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Home Remedies to get rid of an Upset Stomach

Home Remedies to get rid of an Upset Stomach

When you feel discomfort or pain in your upper abdomen, you can call it upset stomach. It is actually a condition called Dyspepsia commonly known as indigestion. In this condition, you suffer from multiple symptoms that may include bloating, nausea and burping. Upset stomach, generally, is due to stomach acid that comes in contact with the mucosa of your digestive system. Mucosa is the protective lining of your digestive system which is also very sensitive to handle the harsh stomach acid. This acid breaks down the mucosa which then leads to irritation and inflammation giving you an upset stomach.

How do you feel when you get an Upset Stomach?

You will get an upset stomach mostly after eating or drinking something. Your upset stomach may give you pain and discomfort in the stomach or chest. This discomfort is somewhat different from heartburn as in heartburn, you feel a burning sensation behind your breastbone, generally after eating. On the other hand, if it is an upset stomach, you are more likely to experience such symptoms as nausea and belching. You may also feel bloated as if your stomach is excessively full though you may have eaten very less!

Natural Remedies to get rid of an Upset Stomach

Because an upset stomach is not a disease and only an uncomfortable condition, you can easily cope up with it through some very effective home remedies. It is only when your upset stomach lasts for more than two weeks or when nothing seems to work even after a week or two, you need to see your doctor to rule out the possibility of any other serious disease whose symptom might be an upset stomach. Here are some home remedies for upset stomach to help you find comfort.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Upset Stomach

Apple cider vinegar has been by far the best remedy for upset stomach used since years in many homes. But how does the acidic vinegar cures upset stomach when it is said that indigestion is due to excessive acid in your stomach? There is one theory that believes that stomach gets upset not because of excessive but due to lack of acid in stomach. This theory says when your stomach doesn’t have acid; it works furiously to make the best use of whatever acid is there. This sometimes puts pressure and the existing acid flows back. This then causes pain and discomfort. Lack of acid in stomach also leads to improper digestion of protein which further leads to creation of toxins in your intestines. The answer thus lies in providing more acid to your stomach so that it does its work quietly and with efficiency. Here apple cider vinegar comes into the picture and relieves you of the discomfort, thanks to its acidic property.

Get this:

  • Apple cider vinegar- 1 tbsp
  • Water- 1 glass

Do this:

  • Whenever you feel discomfort in your stomach after having meals, add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
  • Mix it well and drink it all.
  • Your upset stomach gets relieved within minutes of having apple cider vinegar.
  • Try to get apple cider vinegar that has mother in it and the one which is stored in glass bottle rather than in plastic bottles.
  • This remedy, however, may not work if your upset stomach is due to stomach ulcers. In such case, you need to follow some remedies for stomach ulcers.

Now when you come to popular theory that says upset stomach is due to excessive acid in stomach, you can give a try to baking soda, an alkaline. This will neutralize the acids in your digestive tract. Baking soda works as a natural antacid and helps neutralize the hydrochloric acid in your stomach. It breaks down all the fatty things to make it easier for you to digest them. Due to its alkaline nature, baking soda also restores pH balance and prevents your inner environment from being too acidic or too alkaline. It can very well deal with stomach gas and bloating by promoting burping. All this gives you faster relief from upset stomach.

1st Way to Use Baking Soda for Upset Stomach- with Vinegar Water

Get this:

  • Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
  • Vinegar- 1 tsp
  • Water- 3/4 glass

Do this:

  • Add baking soda and vinegar to the glass of water.
  • The solution will immediately begin to bubble.
  • Now have this solution.
  • It will almost immediately bring relief as you burp.

2nd Way to Use Baking Soda for Upset Stomach- with Lemon juice

Get this:

  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice- 2-3 tbsp
  • Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar or honey- 1/2 – 1 tsp
  • Water- 3/4 glass

Do this:

  • Add lemon juice and honey or sugar to the glass of water.
  • Mix well and then add the baking soda.
  •  The solution will start bubbling.
  • Drink it immediately while bubbles are still forming in the solution.

