a powder or pill form. Just check with your doctor before taking DGL because while DGL is great for anyone who suffers from heartburn, it is not recommended for anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of heart disease.

To read some tips on easing heartburn and concoct a home made heartburn soothing drink, click here!

About Sunithi Selvaraj, RD

Registered Dietitian with a sweet tooth and a passion for eating healthy ( quite a combo) Nutrition Geek, Healthy Nut.........

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