We all know the feeling...you overate your favourite ice cream or took a chance on that sushi in your fridge that didn’t smell quite right. The last thing you want to do in this scenario is have to zip out to the drug store while nursing an upset stomach.
Even though the first thing most people think to take is Pepto Bismol or Tums (which admittedly, most of us grew up having stocked in their medicine cabinet), you might not have realized that the most effective and natural remedies for your stomach pain are everyday ingredients you probably already have in your fridge. Keep in mind that like medication, natural remedies aren’t for everyone.
You can’t talk about indigestion without talking about ginger. The great thing about ginger is that it will last a pretty long time before going bad so I like to keep some in my fridge at all times. Ginger has what are called carminative properties, which means it can help get gas out of the stomach or intestines, thereby relieving gas and bloating. It’s good for nausea and can prevent indigestion and get your digestion moving.
For a digestive aid, roughly cut up a 1-2 inch piece of ginger and boil it in water. Strain it before drinking and add some fresh squeezed lemon juice if you have it.
Even though mint may not be something you always have lying around the house, it’s on this list because it’s almost always available in the grocery store. Mint is a key herb for the digestive system that reduces gas and bloating. It has been shown to be helpful for relieving symptoms of pain and discomfort in IBS by reducing muscle spasms and relaxing the muscles of the GI tract.
Mint tea is the easiest form to keep on hand for relieving indigestion, but you can also steep about 15 fresh leaves in hot water for a homemade tea. If you’re worried about your fresh mint going bad, you can freeze or dry it for later use.
*Avoid mint if you have a hiatal hernia or have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) because it can aggravate symptoms.
Lemon helps to stimulate bile flow from your liver, which is especially important for digesting fats and keeps your digestion moving along.
To make this, squeeze the juice of half a fresh lemon in room temperature or warm water.
Like lemon, unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar is especially helpful if you have heartburn or indigestion from overeating or eating something you can’t tolerate well. It’s about a step up from lemon juice in terms of intensity.
Take 2 tablespoons or about one shot of apple cider vinegar and dilute it in 2 cups of room temperature water. This works after a big meal, or before bed if you overate. If you know you have a big meal coming up for holidays for example, you can also drink this about 15 minutes before your meal to “prime” your digestive system.
*Don’t take apple cider vinegar if you have ulcers.
Like ginger, fennel also has carminative effects and has been traditionally used to reduce gas and bloating. It can also be helpful for alleviating symptoms of IBS.
To use fennel, crush or grind whole fennels seeds and steep them in hot water for about 5 minutes. Better yet, try a homemade remedy of fennel seeds, peppermint, ginger and lemon with a little raw honey.
Just remember that regular indigestion, bloating, heartburn and stomach pain are not normal. Don’t hesitate to book a complimentary 15 minute info session with a nutritionist on our team to learn how you can get to the bottom of it.