• Hannah

Top 6 natural remedies for indigestion relief

Most people can suffer from a bit of indigestion at some point, especially during the winter holidays when we're all eating rich foods and drinking alcohol! Usually, it is not a sign of anything more serious and you can treat it short-term with indigestion tablets yourself. However, some people experience side effects with antacids or their symptoms do not improve. If you're considering stocking up on indigestion medication, it might be worth considering cheaper, natural alternatives that could help you either prevent or treat indigestion symptoms quickly and effectively. In this article, I will discuss the symptoms of indigestion, what causes them and the natural alternatives you can use to prevent or treat indigestion fast.

How do I know if I have indigestion?

There are a couple of symptoms and indicators of indigestion, and heartburn and acid reflux are both symptoms of indigestion. If you have any of the following symptoms after eating or drinking, then you may be suffering from indigestion:

  • Heartburn - a painful feeling like burning in the chest, most commonly after eating

  • Feeling too full and having a bloated stomach

  • Feeling sick

  • Being a bit gassy 

  • Bringing up food or bitter tasting (acidy) fluid.

What can cause indigestion and heartburn?

Indigestion is pretty common, and everyone has the occasional overindulgence, so your symptoms are not unusual and you're not alone in feeling discomfort. Indigestion is often caused by eating or drinking a little bit too much, eating your food too quickly or eating foods with high-fat content. In addition, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can aggravate your indigestion symptoms including alcohol, stress, fatigue, smoking and even some medicines.

Top 6 natural remedies for indigestion relief

1. Drink more water

Your body needs water to digest food and absorb nutrients. If you are dehydrated, your body may have more difficulty with this exercise. It may sound very obvious, but aiming for around 8 glasses of water a day will really help to aid your digestion and could even prevent the symptoms of indigestion!

2. Ginger

Ginger is one of the most common natural remedies for upset stomachs, nausea and indigestion. This is because ginger contains chemicals called gingerols and shogaols. These chemicals can speed up the contractions in your stomach, moving foods causing indigestion through your stomach and into your digestive system more quickly. Ginger can be added to your food whilst cooking, or alternatively, you can drink ginger tea or ginger ale.

It's worth being careful with this one though. As ginger is a spice, if you have too much it can actually trigger indigestion. Use no more than four grams of ginger a day to combat the effects of indigestion.

3. Mint

Mint has been used as a traditional remedy for indigestion for thousands of years and is still as effective today. You have quite a few options for consuming mint, including eating mint sweets, cooking food with mint leaves or eating mint leaves raw. The easiest and healthiest way is to have a cup of peppermint tea, which will also help to ease any bloating and discomfort.

4. Drink a chamomile tea

Chamomile is known for its calming effect, and many people have a cup of chamomile tea to help them to sleep at night. The tea doesn't necessarily prevent acid reflux, but can reduce swelling in your throat and can soothe your pain symptoms. Chamomile tea can also be used to relieve stress, which may, in turn, relieve your indigestion symptoms.

5. Try a honey and apple cider vinegar tonic

If you add one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water, you have the perfect concoction to prevent indigestion. Apple cider vinegar contains probiotics and is therefore perfect for indigestion symptoms or preventing indigestion after eating. Drink this half an hour before you have dinner and this should prevent indigestion symptoms entirely. If you're the prepared type, why not give this one a go!

6. Try some cinnamon

Cinnamon contains antioxidants that can help to ease indigestion. This is another item you can add to your food whilst cooking, or drink as a tea. It's also a great anti-inflammatory so will reduce your heartburn symptoms too.

When it's important to see a doctor

Indigestion is fairly common, and you may find yourself suffering from indigestion after large meals, or after a few alcoholic beverages! However, if you are experiencing severe or very frequent indigestion then it could be a sign of an underlying health condition. It could also be caused by certain medications.

If you experience indigestion frequently or have severe pain symptoms, then it may be worth considering seeing your GP. Rather than avoiding the problem with remedies and over-the-counter medication, speak to your doctor. They will be able to get to the root cause of the issue and rule out any serious issues that may be causing your digestive issues.

If you notice any of the below symptoms, it may be best to book a GP appointment:

  • Weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Severe pain

  • Vomiting

  • Fatigue

  • Black or dark stools

  • Trouble swallowing

To summarise

Although it can be quite normal every now and then, you do not have to live with frequent indigestion symptoms. Give our natural remedies a go to see if any of them work for you. However, if your symptoms are concerning or you feel like you are experiencing symptoms too often, make an appointment with your GP. They will be able to assist, recommend medication and assist with a diagnosis to get you feeling back to your normal self in no time.

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