3rd Way to Use Baking Soda for Upset Stomach- with Peppermint Tea

Get this:

  • Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice- 1 tsp
  • Peppermint leaves (dry)- 1 tsp
  • Water- 1/2 a cup

Do this:

  • Crush the peppermint leaves.
  • Now add these leaves, and lemon juice to the water.
  • Next add baking soda and give a good stir.
  • Have this immediately.

You may even dilute 1/2 tsp of baking soda in 1/2 – 3/4 glass of water and have it immediately as it forms bubbles.

Ginger for Upset Stomach

Ginger has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that come to your help when you are looking for comfort from an upset stomach. It reduce inflammation almost in the same way as some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do, by slowing down the associated biochemical pathways. There are these chemicals known as gingerols and shogaols present in ginger. They effectively relax your intestinal tract to cure and prevent many a symptoms of upset stomach like nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps etc.

1st Way to Use Ginger for Upset Stomach- with Lemon juice

Get this:

  • Ginger- 2-3 inch piece
  • Lemon juice- 1 tsp
  • Black salt (or table salt)- a pinch of it
  • Water – 1/4 – 1/2 cup

Do this:

  • Crush the ginger and extract its juice. You should get 2 tsp of ginger juice.
  • Add this ginger juice, lemon juice and salt to the water.
  • Mix well and drink this.

2nd Way to Use Ginger for Upset Stomach- Chew it up

Get this:

  • Ginger- 1-2 inch piece
  • Salt- a pinch

Do this:

  • Cut the ginger piece into slices.
  • Sprinkle some salt over the pieces.
  • Now chew them so that ginger juice goes into your stomach.
  • Chewing raw ginger can be a little difficult for you as it may be really hot.
  • If you find it too difficult, its better you follow the first way of adding ginger juice to water with lemon and salt.

3rd Way to Use Ginger for Upset Stomach- Make Tea

Get this:

  • Ginger powder- 1/2 tsp OR Ginger- 1-2 inch piece
  • Hot water- 2 cups
  • Honey (optional)- 1 tsp

Do this:

  • If using ginger powder, add this to 1 cup of hot water.
  • Let it stand for a couple of minutes after you give it a stir.
  • Add honey, if using.
  • Drink it warm.
  • If using fresh ginger, take 2 cups of water and boil it with chopped pieces of ginger for about 5-10 minutes or till it remains only i cup of water.
  • Put off the flame and let it steep for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Strain and add honey if using.
  • Drink it get relief from your upset stomach.

Fennel Herbal Remedy for Upset Stomach

Fennel is a very effective digestive herb. Apart from containing Vitamins A and C and various other minerals, fennel seeds contain a volatile oil called anethole which helps stimulate secretion of digestive and gastric juices. It also reduces inflammation of stomach and intestines apart from helping in proper absorption of nutrients from your food. As upset stomach is mostly due to indigestion, you can very well be dependent upon fennel seeds to find comfort.

Ways to Use Fennel for Upset Stomach

  1. After meals, chew 1/2 to 1 tsp of fennel seeds to help yourself with proper digestion. It is in fact a traditional practice in India to chew fennel seeds after meals.
  2. Make some fennel tea for upset stomach. Take 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds and crush them get its powder. Add this to a cup of hot water and steep for about 5 -10 minutes. Strain and have this fennel tea. You don’t need any sweetener for this tea as fennel has mild sweet flavor by itself.
  3. Take 2-3 tbsp of fennel seeds. Dry roast them properly and then ground to get its powder. Store this in a jar or container. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of this fennel powder to a cup of water and have it twice a day.
  4.  Consume 2-10 drops of fennel oil a day to get relief from upset stomach.
  5. Add crunchy fennel to your salads or eat them separately.

