If you are a frequent sufferer of acid reflux and indigestion, you are, most probably, aware of a sour stomach. These two conditions, heartburn and indigestion, are the most common causes of a sour stomach. But what is sour stomach? Let’s explore.
What is Sour Stomach?
The sour stomach can be understood as an upper gastrointestinal disturbance. Many symptoms are associated with the sour stomach. These are regurgitation, nausea, stomach bloating, gas and belching. All of them are also related to acid reflux and indigestion. Some of the other names used for describing sour stomach include upset stomach, acid indigestion, stomach reflux and digestive issues.
Sour stomach generally manifests itself in acute form but it is not necessarily a constant issue. You may suffer from sour stomach occasionally and may also recover with or without any treatment. However, if it occurs too frequently and hampers your daily life, a sour stomach may indicate some serious gastrointestinal conditions and should not be left untreated.
Causes of Sour Stomach
The problems in your upper gastrointestinal tract are the general causes for a sour stomach. Acid refluxes, as mentioned earlier also, along with non-functional dyspepsia are the most common causes for the symptoms of a sour stomach. Here is the list of such major and some minor causes of a sour stomach.
Causes for Minor instances of Sour Stomach
- Overeating or eating too quickly
- Hot and spicy foods
- Drinking carbonated and caffeine beverages, alcohol, etc.
- Lying on stomach, especially after eating
- Hanging upside down particularly after eating
- Becoming physically active just after eating
- Swallowing air while eating hastily
- Spoiled foods
Causes for Chronic Cases of Sour Stomach
- Peptic Ulcer
- Gastroenteritis (food poisoning or infection)
Home Remedies for Sour Stomach
Usually, sour stomach gets subsided over time but you can use certain remedies to cure it. Home remedies for sour stomach are meant to relieve the discomforts associated with the sour stomach. They usually provide fast relief from the sour stomach.
1. Drink Water and Other Liquids
Dehydration is one of the major causes of an upset stomach. You feel uneasiness in your stomach due to excessive production of acid there. When you drink lots of water, you are trying to regulate this excessive acid in your stomach. Drinking alcohol, caffeinated or carbonated soda drinks also leads to dehydration and then sour stomach. Drinking water helps you rehydrate yourself after partying hard. So, what can you drink apart from, of course, water:
- Water (this can’t be excluded from the list)
- Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS)
- Homemade ORS (1 tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt mixed with a glass of water)
- Fruit juice
- Lemon water
2. Use Ginger to Relieve Sour Stomach
Ginger is a traditional remedy for a wide range of gastrointestinal problems. In many countries like China, India and other Asian countries, ginger is used for treatment of heartburn, constipation and nausea. You can also try using ginger to get relief from sour stomach. You can either chew a dry or fresh piece of ginger but if it’s too much for you, make a cup of ginger tea and get rid of sour stomach.
- Ginger (fresh or dry)- 1-2 inch piece
- Water- 1-2 cup
- Honey (optional)- 1-2 tsp
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Chop the ginger and add to the boiling water. If using dry ginger, just add it to the water. You can even use 1/2 to 1 tsp of ginger powder.
- Simmer the tea for about 10 minutes.
- Strain and add honey to this, if using.
- Sip your ginger tea and relieve yourself of a sour stomach.
3. Peppermint Tea for Sour Stomach
If your sour stomach is due to indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome or hot spicy food, you may try to get rid of it by having a cup of peppermint tea. According to a study conducted in 2011, certain components of peppermint activate an anti-pain channel (TRPM8) in human colon. This may help reduce the pain related to eating certain spicy foods like mustard or chili. However, if your sour stomach is due to gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), you might like to skip having peppermint tea because according to one another study, peppermint relaxes the sphincter muscle which closes off the stomach from the esophagus. This may cause stomach acid to pour back into the esophagus leading to the worst form of GERD. So, if you are sure that your sour stomach is not due to GERD, make a cup of peppermint tea to soothe your stomach.
- Fresh mint leaves- 7-8 or dried mint leaves- 1 tsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Boil the water and turn off the stove.
- Add the mint leaves to the hot water.
- Cover and let it steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Strain and have this amazingly aromatic peppermint tea to soothe your sour stomach.
4. Chamomile Tea for Sour Stomach
If your sour stomach is due to indigestion, this remedy is for you. Chamomile’s active component, Bisabolol has anti-inflammatory properties. It relaxes the smooth muscle lining of your digestive tract in order to cure inflammations of the mucous membranes.
- Fresh chamomile flowers (properly washed) – 2 tbsp or Dried chamomile herb- 1 tsp
- Water – 2 cups
- Honey (optional)- 1-2 tsp
- Boil the water and put off the flame.
- Add chamomile to this.
- Cover and steep for about 5 minutes.
- Strain and add honey.
- Drink it to get relief from sour stomach.
5. Coriander Tea for Sour Stomach
Cilantro or coriander is yet another very useful and effective herb for curing indigestion related sour stomach. Cilantro, also parsley, has been classified as antispasmodic and stomachic herbs. It means they are effective in settling an upset stomach. The oil present in them aids in the production of digestive enzymes, acids and juices to stimulate digestion. This, obviously, help you get rid of sour stomach.
