As the festive season approaches, it is a good idea to stock up with some natural home remedies for indigestion and other common stomach problems. Peppermint, chamomile and fennel herb teas are all safe remedies for many stomach upsets, and many seasonal spices can also be used as natural remedies for indigestion.
Herbal Teas for an Upset Stomach
Peppermint tea is a traditional herbal home remedy for all kinds of digestive upsets, including indigestion, bloating, diarrhea and nausea. Drinking a cup of peppermint herbal tea after a meal is an easy way to help the digestive process after a heavy dinner.
Chamomile tea is a safe home treatment for upset stomachs and is suitable even for children. Chamomile herbal tea can be used to calm down the stomach (it is also used to calm down the nerves!), and it is one of the easiest and safest home remedies for diarrhea. Chamomile herb tea is suitable for the whole family, and you can add a little bit of honey to the tea to make it taste better.
Fennel tea is a good home remedy for indigestion, flatulence and constipation. In India, fennel seeds are often served after a meal, as chewing the seeds is believed to help digestion. Chewing fennel seeds can also apparently reduce appetite.
Spices that Help Digestion
Many spices used in Asian and especially Indian cooking can stimulate digestion: cardamom, coriander, cumin, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and many other spices are all used in Indian cooking not just to add flavor, but also to help the digestive process. Try an infusion made with fresh ginger root for stomach cramps, diarrhea or nausea: here is a recipe for a hot ginger lemon honey drink.
Many common Christmas spices are also natural remedies. Cardamom is used in India as a digestive aid. Tea made with whole cloves can be used to relieve stomach cramps or diarrhea. Cinnamon is good for a sluggish digestive system, for stomach cramps, for nausea, for flatulence and for diarrhea. You might be able to find some herbal teas or Ayurvedic tea blends (such as the Yogi tea range) that include one or more of these spices.
Home Remedies for Constipation
Soaked flax seeds are traditional and effective constipation remedies. Soak a tablespoon of flaxseeds in a little water (6-12 ounces is usually recommended, I’ve never measured and have used approximately half a cup of lukewarm water) overnight or at least a few hours. The result is a gluey, slimy drink that is a natural laxative. The drink does not taste wonderful, but it does help. Drink a lot of water, too, or one of the digestive herbal teas for constipation.
Sources & Read More:
Lesley Bremness: The Complete Book of Herbs (Studio, 1994)
Patricia Davis: Aromatherapy: an A-Z (Random House, UK, 2004)
Photo: Chamomile tea by Wikimedia Commons user Cyclonebill