Mother Earth's Medicine Cabinet: Soothe An Upset Stomach With These 5 Herbs

Upset tummies can happen for many reasons. The foods you eat, pregnancy, and even anxiety can cause an upset stomach. There are various herbs that can be used to help ease an upset stomach. Different herbs treat different issues while some of the herbs can be used to ease several aspects of an upset stomach.

Today’s walk through Mother Earth’s Medicine Cabinet will take us down the tummy relief aisle. Here are five natural herbs that can help you deal with, calm, and overcome those pesky tummy troubles. You can use the herbs listed individually or in combination together and with other herbs to get the relief that works right for you and your body. I like to make tea using these herbs.

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Licorice is much more than a candy!  Licorice root has been used for many centuries in both Western and Eastern medicine for numerous health reasons. It is used for treating simple chest colds and serious liver diseases. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL is often used to treat upset stomach, peptic ulcers, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). There is one species of licorice called Iberogast that is specifically used to treat GERD. The active ingredient in Glycyrrhiza glabra can sometimes cause serious health issues such as pseudoaldosteronism due to the active ingredient present. It is best to use it in small doses. Licorice will coat and soothe the stomach and intestines providing the relief needed to calm an upset stomach. 

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Ginger is an amazing superfood and medicine! Ancient Sanskrit text spoke of ginger being used for health and healing. Asian medicine has used ginger for many years to treat diarrhea, nausea, and stomachaches. It is still used today to treat nausea caused by chemotherapy, pregnancy, and motion sickness. The gingerols are the key players that provide healing. Gingerols contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-nausea properties that provide many healing benefits. Raw ginger, crystallized ginger, dried ginger, and ginger tea are all great ways to get relief and healing.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): There are a few different members of the mint family that are useful when treating bellyaches. Peppermint can help ease indigestion, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and it can provide flatulence relief. Peppermint is also good for treating non-stomach issues such as headaches and the flu. Methyl salicylate and menthol are the main ingredients that help calm the gastrointestinal tract and also provide antispasmodic effects that help calm the stomach. I mentioned that peppermint is good for treating indigestion but I must add that when the indigestion is caused by GERD it’s best to find another herb as the mint can cause acid reflux like symptoms for some, making matters worse for GERD patients.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): Fennel tea is becoming more popular as time goes on due to the benefits it provides. Fennel is found in many different dishes from many cultures. It is used to treat IBS, indigestion, and heartburn, and for relieving some mild acidity from the stomach. It can be combined with licorice and chamomile to add some extra benefits. Fennel is a carminative herb, which helps remove gas from the intestinal tract. It’s been used in Ayurvedic healing for centuries, being chewed after meals to help aid and stimulate proper digestion, as well as to freshen the breath. Anethole, estragole, and fenchone are all compounds that contain antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that help relax intestinal muscles, calming the stomach.

Chamomile: German chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) are both great for the gut—and they’re both tasty too! The volatile oils produced by the flowers are great for aiding digestion. Bisabolol, one of the active constituents in the oil, contains anti-inflammatory properties that relax the muscle lining in the digestive tract, helping to calm and soothe the stomach. Not only is chamomile great for easing stomach troubles, but it is also amazing for easing anxiety and calming nerves. Chamomile is great for indigestion, as well as menstrual cramps due to the anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. If you use fresh flowers or even dried flowers to make a tea you can get some extra healing by eating them instead of discarding them into the compost bin.

An upset stomach can be annoying and painful. Using any of these healing herbs or a combination of them together can provide great relief for your tummy. I hope today’s walk through the medicine cabinet finds you well and in a good way! Happy Healing!

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