Tummy troubles got you down? Stomachaches are some of the most commonly experienced digestive problems. They’re caused by a host of factors ranging from food poisoning and acid reflux to medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance.
Luckily, there are home remedies you can use to feel better fast — without having to reach for over-the-counter (OTC) medications that have negative side effects. Read on to find the best stomach ache remedies you can use to relieve bloating, cramps, and discomfort.
Best Natural Remedies For Stomach Ache
Fresh ginger is a powerhouse when it comes to the digestive system. Ginger root contains compounds such as shogaol and gingerol that help to ease nausea and upset stomach (1). Ginger is so effective at treating stomach problems, it is frequently prescribed as a treatment for motion sickness, morning sickness, and nausea caused by chemotherapy (2).
In addition, ginger boasts anti-inflammatory properties that help to improve blood circulation and reduce feelings of pain. Inflammation of the stomach is a common cause of abdominal pain. Ginger compounds inhibit the synthesis of cytokines that cause inflammation. The pain management benefits of ginger are so beneficial, research shows its effectiveness in treating muscle pains after endurance exercises (3).
To alleviate stomach pain, brew a cup of ginger tea. Opt for a loose leaf ginger tea like this one at Cup & Leaf. Add one tablespoon of the tea to a tea strainer and steep in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. You can also make the tea by steeping a few slices of ginger root in boiling water. You can also opt for a classic tummy aid such as ginger ale.
If you are suffering from a tummy ache, applying heat directly to your stomach may help to alleviate some of the pain. Heat naturally helps to soothe contracted and irritated muscles.
Simply apply a hot water bottle or heating pad for 10 to 15 minutes as needed. Be careful not to make the heat source too hot to avoid scalding skin. You can also wrap the heat source in a towel for protection.
3. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is a refreshing beverage that can help heal digestion from the inside-out. The tea can be made using tea bags, dried loose teas, or fresh mint leaves from the garden.
Mint leaves contain menthol, a compound that lends a tingling and invigorating flavor to this tea. Menthol is also beneficial for digestive health thanks to its natural pain-relieving properties.
Animal studies show that menthol helps to relax gastrointestinal tissue and provides anesthetic effects on the nervous system (4). This helps to soothe irritated stomach muscles while also helping your mind relax and calm down. Other powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic compounds in peppermint tea include rosmarinic acid and flavonoids.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may help to neutralize stomach acid, thus reducing symptoms of a stomach ache. Apple cider vinegar also makes it easier for the body to digest starches more slowly. Starch plays an important role in digestion and helps to promote the cultivation of healthy gut bacteria.
Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a cup of warm water. You can add a dash of lemon juice top boost antioxidant content and balance out the flavor. Alternatively, you can take a shot of ACV each morning to help keep digestive processes in check.
5. Chamomile Tea
There’s a reason your mom always told you to drink tea when you were feeling sick. Tea contains healthy ingredients including polyphenols, antioxidants, and chemical compounds that help fight off bacteria and induce relaxation. Chamomile tea is a widely beloved tea thanks to its natural calming properties and sweet flavor.
Chamomile tea is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that works to ease stomach problems and restore function in the digestive tract. It can help soothe stomach cramps by reducing inflammation. In fact, this tea has been used to treat flatulence, diarrhea, anorexia, and nausea (5).
To brew chamomile tea, use loose tea, tea bags, or fresh flowers form an organic garden. Simply add the petals to boiling water and steep for 4 to 8 minutes. Add a slice of lemon or a dash of honey if desired.
6. Drink Water
Drinking water is basically the solution to everything. Feel lethargic? Drink water. Want beautiful skin? Drink water? Suffering from stomach problems? Drink water.
Water is an essential component of digestion. It enables the body to absorb vitamins and nutrients more efficiently in the small intestines. It also helps to break down food and prevent dehydration, which can lead to stomach issues.
7. Don’t Lie Down
When you lay down, stomach acid spreads out and has a higher chance of reentering the esophagus. This can cause acid reflux, particularly if you are already having digestive problems. Try to sit up or stand when you have abdominal pain. This can help your body work through the problem, without creating additional issues. If you must lie down, prop yourself up with a few pillows.
8. Baking Soda
Research shows that baking soda may help to ease stomach problems including a tummy ache. Combining the baking soda with lime juice or lemon juice can help reduce gastric acidity and reduces the amount of bile produced in the liver (6). This natural remedy is particularly useful if your tummy ache is caused by rich or spicy meals.
Baking soda also boasts carminative properties that can help to reduce bloat and flatulence. That’s because carbonic acid is created when the baking soda is mixed with lime. Mix one teaspoon baking soda and one teaspoon lime juice in a tall glass of water.
9. Chai Spices
Masala chai is made by combining a variety of spices and brewing them into a tasty tea. Common ingredients include cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, ginger, and cardamom. Some recipes also include fennel seeds and cumin.
Many of these spices boast anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation and soothe the pain. They also work to neutralize stomach acid, which helps in treating heartburn and indigestion. Some of these spices also feature antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help heal a tummy ache caused by an infection.
10. BRAT Diet
The BRAT diet stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. The diet consists of bland foods that help your body recover after suffering for digestive issues. It’s often incorporated after an episode of diarrhea or vomiting. The bland flavors don’t irritate the stomach lining as spicy or fried foods do. Stick to the BRAT diet for 24 hours after a tummy ache to help restore healthy digestion.
Avoid foods that are hard to digest including spicy foods, alcohol, and rich meals. Lay off the creamy pasta sauces and other dairy products until your stomach can recover.
11. Figs or Prunes
If your tummy ache is caused by constipation, eating figs or prunes can help to relieve the pressure. These fruits act as natural laxatives to restore proper bowel movements. Start by eating just a couple of pieces of fruit and wait to see if it helps. Don’t use this natural remedy to treat stomach pain if you already have diarrhea as they will cause the condition to worsen.
Natural Remedies For Stomach Pain
The next time you have a tummy ache, reach for one of these home remedies. With a little rest and relaxation, you’ll be feeling back to normal in no time. If you’re stomach pains last for more than 24 hours, are intense, or result in unusual bowel movements, seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional. They may prescribe prescription medications for an underlying medical issue or recommend an over-the-counter medication such as Pepto-Bismol.
For mild to moderate stomach aches, you can use natural remedies to help ease the pain. Most tummy aches will go away on their own. Help make the process more bearable with these natural remedies for stomach aches.