Indigestion Herbal Remedies

INDIGESTION (DYSPEPSIA)

BENEFICIAL HERBS

  • Peppermint tea can sooth an upset stomach or refresh a sluggish appetite
  • Basil is good for a gassy stomach
  • Papaya leaf increases digestive properties with its powerful proteolytic enzymes
  • Caraway and/or dill are effective in relieving indigestion
  • Ginger is a great herb for heartburn due to its ability to absorb excess stomach acid
  • Chamomile tea is good for relieving digestive upset and has a calming effect on the body. Caution: Do not use chamomile on an ongoing basis, and avoid it completely if you are allergic to ragweed.
  • Lemon balm relaxes a nervous stomach
  • Angelica root helps to relieve gas and other stomach aliments
  • Catnip has antispasmodic properties, which is good for stomach cramps and relaxation
  • Fennel can relieve gas and indigestion
  • Alfalfa aids digestion and supplies needed vitamins such as K, A, D and trace minerals. It can be taken in liquid or tablet form
  • Capsicum (cayenne pepper) is used to stimulate digestion
  • Aloe vera exerts beneficial tonic effects on the gastrointestinal system and is good for heartburn. Take 1/4 cup of aloe vera juice on an empty stomach in the morning and again at bedtime.
  • Saw palmetto berry stimulates appetite and improves digestion
  • Anise seeds can prevent indigestion and gas. Chew the whole seeds or crush them and steep a teaspoon in a cup of boiled water for about 10 minutes.
  • Goldenseal and/or cayenne pepper (capsicum) can relieve indigestion. Caution: Do not take goldenseal on a daily basis for more than a week at a time, and do not use during pregnancy. Do not give goldenseal to children under two. Do not use goldenseal without consulting a physician if you have had heart disease, diabetes, glaucoma, a stroke, or high blood pressure. Use it with caution if you are allergic to ragweed.
  • A few sprigs of fresh parsley can help relieve indigestion. Parsley is also good for bad breath.

DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Find out which foods your body has trouble digesting and stay away from foods that cause a reaction.
  • If you are prone to indigestion, consume well-balanced meals with plenty of fiber-rich foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Include in the diet fresh papaya (which contains papain) and fresh pineapple (which contains bromelain). These are good sources of beneficial digestive enzymes.
  • Add acidophilus to the diet. Acidophilus can be useful for indigestion, because a shortage of the “friendly” bacteria is often the cause. Eat yogurt that contains the active cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus. Lactobacillus acidophilus is also available in capsule form available in health food stores.
  • Use the following spices in cooking: cinnamon, thyme, coriander, sage, mint, mustard, horseradish, and ginger
  • For disorders such as gas, bloating, and heartburn, try brown rice and/or barley broth. Use 5 parts water to 1 part grain, and boil the mixture, uncovered, for ten minutes. Then put the lid on and simmer for fifty-five minutes more. Strain and cool the liquid. Sip this throughout the day.
  • Drinking the juice of a lemon in a cup of water first thing in the morning is good for healing and for purifying the blood.
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, carbonated drinks, acidic pickles, raw onions, bran, raw sweet green peppers, very hot chilis, lentils, peanuts, and soybeans and unripe bananas
  • Other foods to avoid include bakery products, beans, citrus juices, fried and fatty foods, potato chips and other snack foods, red meat, concentrated sweets (sugar), tomatoes, and salty or spicy food
  • Do not eat when you are upset or overtired.
  • Do not drink liquids while eating. This dilutes the stomach juices and prevents proper digestion.

NON DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Exercise, such as brisk walking or stretching, aids the digestive process.
  • For relief of occasional digestive difficulties, use charcoal tablets, available in health food stores. These are for absorbing gas and toxins. Because they can interfere the absorption of other medications and nutrients, should be taken separately, and they should not be for long periods of time. Occasional use is not harmfully and has no side effects. Always chew food thoroughly; do not gulp it drown in a hurry

MEDICAL ALERT: If you develop heartburn and the symptoms persist consult your health care provider. If the pain begins to travel down your left arm, or if the sensation is accompanied by a feeling of weakness, dizziness, or shortness of breath, get emergency medical help. The early symptoms of a heart attack can be very much like those of indigestion, particularly heartburn, and as a result, many people mistakenly

In some cases, herbal products can interact negatively with other medications. Such interactions can be dangerous. Herbal remedies are not regulated and their quality is not controlled. Moreover, while there is an abundant supply of information circulating about herbs, not much of it has been scientifically proven. Consult your physician. Informing your doctor and pharmacist of what herbal products you are using is just as important as letting them know what drugs you are taking. Your physician and the pharmacist on duty at your pharmacy can assist you in deciding which herbs
are safe.

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