Some of the first natural remedies I learned to use were those for upset stomach. Nausea. Indigestion. Stomach cramping. Because they were such a common part of life for me, I wanted to know how to quickly alleviate those symptoms.
After finding several natural remedies for upset stomach that worked, I realized that the root of my problem was food and learned to avoid foods I couldn’t tolerate and started eating more real foods. Since doing that, upset stomach isn’t much of a problem.
Thankfully, when I do eat something my body doesn’t agree with, or we catch a bug that’s going around, I now have a selection of natural remedies I can turn to for upset stomach relief:
This odd-looking root is a long-used remedy for stomach issues like morning and motion sickness. I’ve also used it successfully for mild nausea. One of the most common ways to take ginger is in tea. I like pre-packaged ginger teabags because they can easily be packed to go if you’re traveling. If you’re not fond of the taste of ginger, you can also use ginger capsules (if you feel well enough to take capsules).
You can also make a ginger simple syrup that you can add to ginger tea or to some of the teas mentioned below. For that, you will need:
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
Place the honey and water in a sauce pan on medium heat. Once it heats all the way through and the honey has dissolved (around 5 minutes), add the chopped ginger. Turn off the heat and let the ginger steep in the syrup for 10 minutes. Label well and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
The first peppermint remedy I remember using was a stomach-soothing tea. I was feeling nauseated and used peppermint tea to calm the queasiness. Combined with chamomile, peppermint is a gentle soother for stomach ailments like indigestion and heartburn. It also helps relieve diarrhea.
Peppermint essential oil can also be used for upset stomach. Open a bottle of peppermint essential oil and deeply inhale a few times for relief from mild upset. (Find 100% pure peppermint essential oil here.)
It can also be rubbed in circles on the abdomen to relieve upset stomach. Peppermint is a strong essential oil, so use a carrier oil like coconut oil to dilute in this instance. Use 1-2 drops in 1 tbsp carrier oil. (Find high quality coconut oil here.)
Bentonite clay is an unusual, but effective natural remedy for upset stomach. The clay acts as a magnet that draws in and then absorbs harmful substances that could be causing the problem. I confess, I was very skeptical about using clay at first, but the more I use it, and the more I see it work, the more I love this multi-purpose remedy. Bentonite clay can easily be found online and used in capsules, by the spoonful or blended with water.
Lemon balm is an herb with soothing properties, especially on the digestive system. This is one of my go-to children’s remedies because the taste is so pleasant. For kids, I brew 1 teaspoon lemon balm leaf in 1 cup of hot water. I add a bit of honey if they won’t drink it and ask them to sip on it. For adults, I use the same amount of water, but bump it up to 1 tablespoon lemon balm leaf. It’s great for soothing stomach cramps and mild nausea. (Find lemon balm leaf here.)
Some report using acupressure to successfully treat nausea. To relieve nausea symptoms with acupressure, you need to find the proper pressure points:
- Place three fingers on the inside of the opposite wrist, just below the wrist crease.
- Under your index finger, in the middle of your forearm (between the two tendons), is the pressure point that helps relieve nausea.
- After you find the pressure point, place your thumb on the point on your forearm and place your index finger on the other side of your arm and press the pressure point from both sides.
Relief typically comes in 30 seconds. After you do one side, repeat on the other. There are also bands that can be purchased and worn before trips or when you’re feeling nauseated that keep pressure on the pressure points for you. (Find them online here.)
Bitters are bitter foods, beverages or supplements that aid in digestion. Once they touch our tastebuds, they stimulate our bodies to release bile – one of the most important digestive juices that breaks down foods for nutrient absorption. They’re fairly uncommon in our culture because we love our sweets so much and tend to shy away from bitter foods.
Taking bitters before meals, though, can improve digestion and prevent upset stomach. You can get more bitters by eating bitter greens before a meal or drinking bitter drinks, like coffee and tea, without sweetener. You can also use a supplement. A liquid supplement is recommended because it engages with the tastebuds, which triggers the release of bile. (Find liquid bitters here.)
Papaya fruit and/or enzymes also help with digestion. They contain properties similar to digestive enzymes, which help your body break down food and absorb nutrients. Papaya enzymes are often recommended to help pregnant women with indigestion and heartburn and this supplement can be found online here or in your local natural food store.
Fresh papaya is another great (and tasty) way to get these enzymes. Just be sure to get organic papaya fruit, as many papaya crops are genetically modified.
What are your favorite natural remedies for upset stomach?