Caraway Seeds for Upset Stomach

Caraway seeds, just like fennel seeds, have traditionally been used to cure indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, belching, nausea and gastric troubles etc. So, if you have an upset stomach with gas and belching, you can use caraway seeds that are rich in many plant chemicals like carvone and limonene. Caraway seeds can stimulate healthy stomach action and are most effective in reducing intestinal gas. These seeds also contain various vitamins and minerals that inhibit the growth of bad bacteria causing indigestion, gas, or bloating. Just chew some of these seeds and relieve upset stomach symptoms or make this tea as described below.

How to make Caraway Seeds Tea for Upset Stomach

Get this:

  • Caraway seeds- 1 tsp
  • Hot water- 1 cup

Do this:

  • Place the caraway seeds into a cup or pot.
  • Pour hot water over it.
  • Cover and steep for 8-10 minutes.
  • Now you may strain or choose not to strain your tea.
  • Have this tea while chewing the caraway seeds in it if you have not strained the tea.
  • Have this tea 2-3 times a day, preferably half an hour before your meals.

Mint Tea for Upset Stomach

Two types of mints- peppermint and spearmint are commonly used for treating upset stomach. Of the two, peppermint is the more effective one when it comes to an upset stomach. This is mostly due to peppermint’s aromatic oil called menthol which encourages bile to flow into your duodenum and thus promote better digestion. Menthol also soothes your stomach due to its antispasmodic properties that calms down the muscles of digestive system. This calming as well as numbing effect of peppermint blocks the increase of calcium ions. More calcium ion means more cramping. When the muscles relax, the accumulated painful gas moves through the tract and you get relief from indigestion and upset stomach. Spearmint works through its chemical called carvone but it is weaker than menthol and thus peppermint tea is more effective than spearmint tea.

How to Make Mint Tea for Upset Stomach

Get this:

  • Peppermint or Spearmint leaves (dried)- 1 tsp
  • Hot water- 1 cup

Do this:

  • Place the mint leaves in a pot or cup.
  • Pour hot water over it.
  • Cover and steep for 8-10 minutes.
  • Strain and then drain this mint tea.
  • Have 2-3 cups of mint tea daily for proper digestion so that you may prevent upset stomach too.

Honey-Cinnamon Drink for Upset Stomach

Cinnamon, the aromatic herb spice has been traditionally used by Ayurveda to relieve many diseases and even the symptoms of upset stomach like bloating and nausea. It has antibacterial properties and thus can relieve upset stomach caused by infection too. When you take cinnamon with honey, it helps cure stomach ache as well as stomach ulcers.

Get this:

  • Cinnamon powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Honey- 1 tbsp
  • Warm water- 1 cup

Do this:

  • Take the warm water and mix cinnamon powder and honey to this.
  • Mix it well.
  • Have this every morning on an empty stomach.
  • This will improve your digestion, relieve gas and stomach pain too.

Chamomile Tea for Upset Stomach

Chamomile has many constituents that work to soothe your upset stomach. Its volatile oil reduces muscle spasms and inflammation of your mucous membranes. These properties make chamomile for curing indigestion. In fact, many studies have found chamomile to be a good digestive aid. One of its components called Bisabolol has anti-inflammatory properties and relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract.

Get this:

  • Dried chamomile herb- 1 tsp OR Chamomile tea bag- 1
  • Hot water- 1 cup
  • Honey (optional)- 1 tsp

Do this:

  • Place the chamomile herb or tea bag into a cup.
  • Pour hot water over it.
  • Steep for about 5 minutes.
  • Strain or remove the tea bag.
  • Add honey if using.
  • Have this tea twice a day.

Hot Pack for Upset Stomach

This remedy is particularly useful when you experience cramps due to your upset stomach. Heat loosens up and relaxes muscles and thus help you get rid of all discomforts related to upset stomach. Heat also increases blood flow to your skin surface. This transfers the perception of pain from inside your stomach towards outside.

Get this:

  • Hot pack (you can also use a hot bottle or something like that)

Do this:

  • Check the temperature of your hot pack. It should not be very hot. You need to have it enough warm that can be tolerated by your belly skin.
  • Lie down and place the hot pack over your stomach.
  • Let it be there for as much time as is comfortable for you.
  • If it gets cold before you find comfort, reheat and again place on your stomach.
  • However, it is advised, not to give your stomach heat treatment for more than 15-20 minutes.

