Indigestion home remedies and indigestion natural cures abound. Indigestion relief can often be found in the natural world of herbs and essential oils.
Indigestion which is also known as dyspepsia is a common complaint and can be the result of many underlying conditions. When indigestion has no obvious cause it is called functional dyspepsia. Indigestion is usually related to problems with stomach motility where the stomach meets the small bowel but can have other causes.
The symptoms of indigestion can include burning or pain in the upper abdomen, a sensation of uncomfortable fullness after eating, bloating, nausea and belching. Diagnosis of indigestion is generally based on history and physical exam. If the condition is not responsive to medication your doctor may order further test to check for any underlying problems that might be causing the condition.
Because of the commonness of the complaint holistic and indigestion remedies abound in herbal medicine. Below are a few of the many herbs useful for indigestion.
Chamomile is a well known herb that has even been mentioned in beloved fairy tales such as “Peter Rabbit” in which Peter’s mother gave him a cup of chamomile tea to sooth his stomach! Chamomile has antispasmodic properties which account for its ability to soothe an upset stomach. Chamomile can bring indigestion relief. In addition, chamomile is useful for many skin problems because of its anti-inflammatory effects, has anti-infective properties, and sedative properties which may calm nerves, in shampoo to enhance blond highlights, and as an insect repellent. Chamomile can be used as a tea, taken in capsule form or a tincture. Chamomile essential oil can be used in lotions, added to a bath for skin benefits or used in a diffuser to bring calm to a room. Chamomile has an apple scent and is easy to grow. Chamomile is a member of the daisy family and those allergic to ragweed should not use this herb. Chamomile can interact with blood thinners and people using these medications should talk with a doctor before using chamomile.
Fennel soothes the digestive tract and can help relieve gas, bloating, diarrhea and indigestion. Aethole is the main compound found in fennel. Fennel has both anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic actions. Fennel can be an indigestion home remedy extraordinaire. Fennel may also be useful in increasing milk flow in mothers and soothing colic in infants and is one of the ingredients in gripe water. Fennel was considered by the Greeks to be an appetite suppressant. Fennel has also been used to ease the cramps of menstruation. The flowers and leaves of fennel were used to make yellow and brown dyes. Fennel can be taken by chewing the seeds and its taste is similar to licorice. It can also be used as a tea or tincture and comes in capsule form. Fennel essential oil can be irritating to the skin and must be diluted appropriately and should never be taken internally. Fennel can interact with the antibiotic Cipro and some anti-coagulants.
Ginger is a common spice easily found and used extensively in cooking. Its root can be found in the produce section of most groceries and will keep for several weeks. Ginger has anti-acid, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea qualities. Ginger can calm an upset stomach, ease nausea, relieve arthritis pain and help motion sickness. One British study showed ginger to be more effective for motion sickness than Dramamine. Ginger has been used for centuries for indigestion relief and is a simple home remedy for indigestion. Ginger can also be useful in easing a baby’s colic. A tea can be made by steeping an ounce of the root in boiling water for five minutes. A common home remedy for nausea is to sip a warm cup of ginger ale slowly. Ginger can also be found in tincture and capsule form and as an essential oil. Ginger may actually cause stomach upset in some people so caution should be used. Ginger can be found in tincture, tea, capsule and essential oil form. Ginger can interact with blood thinners and the medication prescribed for severe gastric reflux. People using these medications should not use ginger without consulting their doctor. Use no more than four grams of ginger daily.
Lemon balm is a common herb used in cooking and also has many health benefits. It has a lemony mint flavor that goes well with fish. It has also been used as an insect repellent. Lemon balm contains eugenol which is an anti-spasmodic and useful to calm upset stomach and relieve gas and produce a calming effect on the mind. Lemon balm has been an indigestion home remedy for centuries. Lemon Balm was used as a mild form of valium in the seventeenth century and also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects. Lemon balm can be used as a tea, tincture, or in capsule. It also comes in an essential oil for use in diffusers and baths.
Marshmallow root has a fiber called mucilage which when combined with water develops a gel like consistency which has a soothing protective effect on the digestive system. Indigestion relief is found when the gel coats the stomach. It’s also effective on respiratory illnesses as an expectorant and for fluid retention. Marshmallow was used in the candy by its name before gelatin was developed to provide the billowy consistence but is not in the modern version.
In addition to herbal remedies for indigestion, indigestion can be relieved by changing the causes. Indigestion relief can be found by making changes in your lifestyle. Caffeine, smoking, obesity and certain food contribute to the symptoms of indigestion. Making correction in your diet and lifestyle may be necessary for any permanent relief. It’s also important to get follow up with your doctor for persistent symptoms as indigestion can be a symptom of more serious issues.
Natural, holistic remedies for indigestion have been used effectively for centuries. It is important to use care and research the appropriate does and use of any herb you’re thinking of using.
“Herbal and Healing Remedies” by Jason Elias MA.,Lac. and Shelagh Ryan Masline, copyright1995, Lynn Sonberg Books Associates
“New Herb Bible” by Earl Mindell R.Ph., Ph.D, copyright 2000, Simon & Schuster Publishing
“The Little Herb Encyclopedia” by Jack Ritchason N.D. , copyright 1995, Woodland Health Books
“Aromatherapy for Common Ailments” by Shirley Price, copyright 1991, Simon & Schuster Publishing
“Rodale’s illustrated encyclopedia of Herbs” by Claire Kowalchik & William H. Hylton, Editiors, copyright 1998, Rodale Press Inc.
This article is informational and is not medical advice. Herbs have not been approved by the FDA for any use but supplemental. Always consult your doctor for questions regarding your health care. Be especially cautious if you are taking medication already and in the case of children.