Indigestion, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and other digestive problems are so common, many people don’t realize it shouldn’t be this way. We’re taking a look at six herbal remedies for indigestion relief.
Personally, I believe the increase in digestive issues is caused by all the processed foods most people eat. Fast food, processed food, sugar, and sodas. It’s all junk that clogs up the digestive system causing problems like…
● Leaky gut
It’s like putting bad gas in your car. You won’t get far before the engine stalls.
Herbal & Natural Remedies for Indigestion
If you’re experiencing these issues, instead of reaching for a pill or a bottle of pink stuff, there are herbs you can use to ease your symptoms naturally and improve the health of your digestive system at the same time.
Drink plenty of water and keep these herbs on hand:
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion causes an increase in the release of fluids required to properly digest food, including bile which aids the liver. It also tones the digestive tract. Dandelions stimulate the appetite, act as a mild laxative, and are excellent diuretics, all of which help healthy digestion. Try a cup of dandelion tea (buy organic dandelion tea or make your own) or include the greens in a salad to keep your digestive system functioning well.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Fennel is excellent to keep on hand for relieving indigestion when you eat too much or easing the cramps and other effects of gas. If you are a nursing mom and your baby has colic, eat some fennel or drink fennel tea. Your baby will get the benefits of it through your breast milk and it will ease the colic symptoms.
Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum)
Flaxseed and flaxseed oil should be a staple in your collection of herbal remedies for indigestion. There are very few ailments flaxseed won’t help with. It is an excellent source of fiber and many of the common digestive ailments we have now result from slow elimination or outright constipation.
The longer digested food stays in your colon, the longer your body is being subjected to material and toxins you are naturally supposed to get rid of. Flaxseed is also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and that helps your cardiovascular system as well. For the best results, keep your flaxseed in the refrigerator and grind it as you need it. A good regimen is one tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed three times a day.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger is actually a spice rather than an herb and is excellent for relieving nausea. Keep some organic crystalized ginger on hand to chew on if you are nauseated or keep some ginger essential oil handy to place a drop or two (diluted, of course) behind your ears and on your stomach to relieve nausea.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric has been used by cultures from China to India to Asia and beyond for thousands of years. Turmeric is the ingredient that gives Indian curry its flavor and yellow color. The active constituent in turmeric that gives it all these amazing powers is Curcumin.
Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile which may help improve digestion. A six month double-blind placebo controlled study was conducted on people with ulcerative colitis who were in remission. The subjects took either curcumin or a placebo, along with conventional medical treatment and the ones who took curcumin had a significantly lower relapse rate than the ones who took the placebo.
Peppermint (Mentha piperata)
Peppermint has so many uses, it’s wise to have at least a small container of it in your garden. Not only does it provide a little boost of energy when you’re feeling sluggish, it is an excellent tonic for the digestive system and relieves nausea, gas, and stomach cramps.
Peppermint has antispasmodic properties that help relieve cramps when you have diarrhea as well. Try some peppermint tea to settle your stomach or just pluck a few leaves, wash them, and chew them to ease digestive discomfort.
Peppermint for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Relief
Approximately 20% of the adult population in the United States suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. I’ve always known women who have suffered from it as a symptom of PMS or other menstrual problems and I’ve known people who have very sensitive digestive systems.
Peppermint may help support a healthy digestive system, and that includes helping support the body when dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a disorder with symptoms of abdominal pain and cramping, increased frequency in bowel movements or the opposite problem – constipation, bloating and other unpleasantness. IBS should not be confused with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In IBS, the actual structure of the bowel is normal. It just doesn’t function properly.
The Research on Peppermint and IBS
In 2008, the American College of Gastroenterology financed a report published in the journal BMJ. The test group for this study was 400 patients with IBS who were given either a placebo or peppermint essential oil in capsule form, two times a day, for one to three months. Based on an analysis of these patients, the study found that only 26% of the patients treated with peppermint essential oil continued to have IBS symptoms after the study compared to 60% who were given a placebo.
How to Use Peppermint to Relieve IBS
The best way to use peppermint to support a healthy digestive system is by taking it orally. You can drink peppermint tea or put a little peppermint in your water. You can also use peppermint essential oil. To avoid heartburn, use one drop of peppermint essential oil to 4 or 5 drops of good olive or almond oil in a gel cap, twice a day. Always drink plenty of water with your capsule. You can also put 1 drop of peppermint essential oil in 1 oz. of local honey and take it twice a day.
If you find that taking peppermint essential oil orally gives you a bit of heartburn, you can also mix the peppermint essential oil in a 50/50 mix with a good carrier oil (such as olive oil, almond oil or organic coconut oil) and apply it to the Vita Flex points on your feet which correspond to your colon (on the bottom of each foot, outer edge, just below the arch).
If you have high blood pressure as well as IBS, be careful using peppermint to support a healthy digestive system. Peppermint is also stimulating and invigorating and can sometimes raise blood pressure.
If you have sluggish digestion or outright digestive problems, try adding these herbs, spices, and vegetables to your diet. All of them support healthy digestion (as well as other body systems) with none of the side effects of medications.