- Fresh cilantro leaves- 1-2 tbsp
- Water- 1-2 cups
- Honey (optional)- 1-2 tsp
- Boil the water and turn off the gas.
- Add the washed and chopped cilantro leaves to this hot water.
- Cover and steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain and add honey to this.
- Sip this tea to relieve sour stomach.
6. Herbal Tea for Sour Stomach
In the previous remedies, you have read about various teas for sour stomach cure. Here is one more, this time made with a mixture of various herbs. All the herbs used in this tea soothe your stomach in one or the other way. Mint leaves have already been explained in the remedy where peppermint tea has been suggested for sour stomach. Holy basil or tulsi leaves, along with various vitamins and minerals, contain eugenol, citronellol, and limonene. All of these components have anti-inflammatory effects. The volatile oil in cardamom treats many digestive problems like constipation, dysentery, and indigestion. Cinnamon is a carminative agent which helps in relieving intestinal gas. Jaggery in this tasty aromatic tea activates the digestive enzymes to speed up the process of digestion.
- Mint leaves- 8-10
- Holy basil leaves- 4-5
- Cardamom- 2-3
- Cinnamon- 1-2 inch piece
- Jaggery- as per taste
- Lemon- 1
- Water- 3 cups
- Wash the leaves and crush the herb spices coarsely.
- Boil the water.
- Add mint and basil leaves to the boiling water and keep it boiling over a medium flame.
- After about 3-5 minutes, add the crushed cardamom and cinnamon
- Cover the pot and simmer the tea for about 10 minutes
- Add jaggery and put off the flame after it melts down into the tea.
- Keep the pot covered for next 3-4 minutes.
- Strain the tea
- Now add a dash of lemon juice and have this soothing tea.
7. Caraway Seed Tea for Sour Stomach
Caraway seeds tea is one of the popular Ayurveda remedies for upset stomach. It is particularly good for indigestion and gas related stomach issues. Caraway seeds have various plant chemicals, including carvone and limonene that help you get relief from your stomach problems. While you can always chew a few caraway seeds to get its benefits, the tea is what is suggested for soothing relief.
- Caraway seeds- 1 tsp
- Water- 2 cups
- Boil the water
- Put off the flame.
- Add the caraway seeds to this hot water.
- Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and drink the tea.
8. Carrot Juice for Sour Stomach
If your sour stomach is due to stomach ulcers and gastritis, or inflammation of the gastric mucosa, you must consider visiting your doctor. Meanwhile, you can also help yourself with carrot juice. The various nutrients present in carrots, along with vitamin A (present in abundance in carrots), help prevent any of these conditions by protecting the lining of your stomach called the gastric mucosa. A study states that adequate amounts of vitamin A help prevent a breakdown of this gastric mucosa.
- Carrots- 2-4
- Ginger- 1-inch piece
- Parsley or cilantro- 1-2 tbsp
- Lemon- 1
- Water- 1-2 to 1 glass
- Wash and chop carrots, ginger and cilantro.
- Blend them in the juicer to get the juice.
- Add freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Mix well and have it.
9. Baking Soda for Sour Stomach
Baking soda, or the sodium bicarbonate, lower the acid content in the stomach. The sodium present in baking soda draws digestive juices into your stomach. Thus, you get relief from indigestion and sour stomach.
- Baking soda- 1 tsp
- Lukewarm water- 1 cup
- Add baking soda into the cup of warm water.
- Give it a stir and drink it immediately.
10. Fennel Seeds for Sour Stomach
Fennel seeds are your best friend if you are used to eating spicy foods. The volatile oil of this aromatic spice herb miraculously digests all that you have eaten. In India and other Asian countries, fennel seeds are chewed after every meal to digest the food. It is also good for relieving abdominal bloating and cramps caused by intestinal muscles. You can simply chew a few seeds of fennel to relieve sour stomach or make tea with them.
- Fennel seeds- 1-2 tsp
- Water- 1 cup
- Boil the water.
- Place the fennel seeds in a cup.
- Pour the hot water over it.
- Let it steep for few minutes.
- Drink the tea.
- If you wish, you can chew the seeds still in the tea.
- As fennel seeds are slightly sweet naturally, you need not add any other sweetener in this aromatic tea.
Diet and Other Tips for Sour Stomach
When you suffer from sour stomach, you need to pay more attention towards your diet. It should be simple and easily digestible so that you do not further stress your stomach and digestive system.
- Have BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Tea and Toast). It is the best diet for almost all stomach problems including diarrhea and indigestion. They are all easily digestible and as such good for your sour stomach.
- As you begin to feel better, have smaller meals more often instead of three big meals. Eat slowly and take time to chew your food thoroughly.
- Stay away from overly salty and fatty spicy foods.
- Have your dinner at least two hours before you go to sleep. Never go to bed right after having meals. This promotes indigestion which can lead to sour stomach.
- Drink lots of water.
- If you are stressed, do meditation or engage in such activities that relieve your stress. Stress also gives you sour stomach.
If you bring all these changes in your diet and lifestyle, you would never suffer from the sour stomach. After all, prevention is the best remedy! If, however, you get a sour stomach, take help of one or more home remedies to get rid of sour stomach.