Simple Herbs: The Indigestion Cure
An upset stomach might seem like a small complaint in the grand scheme of health problems, but it can really affect your quality of life. In other words, it’s a total bummer. Luckily there are some very easy, quick and completely drug-free ways to get relief. Herbs to the rescue!
Indigestion, also known as upset stomach or dyspepsia, is a painful or burning feeling in the upper abdomen, often, often accompanied by nausea, abdominal bloating, belching, and sometimes vomiting.
Indigestion might be caused by a disease, but for most people it results from eating too much, eating too quickly, eating high-fat foods, or eating during stressful situations.
The traditional simple, or tea made from a single fresh remedy, is best for correcting indigestion. Use an herb that has a taste and aroma you like. Ideally, choose a plant you can easily cultivate, thus providing a steady supply of fresh leaves.
Chamomile, lemon balm, or peppermint
Make an infusion and drink a cup either just before or after meals; experiment to see which time produces the best effect.
Using the indigestion tea (above) and tincture formula (below) in conjunction will provide:
- Anti-inflammatories (chamomile, lemon balm, peppermint)
- Bitters to promote digestive secretions (chamomile, gentian)
- Carminatives to reduce localized inflammation and muscular spasm (chamomile, lemon balm, peppermint
- Nervines to help ease stress, anxiety, and tension (chamomile, valerian)
Combination Indigestion Tincture
Combine equal parts of the tinctures, up to ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) total, and take 10 minutes before each meal.
Persistent indigestion calls for skilled medical diagnosis. Therapies from chiropractic adjustment to rolfing to psychological counseling often help. Diet is fundamental.
Because indigestion can be a sign of, or mimic, a more serious disease, consult a doctor if you experience:
- Vomiting, weight loss, or appetite loss.
- Black, tarry stools or bloody vomit.
- Severe pain in the upper right abdomen.
- Discomfort unrelated to eating.
- Shortness of breath, sweating, or pain radiating to the jaw, neck, or one of the arms.
Adapted from Healthy Digestion, by David Hoffman, B.Sc., F.N.I.M.H. (Storey Books, 2000).