9 Proven Indigestion Remedies You Can Try Today

For most of us, mealtime is a joy. But sometimes it’s necessary to take indigestion medicine because eating brings on the uncomfortable symptoms of an upset stomach. One in four people experience this occasionally or regularly. While there are a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medications that claim to tackle the problem, effective natural remedies to improve your digestion are readily available in your pantry.

What is indigestion?

Sometimes called dyspepsia, indigestion causes a burning sensation and pain in the upper abdomen. It can also make you feel uncomfortably full during or after a meal, or burp more than usual. This condition usually affects the stomach and esophagus, which comprise the upper part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

symptoms of indigestion

  • A burning sensation in your stomach or upper abdomen.
  • swelling
  • a feeling of pressure
  • a growling stomach
  • sour taste in the mouth
  • nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation

Dyspepsia is not dangerous, but it can affect your quality of life. In order to enjoy your meals and get the full nutritional value of your food, you want to keep your digestive system running smoothly.

Indigestion is not the same as heartburn, also called acid reflux, which causes a burning sensation in your chest because stomach acid has entered your esophagus. However, indigestion and heartburn often appear together.

The 9 best remedies for indigestion

The good news is that you can reduce or manage indigestion by adopting a healthy lifestyle, making smart food choices, and seeking out herbal medicines and nutritional supplements when needed. All of these remedies have the added benefit of supporting your overall health. Most of these natural remedies are safe, but always ask your doctor if you are pregnant or have a specific condition.

1. Apple cider vinegar

My personal favorite is to add a tablespoon of ACV (raw organic apple cider vinegar) to a glass of purified water (if you’re brave or experienced, you can also drink ACV as a shot). Rich in nutrients and probiotics, ACV counteracts upset stomach and heartburn with enzymes, natural chemicals that break down food so you can absorb nutrients. The ash (minerals) in ACV promote proper pH balance in our body.

Take a tablespoon in half a glass of water before or after a meal. Be sure to shake the bottle first to mix up the cloudy “mother of vinegar” at the bottom. Try adding a little lemon to the water as well.

2. Ginger

Many traditional herbal remedies are highly effective in reducing indigestion. One of the best known and most used is ginger root. Ginger reduces nausea and vomiting and can help prevent ulcers.

You can chew some fresh, raw, peeled ginger before or after a meal, or make it into a tea. Ginger in any form helps protect the stomach and prevents symptoms of indigestion such as cramps, bloating and nausea.

3. Licorice Root

Licorice root comes from a plant in the pea and bean (legume) family. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of licorice root help ease the symptoms of indigestion by protecting the mucous lining of the stomach.

You can consume it in the same way as ginger: in tea or chewed raw if you can find it. You can also take it as a supplement called DGL, or deglycyrrhized licorice.

4. Fennel seeds

Fennel is a Mediterranean plant in the carrot family with a licorice flavor. Its oil has multiple therapeutic uses. Fennel seeds help calm muscle spasms and reduce gas and nausea caused by indigestion. If you dine in Indian restaurants, you might see a small plate on the table.

Try chewing half a teaspoon of seeds after meals. Alternatively, add half a teaspoon of fennel seeds to boiling water, strain and drink as a tea.

5. Black cumin seed

The flowering plant Nigella sativa, also known as black seed, black cumin, and black cumin, has been known since at least the time of King Tut for protecting the stomach lining, fighting inflammation, and repelling harmful bacteria. Black cumin seed is a commonly used natural remedy for gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion.

You can chew whole and ground black seeds or boil them in water to make tea. You can also use organic food-grade black cumin seed oil internally, in small amounts.

6. Peppermint oil

Peppermint essential oil has many therapeutic properties, including relieving gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion and heartburn. As an antispasmodic, peppermint oil relaxes stomach muscle contractions associated with pain, bloating, and nausea. Peppermint oil also helps fight harmful bacteria.

You can take peppermint oil as a supplement in capsule form, apply it to the skin mixed with a carrier oil, or use a few drops in a tea after meals. Be careful, though: if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peppermint could make your symptoms worse; herbal tea like chamomile is a better option.

7. Digestive enzymes

Digestive enzymes help to break down dietary fibers, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The body naturally produces enzymes, but production decreases with age.

