16 Natural Home Remedies for Upset Stomach

An upset stomach is a common condition. Almost everyone suffers from this condition at some point in their lives. In most cases, stomach upset is caused by inflammation of the stomach wall, eating too fast, or drinking too much alcohol. However, some severe conditions may also be caused by underlying health conditions. Fortunately, several natural home remedies can provide relief. In this article, we’ll explore 16 effective home remedies for an upset stomach.

What Causes an Upset Stomach?

There are several potential causes of stomach upset:

  • Food poisoning – Consuming contaminated food or drinks can cause bacteria to enter the digestive tract. This will lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Stomach flu – Viral infections like norovirus, rotavirus, and adenovirus can inflame the stomach and intestines. These are highly contagious viruses that spread rapidly.
  • Stomach acid issues – Excess stomach acid from acid reflux, heartburn, or ulcers can result in upper abdominal pain, indigestion, and nausea. Certain foods, beverages, and medications can exacerbate acid reflux.
  • Stress and anxiety – The gut has a strong connection to mood and emotions. Stress hormones and brain signals can disrupt digestion causing stomach discomfort. Stress alters gut microbiota composition.
  • Medications – Antibiotics, NSAIDs like ibuprofen, some supplements, and iron pills can irritate the stomach lining.
  • Chronic conditions – Stomach ulcers, IBS, pancreatitis, gallstones, and other issues also cause recurring stomach upset.
  • Food intolerances – Lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, and fruit sugars causing excess gas, resulting in stomach upset.
  • Hormones – Menstrual cycles, and pregnancy hormones can contribute to stomach issues like nausea, constipation, and diarrhea in women.
Home Remedies for Upset Stomach
Home Remedies for Upset Stomach

16 Home Remedies for Upset Stomach

1. Ginger

Ginger is a well-known natural remedy for nausea and vomiting. It contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols that can help relax the muscles in the digestive tract and reduce inflammation. You can consume ginger in various forms, such as ginger tea, ginger ale, or ginger capsules.

How to Use Ginger for Upset Stomach

  • Drink ginger tea made by steeping 1-2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger in hot water for 10-15 minutes
  • Sip on ginger ale made with real ginger (check the label)
  • Take ginger capsules or chew on crystallized ginger candy
  • Add fresh ginger to smoothies or juice

2. Peppermint

Peppermint has a cooling and soothing effect on the digestive system. It can help relieve stomach pain, bloating, and gas. Peppermint tea is a popular remedy for an upset stomach.

You can also try sucking on peppermint candies or taking peppermint oil capsules. However, if you have acid reflux, peppermint may worsen your symptoms.

How to Use Peppermint for Upset Stomach

  • Drink peppermint tea made by steeping a peppermint tea bag in hot water for 5-10 minutes
  • Suck on peppermint candies or chew peppermint gum
  • Take peppermint oil capsules as directed
  • Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a diffuser or inhale directly

3. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is a gentle herb that has been used for centuries to treat digestive issues. It has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that can help relax the muscles in the digestive tract and reduce stomach pain.

How to Use Chamomile for Upset Stomach

  • Drink chamomile tea made by steeping a chamomile tea bag in hot water for 5-10 minutes
  • Take chamomile capsules or tincture as directed
  • Add a few drops of chamomile essential oil to a diffuser or massage diluted oil on the stomach

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy for various health issues, including an upset stomach. It can help balance the pH levels in the stomach and improve digestion.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Upset Stomach

  • Mix 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and drink before meals
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water with honey for a soothing tonic
  • Take apple cider vinegar capsules as directed
Baking Soda can be a Natural Deodorant
Baking Soda can be a Natural Deodorant

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a natural antacid that can help neutralize stomach acid and relieve indigestion. However, if you have high blood pressure or are on a low-sodium diet, consult your doctor before using this remedy.

How to Use Baking Soda for Upset Stomach

  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a cup of water and drink
  • Take baking soda tablets as directed
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of warm water with lemon juice for a soothing tonic

6. Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds contain compounds that can help relax the muscles in the digestive tract and reduce bloating and gas. Chew on a teaspoon of fennel seeds after meals or steep them in hot water to make a tea. Fennel seeds have a licorice-like flavor and can also freshen your breath.

How to Use Fennel Seeds for Upset Stomach

  • Chew on 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds after meals
  • Drink fennel tea made by crushing 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds and steeping in hot water for 10 minutes
  • Take fennel seed capsules or tincture as directed

7. Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera juice has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the digestive tract and reduce stomach pain. It can also help regulate bowel movements and relieve constipation.

How to Use Aloe Vera Juice for Upset Stomach

  • Drink 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pure aloe vera juice before meals
  • Mix aloe vera juice with water or fruit juice if the taste is too strong
  • Take aloe vera capsules or gel as directed

8. Licorice Root

Licorice root has been used in traditional medicine to treat digestive issues such as ulcers and indigestion. It contains compounds that can help reduce inflammation and protect the lining of the stomach.

