UPSET STOMACH, STOMACH ACHE AND DIARRHEA NATURAL TREATMENT AND HERBAL HOME REMEDIES
Upset stomach, stomach ache, and diarrhea are common gastrointestinal problems that can affect anyone. While there are several conventional methods of treating these conditions, there are also natural remedies that can be done at home to produce effective results.
In this article, we shall consider some natural remedies for the above-mentioned conditions that come with little or no side effects.
What is upset stomach?
Upset stomach, stomach upset, or dyspepsia, is a digestion problem that is marked by bloating, heartburn, or nausea.
What is stomach ache?
Stomach ache, also called abdominal pain, refers to pain or ache felt around the stomach or abdominal region. Stomach ache is commonly caused when someone eats too much or very little food. This condition can also be the result of a virus or bacterial infection, or some other digestive disorder like constipation.
What is diarrhea?
Diarrhea is a condition marked by frequent and watery bowel movements. This condition may come with common digestion symptoms like bloating and cramps, or not.
Diarrhea can come in various forms such as:
- Acute diarrhea or enteritis, which is due to an inflammation of the intestine (usually the small intestine);
- Chronic diarrhea, where the passage of watery stools continues for a period of time extending for more than fourteen days;
- Dysentery, which is a severe case of diarrhea that involves blood or pus in the passed stools; or
- Gastroenteritis: This form of diarrhea is marked by nausea and vomiting.
Like most other gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhea can affect anyone, regardless of age. While the condition can be treated at home by using over-the-counter medications, there are also effective natural treatment methods which can be done at home.
Causes of upset stomach
Basically, dyspepsia is a condition that arises when the cells of the stomach are irritated. This irritation can be as a result of excessive feeding and can lead to various other conditions including bloating and heartburn.
Other possible factors that can cause upset stomach are food poisoning, consumption of certain types of foods – that may also lead to indigestion. Lifestyle factors like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption may also contribute to the development of dyspepsia.
Apart from the aforementioned causes, pregnant women can also have upset stomach as it is a possible sign of pregnancy.
Causes of stomach ache
As previously mentioned, common causes of stomach ache are microbial infections, overeating, under-eating, or due to some other problem. However, in children, the causes can be quite different.
In children, the common causes of stomach aches are poor dieting, stress, and intestinal pains.
Causes of diarrhea
Commonly, diarrhea is a symptom of some other condition such as food poisoning or a gastrointestinal disorder. Other probable causes of diarrhea include microbial infections, food intolerance, alcohol/laxative abuse, and reaction to drugs.
Symptoms of upset stomach
Upset stomach is characterized by symptoms such as:
- Pain in the abdominal region
Symptoms of stomach ache
Pain around the abdominal region is the main symptom of stomach ache. Other common symptoms of this condition are similar to those noticed in other digestive disorders. Examples are bloating, nausea, flatulence, and cramps.
Symptoms of diarrhea
The major symptom of diarrhea is loose, watery stools. Other common symptoms of diarrhea are dehydration, bloating, abdominal cramps, and fever.
Natural home remedies for upset stomach, stomach ache, and diarrhea
The following are natural remedial methods of treating dyspepsia, stomach ache, and diarrhea:
- Drink plenty of water
Upset stomach is a digestion problem that may arise due to dehydration. Thus, like most other similar conditions, drinking lots of water can help to alleviate the problem. It is recommended for men and women to drink about 4 liters and 3 liters of water respectively each day.
- Licorice root
Licorice root has chemical compounds that help in the treatment of digestion problems due to inflammation. Digestive problems like peptic ulcer and dyspepsia can be treated by drinking a glass of licorice root tea daily.
Yarrow is an herbal plant that is loaded with myriad antioxidants. Antioxidants such as flavonoids and tannins present in this herb are helpful in reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. This natural treatment method can be done by drinking yarrow tea, or by chewing fresh or cooked yarrow leaves.
Ginger comes in handy in the treatment of gastrointestinal problems. The presence of chemical compounds like gingerols in ginger is highly beneficial to digestive health as they promote contractions in the digestive tract. Further, ginger contains antioxidants that can help in reducing some symptoms of dyspepsia like nausea.
- Stay in a vertical position
Lying down when you have an upset stomach is highly not recommended. This is because the chances of experiencing heartburn only increases due to the fact that the acid in the stomach tend to flow back and forth in this position. Hence, it is advised that people suffering from dyspepsia should avoid lying down or staying in a horizontal position, at least until the symptoms subside. However, if the person must lie down, then, the person should stay at an angle of about 30 degrees with pillow support.