Rice Tea for Upset Stomach

The water you get from cooked rice has demulcent effect. It relieves inflammation by creating a soothing barrier over the lining of your stomach. You may take plain rice water that you get after cooking rice or make a special flavorful rice tea for soothing relief from your upset stomach. Here’s the recipe for making rice tea.

Get this:

  • White rice- 1/2 cup
  • Water- 5-6 cups
  • Honey (optional)- 1 tsp

Do this:

  • Boil the water and add rice to this.
  • Keep it boiling for about 15 minutes or till the rice gets tender.
  • Strain and add honey to the rice water, if using.
  • Have this rice tea while it is still warm.

Eat Yogurt for Upset Stomach Relief

Yogurt is one of the foods highly recommended when you suffer from an upset stomach. Plain yogurt has active cultures that increase healthy bacteria in your digestive tract. This will improve your digestion and get you rid of upset stomach. However, do not have sweetened or flavored yogurt. Have plain yogurt.

Ways to Include Yogurt in your Diet for Upset Stomach

  1. Have yogurt in your breakfast.
  2. Have a bowl of yogurt with your meals.
  3. Snack on plain yogurt.
  4. Add a glass of water to a bowl of yogurt and blend it. Add some honey and have this yogurt shake.

Diet Tips to Get Relief from Upset Stomach

Follow CRAP Diet

If you also suffer from constipation due to your upset stomach, CRAP diet is for you! CRAP stands for Cherries, Raisins, Apricots, and Prunes. These fruits have such fiber that can ease your upset stomach without hurting it further.

Have BRAT Diet

Have a diet which is bland, commonly called BRAT diet for upset stomach. This is essential if you are also suffering from diarrhea. BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. These foods consist of low-fiber and thus help make your stools firmer. Bananas, a rich source of potassium, help replace nutrients that your body loses due to vomiting or diarrhea. Here are the best remedies to get rid of diarrhea.

Have Burnt Toast

While plain toast is good for an upset stomach, burnt toast is even better. It is because the char of a burnt toast absorbs all the toxins that give you discomfort. If you cannot have burnt toast plain, spread some honey over it and then have it.

Have Water and Healthy Drinks

As your body also loses water due to vomiting or diarrhea, you need to consume lots of water and other healthy drinks like juices (lemon, apple, orange juices, buttermilk etc.). They will keep your body hydrated and will help promote better digestion.

Other Tips for Upset Stomach Relief

  1. Walk a little after having meals. After meals, having a brief stroll will help promote better digestion.
  2. Stress also leads to gastrointestinal problems. Stay relaxed.
  3. Do not stay hungry for longer. Long gaps in between meals play havoc with regulation of stomach acid and give you upset stomach. Have smaller and frequent meals. You can also snack in between meals. Use crackers, bananas, other CRAP fruits, yogurt etc. For snacking.
  4. Avoid smoking and having alcohol, they irritate your stomach lining and affect digestion negatively.
  5. Avoid having hot and spicy foods. Pepper too irritates your stomach and makes it upset.
  6. Avoid fatty and rich foods. They are tough to digest and more so when your stomach is upset.
  7. When eating, do not have large bites. Have small bites and chew your food properly. This helps in better digestion and prevents upset stomach.
  8. If you are on some medication, your stomach might be getting upset due to them. Check with your doctor whether your medicines are causing upset stomach. If yes, request your doctor to change them.

Taking such simple measures can go a long way to cure your upset stomach faster and will also prevent it from coming back.

About Sara

Sara is a Boston-based registered dietitian who works with clients to improve their health by optimizing nutrition. You can find her running, sweating in hot yoga, cooking in the kitchen, dining out, or exploring. Eating Food-Mostly Plants, and improving our relationship with food, is the secret to lifelong health in her eyes.

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