8 Natural Ways To Treat Upset Stomach
There’s nothing worse than an upset stomach. Whether you find yourself feeling bloated after a meal or your little one wakes up in the night with a tummy ache, stomach troubles are always disruptive and unpleasant. According to one study, 61% of Americans report experiencing gastrointestinal issues on a regular basis.
Thankfully, many stomach issues are minor and resolve on their own without medical intervention. But when you or one of your family members aren’t feeling well, you may be wondering how to treat upset stomach naturally. Is there a natural cure for upset stomach that works as well as over-the-counter medicines?
The answer is yes! From hot compresses to essential oil for stomach cramps, there are many home remedies that will help you feel better. The next time you feel your tummy rumbling with discomfort, try these natural methods for soothing relief. Here are eight of our favorite natural ways about how to cure stomach aches fast and treat other abdominal ailments.
1. Practice Prevention
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Although Franklin was actually referring to fire prevention when making this famous statement, his words have resonated through the ages as powerful wisdom for health. While we can’t always prevent illnesses and injuries, it’s possible to lower your risk for certain health issues by making lifestyle changes.
When it comes to digestive issues, prevention can go a long way because many stomach issues are caused by poor eating habits. If you’re wondering how to treat upset stomach, take a look at your diet and behavior to see if there are any improves you could make. Ask yourself the following:
- Do I eat too quickly, or over-eat?
- Do I eat a lot of greasy junk food?
- Do I eat a lot of spicy food or acidic food?
- Do I drink a lot of carbonated beverages, alcohol, or too much coffee?
If you’ve answered “yes” to the above, start paying closer attention to your consumption. Notice whether you feel sick to your stomach, bloated, or frequently constipated due to these eating habits. If you do, try making an effort to cut back or modify your food choices. Sometimes, making a minor change, like eating a medium-sized portion instead of a large one, can drastically improve how you feel after a meal.
You should also pay attention to the time of day when you eat. For example, some people can handle spicy foods earlier in the day, but if they eat them at night, they will trigger indigestion or heartburn.
2. Consume the Right Amount of Fiber
We can’t talk about stomach issues and digestive health without mentioning fiber! Fiber is vital to our health and well-being. Not only does fiber improve digestion and help reduce upset stomach, but high-fiber diets have also been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer.
Dietary fiber is any plant-based roughage that can’t be broken down by our intestines. It “bulks up” waste, which allows the digestive tract to absorb more nutrients from other foods, while also improving and maintaining regular bowel movements. Fiber can also help prevent gas, bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, and more. Additionally, fiber is vital to our gut microbiome because it feeds the healthy bacteria we need to support immunity.
There are two types of fiber. Soluable fiber absorbs water during digestion, which improves stool content, and insoluble fiber, which promotes the muscular contractions of the intestines for smoother bowel movements. We need both kinds of fiber in our diets for optimal digestive health and preventing upset stomach.
Aim for 25-30 grams of fiber per day by eating more fruits, vegetables, seeds, and whole grains. However, if you aren’t used to consuming lots of fiber, start slowly and work your way up – too much fiber too quickly can cause constipation if your system isn’t used to it.
3. Peppermint Oil
Sometimes, no matter how healthy we are, stomach issues still happen. So if you’re wondering how to treat upset stomach naturally, try peppermint! It’s one of the best essential oils for stomach ache. Inhaling the aroma of peppermint provides quick relief from nausea, while using peppermint oil topically can soothe cramps, bloating, constipation, or other stomach issues.
When it comes to using essential oil of peppermint, stomach pain won’t stand a chance! Peppermint, also known by its scientific name Mentha x piperita, is rich in plant compounds that help treat digestive issues. It also has a cooling, menthol-like effect that acts as an analgesic. By rubbing peppermint oil onto your abdomen, you can soothe away stomach pain.
To use peppermint oil as a natural cure for upset stomach, begin by diluting it with a carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, or Jojoba Oil. Peppermint can be strong, so dilution is important to prevent any potential irritation. Then, apply the oil to the affected area and massage it into your skin in gentle but firm circles, moving in a clockwise motion to encourage digestion.
(Note: Do not ingest peppermint oil. Peppermint essential oil is safe for children ages 6 and up when diluted to a 1-2% dilution rate. Click here to learn more about essential oils and child safety.)
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Ginger is another one of our favorite natural ways for how to treat upset stomach. In fact, ginger is such a powerful digestive aid that it has been used in traditional medicine for over 5000 years in China and India.
Ginger root is high in an antioxidant compound called gingerol, which provides anti-inflammatory benefits and increases blood flow. Using ginger helps support circulation to areas of the body experiencing pain or discomfort, including the stomach and digestive tract. Like peppermint, ginger also provides near-instant relief to many instances of nausea.
We love sipping hot ginger tea when we have tummy troubles. Many organic, natural tea companies offer delicious ginger blends, or you can make your own by pouring hot water over finely-chopped ginger. Then, add a dash of honey or lemon to taste! Not only is ginger tea an excellent natural cure for upset stomach, but it’s cozy and delicious.
You can also use ginger root essential oil to promote digestion, reduce gas and bloating, soothe cramps, and ease stomach discomfort. Simply blend with a carrier oil, then massage onto the affected area. For extra healing, try combining ginger root essential oil with peppermint oil.
However, as with any essential oil, do not ingest ginger root oil and make sure to dilute to the proper levels if using on children.
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5. Drink More Water
Although you may not feel like eating or drinking when you have an upset stomach, staying hydrated can help relieve your discomfort. If your abdominal aches are caused by constipation, drinking lots of water will help promote bowel movements.
Additionally, some stomach issues, such as diarrhea, can cause dehydration. Make sure you replenish your fluids to support your health. This is extra important if your stomach issues are caused by the flu, food poisoning, or an infection.
6. Try a Heating Pad, Hot Water Bottle, or Warm Bath
Applying heat to the affected area can help reduce pain and discomfort, especially with bloating or menstrual cramps. Try treating your upset stomach with a gentle heating pad, hot water bottle, or take a soothing, warm bath (with essential oils!). The heat will help stimulate blood flow while easing away your aches.
Be mindful that if you are using essential oil for stomach cramps, heating pads and hot water bottles may cause certain “hot” oils like ginger to become irritants. If you’re using an essential oil topically, avoid direct heat. We also recommend keeping your heating pad use to 20-30 minute intervals, with breaks in between.
7. Baking Soda
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an excellent natural remedy for stomach issues caused by indigestion or too much acid. In fact, baking soda is the key ingredient in many over-the-counter antacid tablets. It helps with heartburn, gas, and bloating.
To use baking soda as a natural stomach remedy, mix half a teaspoon in 4-6 ounces of warm water and slowly sip for relief.
8. Try a BRAT Diet
Finally, if your stomach issues are persistent, try the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Although these foods may seem bland, they are high in starches that help reduce diarrhea and other digestive issues.
If your upset stomach is caused by too much acid, these foods also help alkalize your system to balance excess acidity. The BRAT diet is a great option for stomach flu or bacterial infections like food poisoning.
Heal Stomach Issues Naturally
As with any medical condition, always consult your physician if your symptoms worsen or persist. However, an upset stomach can be treated naturally with essential oils for stomach ache and other home remedies. You can also boost your digestive system with a probiotic supplement to support your health even when you aren’t experiencing pain or discomfort.
The next time you’re feeling ill and need to know how to cure stomach aches fast, try the tips in this blog article. We hope you feel better!