You can take licorice root in the form of tea, capsules, or tincture. However, licorice root can interact with certain medications and cause side effects such as high blood pressure, so consult your doctor before using it.

How to Use Licorice Root for Upset Stomach

  • Drink licorice root tea made by steeping 1 teaspoon of dried licorice root in hot water for 5-10 minutes
  • Take licorice root capsules or tincture as directed
  • Chew on a piece of licorice root or licorice candy (look for real licorice, not just flavored candy)

9. Papaya

Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that can help break down proteins and aid digestion. It can also help reduce bloating and constipation.

How to Use Papaya for Upset Stomach

  • Eat 1-2 slices of fresh, ripe papaya before or after meals
  • Take papaya enzyme supplements as directed
  • Drink papaya leaf tea made by steeping fresh or dried papaya leaves in hot water for 10-15 minutes

10. Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the gut and help maintain a healthy digestive system. They can help relieve diarrhea, bloating, and other digestive issues.

How to Use Probiotics for Upset Stomach

  • Eat probiotic-rich fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso
  • Take probiotic supplements as directed, especially those containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains
  • Drink probiotic beverages like kombucha or probiotic smoothies

11. Bland Diet

When you have an upset stomach, it’s important to give your digestive system a break and avoid foods that are hard to digest. A bland diet consisting of foods such as rice, bananas, toast, and applesauce can help soothe your stomach and prevent further irritation. Try to avoid fatty, spicy, or acidic foods until your symptoms improve.

How to Follow a Bland Diet for Upset Stomach

  • Eat small, frequent meals consisting of easy-to-digest foods like bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (the BRAT diet)
  • Avoid fatty, spicy, acidic, or hard-to-digest foods like dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and raw vegetables
  • Drink plenty of clear liquids like water, broth, and electrolyte drinks to stay hydrated

12. Warm Compress

Applying a warm compress or heating pad to your stomach can help relieve abdominal pain and cramps. The heat can help relax the muscles in the digestive tract and increase blood flow to the area.

How to Use a Warm Compress for Upset Stomach

  • Fill a hot water bottle or heat a damp towel in the microwave and apply to your stomach for 10-15 minutes at a time
  • Use a heating pad set on low to medium heat and place on your stomach for 10-15 minutes at a time
  • Take a warm bath or shower and let the warm water soothe your stomach muscles

13. Rice Water

Rice water, the starchy liquid left over from cooking rice, can be a soothing remedy for an upset stomach. It’s easy to digest and can help replenish fluids lost from vomiting or diarrhea.

How to Make Rice Water for Upset Stomach

  • Boil 1/2 cup of white rice in 4-5 cups of water until the rice is tender
  • Strain out the rice and let the rice water cool to room temperature
  • Drink the rice water in small sips throughout the day
  • You can add a pinch of salt or honey to the rice water for flavor

14. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help calm an upset stomach.

How to Use Cinnamon for Upset Stomach

  • Drink cinnamon tea made by simmering cinnamon powder or a cinnamon stick in water for 10-15 minutes
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon powder to a cup of applesauce or yogurt
  • Take cinnamon capsules or tincture as directed

15. Cumin Seeds

Cumin seeds are a traditional remedy in many cultures for relieving digestive issues like gas, bloating, and diarrhea. The compounds in cumin can help relax stomach muscles and improve digestion.

How to Use Cumin Seeds for Upset Stomach

  • Drink cumin tea made by boiling cumin seeds in water for 5-10 minutes and strain
  • Chew on a spoonful of roasted cumin seeds after meals
  • Add cumin powder to rice, soups, or stews for added flavor and digestive benefits

16. Bananas

Bananas are easy on the stomach and can help replace potassium and electrolytes lost from vomiting or diarrhea. The pectin fiber in bananas can also help firm up loose stools.

How to Use Bananas for Upset Stomach

  • Eat a ripe banana slowly, taking small bites and chewing thoroughly
  • Mash a ripe banana and mix with a little honey and plain yogurt for a soothing snack
  • Add sliced bananas to oatmeal or rice for an easy-to-digest meal

When to See a Doctor?

Visit your doctor promptly if you experience:

  • Severe or persistent pain not relieved by home remedies
  • Inability to keep liquids down for over 24 hours
  • Signs of dehydration like dizziness, dark urine, rapid heart rate
  • Bloody or black stool indicating bleeding
  • Fever over 101°F indicating potential infection
  • Multiple episodes of vomiting or diarrhea per day

This indicates a more serious condition requiring medical treatment beyond home remedies. Severe dehydration, bleeding, or inability to keep any liquids down necessitates IV fluids or hospitalization.

Leave a Reply