Eating raw foods increases the availability of enzymes in the body. You can get papain from papaya or bromelain from pineapple.

When you don’t get enough digestive enzymes, either through your diet or if your body doesn’t make them properly, it can cause indigestion. If you don’t eat a lot of raw vegetables and fruits, or if your digestion isn’t what you’d like, try taking a supplement. Global Healing VeganZyme® provides an advanced, full-spectrum blend of plant-based enzymes that support digestion and encourage functional balance throughout the body.

8. Probiotics

Probiotics are helpful bacteria or microbes that support digestive health. When the “bad” gut bacteria outnumber the good, health problems can arise, including gastrointestinal illnesses such as indigestion. Probiotic supplements can help restore balance. People with functional dyspepsia have different gut microbes, but something as simple as eating yogurt with Lactobacillus for several months can restore healthy probiotic flora and reduce symptoms of indigestion. (7)

Increasing your intake of probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, miso, and other fermented foods is a great way to improve your gut health. Or you can take a supplement. I recommend a potent blend of active, live cultures such as Global Healing’s Ultimate Probiotic. This vegan probiotic formula contains 25 probiotic strains and 75 billion CFUs, plus probiotics. This full-spectrum blend gently and powerfully supports digestive health.

9. Baking soda

He Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, is a popular remedy for indigestion because it quickly neutralizes excess stomach acid and rebalances the body’s pH. Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink after a meal. If you’re taking medication, make sure it’s an hour or two after your last dose before taking the baking soda.

What causes indigestion?

The root cause of most indigestion is what you eat. If you eat certain foods or combinations of foods, you can end up with indigestion. These factors can increase your chance of suffering from indigestion:

  • Eating fried, fatty, or spicy foods
  • Eating acidic foods such as tomatoes or citrus fruits.
  • Eat dairy if you are lactose intolerant
  • eating too much or too fast
  • from smoking
  • drink to excess
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or soft drinks
  • Taking certain medications, including NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen) and some antibiotics

Several conditions can lead to indigestion. Indigestion is common during pregnancy, stress can cause indigestion, and overweight and obese people may also have more dyspepsia. Even hormonal imbalances can contribute to increased indigestion.

How to avoid indigestion

The best way to treat indigestion is to not have it in the first place. Ideally, you should eat a plant-based diet, not smoke, and avoid medications and foods that upset your stomach. Here are some practical ways to prevent indigestion:

  • Eat slowly and chew your food well. If you rush, you might swallow air, which can cause indigestion.
  • After eating, wait a bit before exercising.
  • Wait two to three hours before going to bed after a meal.
  • If you need to lose a few pounds, start an exercise regimen or diet program.
  • Reduce stress with meditation or yoga.

When indigestion is something else

About a quarter of people with indigestion symptoms may have an underlying condition. ( 8 ) Some of them include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (where stomach acid irritates the lining of the esophagus)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Irritable bowel disease (IBD)
  • Peptic ulcers (a sore in the lining of the stomach or intestines)
  • Gallbladder problems, such as gallstones
  • H. pylori infection or other types of harmful bacteria
  • Gastritis (an inflamed stomach lining)
  • Gastroparesis (a condition in which the stomach fails to empty completely)
  • Celiac disease (inability to digest gluten)
  • Anxiety or depression

See a healthcare professional if you have indigestion for more than two weeks, have severe pain, or if indigestion includes any of the following symptoms:

  • Unplanned weight loss or loss of appetite
  • vomiting blood
  • Black stools and tar
  • difficulty swallowing
  • extreme fatigue

If your indigestion includes shortness of breath, sweating, or chest pain that spreads to your arm, neck, or jaw, go to the emergency room.

Points to remember when consuming indigestion remedies

Indigestion, or dyspepsia, is a common set of symptoms that includes upper abdominal pain, fullness, and nausea during or after eating. Smoking, taking medications and eating fatty, fried or acidic foods are some of the factors that can trigger indigestion.

You can usually control indigestion through dietary and lifestyle changes. Apple cider vinegar, digestive enzymes, probiotics and ginger or licorice root are some of the remedies that bring relief to many. You can also take it a step further and try to prevent digestion before you start by eating slowly, losing weight and practicing relaxation.

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