Having a stomach ache or an upset stomach is something most of us have experienced at some point in our lives. Also known as indigestion or dyspepsia, the discomfort and unease caused by an upset stomach can significantly impact one’s regular life and over time can also impact their overall well-being. The occasional indigestion or upset stomach is common and not serious, and you can just head to your kitchen and find a quick and effective home remedy for stomach ache. Here are some stomach pain home remedies (including a few practices borrowed from Ayurveda) for you to try next time your tummy is giving you trouble.
Before you are able to find that perfect home remedy for stomach ache, you need to ask this question to fully understand the root cause: what actually causes an upset stomach or indigestion?
Causes of an Upset Stomach
There are several things that can contribute to one suffering from an upset stomach. Large meals or overeating may strain the stomach's ability to break down and digest food, resulting in heaviness and bloating. Overindulging in Spicy, fatty, or oily foods can irritate the stomach lining, leading to indigestion and discomfort. Then there is also the possibility that individuals have food intolerances, such as lactose or gluten intolerance, leading to digestive distress and an upset stomach.
Inflammation of the stomach lining which is often caused by infections (similar to those that cause stomach ulcers) or the regular use of certain pain relievers, this can lead to indigestion and stomach pain
2. Food Intolerance
These intolerances occur when the body lacks the necessary enzymes to break down certain food components (such as dairy and gluten), leading to digestive distress
3. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus, causing heartburn and stomach discomfort
4. Stress and anxiety
Emotional factors can disrupt digestive processes. When we are stressed, the body releases hormones that can slow down digestion, leading to a buildup of gas and discomfort in the stomach
Also Read: How to Reduce Stress
Certain drugs, especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause stomach irritation and indigestion
Natural Remedies for Your Upset Stomach
Ginger, especially in Ayurveda, has been used for centuries and has been revered for its incredible medicinal properties, including its ability to soothe upset stomachs. Ginger contains bioactive compounds such as gingerol and shogaol, which have several benefits such as
soothing the digestive tract with its anti-inflammatory properties relieving painful muscle spasms that accompany an upset stomach. Ginger enhances the process of digestion by promoting the release of enzymes that help break down food and it also reduces gas and bloating.
You can easily incorporate ginger into your daily diet for overall improved health, but in case of stomach pain home remedy you can try drinking ginger tea, chewing on a small piece of fresh ginger or taking gut health supplements that have ginger as one of the active ingredients.
It's essential to note that while ginger can be effective for mild cases of upset stomach and indigestion, persistent or severe symptoms may require medical attention. If your stomach pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it's best to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is another popular natural stomach pain home remedy. While its effectiveness may change from person to person ACV can provide relief by balancing the pH levels in the stomach. Imbalance of stomach acid leads to acid reflux or heartburn. Apple cider vinegar contains enzymes that aid in the digestion of certain foods and it also has antimicrobial properties which means it can help combat harmful bacteria in the digestive system that may contribute to stomach upset.
Mix one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink it before meals. It's crucial to dilute ACV to avoid potential irritation to the throat and stomach lining. Or you can try Apple Cider Vinegar effervescent tablets that provide all the benefits of ACv without the hassle of consuming liquid ACV. Also remember if you have a history of acid reflux, gastritis, or other digestive disorders, or if you are on medications that may interact with ACV, consult your healthcare provider before using it as a home remedy for stomach ache.
3. Decaffeinated Tea
Decaffeinated tea can be a soothing and comforting beverage for those with an upset stomach. Decaffeinated tea is non-irritating and gentle on the stomach. Unlike caffeinated beverages, which can trigger acid reflux or upset the stomach further, Decaffeinated tea provides a hydrating option without the potential dehydrating effects of caffeinated beverages like regular tea or coffee.
While consuming decaffeinated tea for an upset stomach make sure to sweeten the tea sparingly, add only a little honey or natural sweetener, avoid excessive sweetening, as too much sugar can worsen an upset stomach and avoid adding milk or cream to your tea if you suspect lactose intolerance or sensitivity.
4. Peppermint or Chamomile Tea
Herbal teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, and ginger tea, can provide a comforting stomach pain home remedy. Their gentle nature, hydrating properties, and digestive benefits make them an excellent choice for relieving an upset stomach.
Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm stomach irritation, while peppermint tea can help relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and reduce bloating. Many herbal teas also have calming effects that reduce stress and anxiety, which further helps prevent an upset stomach.
5. BRAT diet
The BRAT (Banana,Rice, Apple, Toast) diet is a short-term diet recommended to individuals with an upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhoea.
The BRAT diet includes
Bananas: Bananas are a rich source of potassium and help replace the electrolytes lost due to diarrhoea. They are also gentle on the stomach and easy to digest.
Rice: Plain white rice is easy to digest and can help bulk up loose stools. It provides carbohydrates for energy without causing further irritation.
Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce is another easily digestible option that can help soothe an upset stomach. Applesauce is created by boiling apples and grinding it to create a soft paste that is easy to eat and digest. Avoid adding sugar to the sauce as it will make your upset stomach worse.
Toast: Plain, dry toast can provide some calories without putting stress on the digestive system. Opt for whole-grain or white bread, but avoid adding butter or other spreads.
The BRAT diet is not a long-term solution as it is not nutritionally balanced as it lacks essential nutrients like protein, healthy fats, and fibre. It is essential to return to a regular, well-balanced diet as soon as symptoms improve.
Peppermint is another popular stomach pain home remedy. It has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties and is known for its ability to ease gastrointestinal discomfort.
Peppermint contains the active compound, menthol, which helps ease muscle spasms in the gastrointestinal tract, reducing cramping and discomfort. It also helps expel gas from the digestive system, alleviating bloating and abdominal distension.
Try drinking peppermint tea or using peppermint to help ease an upset stomach.
7. Use a Heating Pad
A very quick, simple and effective home remedy for stomach ache is to use a heating pad. Using a heating pad for an upset stomach can be a soothing and comforting method to alleviate discomfort. The gentle warmth from a heating pad can help relax the abdominal muscles, improve blood flow to the area, and provide relief from cramping and bloating associated with upset stomachs.
But remember to use the heating pad on a low to medium setting to avoid burning or irritating the skin. And limit the duration of heat application to 15-20 minutes at a time, allowing the skin to cool down. Using a heating pad can complement other stomach pain home remedy to alleviate upset stomach symptoms.
The ideal way to take care of your wellbeing and overall gut health is to include gut friendly foods and gut health supplements in your daily routine. If you are someone who faces gut issues often taking care of your gut health and gut microbiome is a must. Including prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha and kefir is a must.
Prebiotics and probiotics are two types of beneficial substances that support the health of our gastrointestinal system, commonly referred to as the gut. They work in harmony to promote a balanced and healthy gut microbiome.
You can also include gut health supplements such as Panchamrit’s Gut health effervescent Tablets, which isn’t only a great probiotic supplement but also has other soothing Ayurvedic ingredients such as Ginger, Triphala and Mulethi. Just one tablet in a glass of water daily on an empty stomach or 1-2 hours post a meal will help strengthen and support your gut’s wellbeing while also helping you prevent issues such as an upset stomach.
When should you see your doctor for stomach pain?
If you notice that you are constantly having stomach troubles after eating certain foods or engaging in specific activities, it could indicate a more serious problem. Talking to your health care provider in these situations is recommended. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms at your next visit. It may be nothing, but a quick trip to your family doctor can rule out Crohn’s disease, a food allergy, or any other larger concerns and help you seek the right preventive/corrective measures.
Also Read:1. Stomach Burning Home Remedies
2. How to Reduce Stomach Bloating
3. Home remedies for Constipation