- Coconut water
Coconut water is not only refreshing, but also nourishing. The presence of vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium in this drink is helpful in the treatment of digestive disorders including upset stomach. Moreover, drinking coconut water will also help to keep the body hydrated, therefore, easing digestion. People who have upset stomach are advised to slowly drink about 2 glasses of coconut water three times daily to cure the condition.
Drinking a mixture of dried basil leaves in boiled water is another natural treatment method for stomach upset and stomach pain that can be done at home. Alternatively, pouring the leaves over meals and consuming can also produce the same result, albeit at a slower rate. The underlying reason is this: basil has anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of antioxidants like linoleic acid in the herb.
Cinnamon is packed with many helpful antioxidants such as eugenol that benefit people suffering from digestive problems, including stomach upset. These antioxidants and other chemical compounds present in cinnamon can also help in reducing the symptoms of stomach upset like heartburn and bloating. Cinnamon can be used for this purpose by adding it to boiled water as tea, or by adding a teaspoon of cinnamon powder to your meal.
- Avoid foods that are not easily digested
Certain foods are not as easy to be digested as others. Foods such as fried foods or salty foods are difficult to digest, and should be avoided when a person has an upset stomach.
Like coconut, banana contains essential nutrients like potassium, which are beneficial for overall health. For instance, the high potassium content of bananas helps in reducing abdominal pain and muscle spasms during dyspepsia. Furthermore, diarrhea patients can also benefit from eating bananas as they (bananas) add bulk to loose stools.
- Take a warm bath
Taking a warm bath can help to reduce the tension in the muscles of the stomach, thereby, promoting proper digestion. This is also due to the fact that heat helps to relax the muscles. Thus, having a warm bath during the day and/or before going to bed will help to ease the symptoms.
- Quit smoking
We have already mentioned that lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking excess alcohol may also contribute to dyspepsia. While alcohol is not easily digested in the stomach, smoking causes irritation in the throat (that also increases the risk of developing dyspepsia). Therefore it goes without saying that staying away from smoking and alcohol will help to not only reduce the symptoms of stomach upset, but will also help in preventing the onset of the problem.
- Lemon juice and baking soda
Symptoms of dyspepsia like bloating and abdominal pain can be reduced by taking a mixture of diluted lemon juice with a pinch of baking soda. The idea behind this is that lemon contains strong acidic compounds (e.g. citric acid) which combine with the baking soda to produce carbonic acid, which helps to alleviate the symptoms. Lime can also be used instead of lemon.
Cramping, nausea, and heartburn associated with upset stomach can be treated using cloves. Drinking a mixture of powdered cloves with honey or water (as tea) is recommended for this purpose.
Figs have laxative properties that promote proper bowel movement in the digestive tract. Why this plant may not be good for diarrhea patients, people with stomach upset can benefit from eating the fruits of the fig tree.
- Apple cider vinegar
Dyspepsia and stomach ache can be treated using apple cider vinegar (ACV). By mixing one tablespoon of ACV and one tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm water and drinking, you can effectively reduce the symptoms of upset stomach.
- Fennel seeds
You can reduce the symptoms of stomach upset by either chewing on fennel seeds, or by mixing the ground seeds with hot water for tea. Nausea, abdominal cramps, and flatulence can be effectively reduced through any of these methods.
- Chamomile tea
Diarrhea and upset stomach can be cured by drinking chamomile tea.
This is a special diet comprising bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. The BRAT diet has long been used for the treatment of diarrhea, and remains effective. An advantage of this diet is the fact that it can be fed to adults as well as children suffering from diarrhea.
The seeds of this herbal plant have been discovered to have potent medicinal properties. Cumin seeds have active chemical substances that help in reducing symptoms such as bloating and heartburn by reducing the excess production of acids in the stomach. Although chewing on raw cumin seeds can help to alleviate dyspepsia symptoms, it is better to consume it as a tea by mixing ground cumin seeds with hot water, or by pouring the ground seeds over your meal.
Whether it is dyspepsia, stomach ache, or diarrhea that you are suffering from, there are several ways of treating these problems without the use of medication. However, while most of these natural remedies are effective for most people, others may not be. Thus, it is imperative that you consult with your doctor before choosing to go with any of the methods listed above, especially if you have a peculiar health condition.