Kerri Bailey, BS CH
Herbs for Indigestion
Updated: Mar 12, 2019
Indigestion or Dyspepsia is a medical term used to described a variety of health issues relating to digestion. We all experience symptoms in a variety of ways- Belching, Bloating & Flatulence, Gastritis and Heartburn.
Belching- or Burping is a regurgitation of swallowed air, our bodies way to normalize pressure I the stomach. Beneficial Herbs- Fennel Seed- chew on some or brew as a tea. Ginger- add fresh slices to water, ground herb in capsules or dried ginger tea. Peppermint- tea is the best way to get all the nutrients and digestive enzymes.
Bloating & Flatulence- aka Gas can cause cramping and bloating pain resulting in excess gas production in the lower digestive tract from the breakdown of undigested foods. The gases produced may be odorless- carbon dioxide, hydrogen & methane and the odor producing- hydrogen sulfide. Beneficial Herbs-Cinnamon Tea drink as needed or combine with other herbs like Ginger or Dandelion. Dandelion Root can be taken as tea or tincture for acute distress or capsules for longer term use, drink with a full glass of water. Gentian- is the most bitter of herbs, great for digesting a fatty meal take as a tincture.
Gastritis- diseases that cause acid inflammation of the stomach lining, often a result from medications or from the foods we eat. Once inflamed, H. pylori bacteria may cause ulcers or other distress. Beneficial Herbs: Berberine Herbs (see below), Calendula Tea-relieves stomach inflammation without reducing acid levels. Cat’s Claw Tea or Tincture- relieves inflammation and stimulates immune response to H. pylori infection. Licorice- Tea mixed with other digestive herbs- Ginger, Galangal, Cinnamon, Dandelion root relieves inflammation. Pau d’arco Tea or Tincture is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and stimulates blood flow to the stomach. Try drinking apple cider vinegar in the evening to improve stomach acid levels. Chamomile- is a fantastic digestive aid that calms the nerves, relieves inflammation and antihistamine actions soothe inflammation.
Heartburn is the burning sensation in the abdominal area (solar plexus) that may radiate upwards to the neck and arms that can mimic angina pain. The sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus weakens leaking acid that can back up into the throat. You may choose several things to change to stop this- eat slower, do not smoke or chew gum, avoid spicy foods and sleep on the left side. Herbs of Benefit- Ginger or Peppermint & Lemon Tea can soothe the burning sensation. Also, try drinking apple cider vinegar (after symptoms calm) to increase stomach acid levels- especially those over 40 when our natural levels begin to decrease. Turmeric powder in capsules or other foods/smoothies can stop stomach irritation.