“Dyspepsia”, better known as indigestion is one of the most common health troubles that can affect an individual at any point of time, although it mostly occurs after drinking or eating. It is a feeling of discomfort in the upper abdomen and chest that is often accompanied by nausea, feeling of extreme fullness, headache or a complete disinterest in eating. While in general, an individual faces it occasionally at around 4-5 times yearly, there are few who suffer from indigestion literally every alternate day. If you are suffering from frequent indigestion then here’s the post you can’t afford to miss. Because today in this post, I am going to give you a detailed overview of everything worth knowing about indigestion; including common symptoms and causes of indigestion, and various tips and remedies to cure indigestion easily and quickly.
Indigestion may occur when the stomach acids come in contact with the protective layer of your digestive system. In such a situation, the sensitive lining breaks causing all the discomfort, inflammation and irritation that can get painful at times. Although unhealthy eating habits can cause indigestion, it is sometimes not a condition of its own but a sign of some other underlying health issue like ulcer, gallbladder diseases, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or some other digestive disorders.
Indigestion can make you feel uneasy and hence it should not be ignored. Thankfully, indigestion can be prevented and cured using normal home remedies and that’s what we are going to discuss in today’s post. But before we get into remedies to cure indigestion, let us take a good look at the common symptoms and causes of indigestion.
Common symptoms of indigestion
The feeling of discomfort in indigestion is really upsetting and comes with many other side effects like vomiting, dizziness, acidity etc, all of which are mentioned below.
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling of extreme fullness
- Gas and belching
- A burning sensation in the stomach or chest
- Acidic taste in mouth
- Nausea or dizziness
- A growling stomach
- Diarrhea (occasionally)
Causes of indigestion
Though indigestion can occur due to a number of reasons, listed below are some of the most common factors that cause the indigestion in our body.
- Gallbladder diseases
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Stomach infections
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Drinking excessive alcohol
- Certain drugs like aspirin or other pain relievers, steroid medications, antibiotics etc
- Over eating or engulfing without chewing properly
- Anxiety, stress or depression
- Lack of proper sleep or incorrect sleeping posture
Tips and home remedies to cure indigestion
Indigestion in general is not a very serious problem but the feeling of extreme fullness is very uneasy. However, there are several home remedies using which you can get instant relief from indigestion or even prevent it from occurring.
Lemon and ginger
This is perhaps the best remedy for indigestion and I am sure that each one of you must have tried it at least once in your life. Lemon helps in digestion by promoting bile secretion by the liver. On the other hand, ginger has a carminative effect that breaks and expels the intestinal gas, thereby giving us instant relief from bloating. Both when mixed with warm water prevent indigestion.
First, you have to squeeze the juices out of lemon and ginger and then mix the two in a glass of warm water. Then add a bit of honey in it and drink it before or after any heavy meal. However, you may also consume lemon and ginger separately with water to get similar effects. In other words, lemon juice and ginger tea are also very effective in giving relief from indigestion and its symptoms.
If you face indigestion often after spicy or rich food intake, it is good if you chew fennel seeds after every heavy meal. These seeds not just stimulate your digestion but also freshen up your breath. Besides, they contain compounds that relieve you of your nausea feeling and flatulence.
There are a number of ways to consume fennel seeds to prevent indigestion and you may go for any one of them. You may chew them raw or grind them to a fine powdered form and consume with a glass of water twice daily. Also, you can have them in tea form as fennel seeds when consumed as a tea prevent the gas formation in your body. For that, you need to steep the seeds for 10 minutes in hot water and then drink it after straining.
There are three kinds of tea namely green tea, peppermint tea and chamomile tea that works wonders in treating gas troubles and must be counted as the best remedies and tips to prevent indigestion. You may choose any one of them to get rid of indigestion.
Daily drinking of green tea is very effective in getting rid of indigestion as it promotes optimum functioning of your gastrointestinal system. The catechins in it together with its antimicrobial properties fight all gastric issues. You need to steep the green tea bag or leaves in water for a while. Then strain it and drink it warm. Well, if you want some taste, you may add a bit of lemon juice and honey in it as well. Green tea when drank 3-4 times daily not just facilitates proper digestion but also helps in weight loss.
The magical herb peppermint is well known for its medicinal benefits. It contains flavonoids as well as has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It gives you relief from the stomach cramps and eases the gut muscle lining. Besides, the burning sensation that is so common during indigestion also reduces. Although it can be consumed in the form of candy or capsules, it is best to drink it in the form of tea. Studies have also confirmed the effectiveness of peppermint tea in soothing irritated tummy and relieving various digestive problems. Take a cup of boiling water and then add a handful of peppermint leaves in it. Steep for a while and then stain it. Then add a bit of honey and drink it warm. You can have this tea 2-3 times per day to get good results.
Sometimes stress and anxiety causes indigestion. So if it is your case, then make sure you drink chamomile tea as it has sedative and relaxing properties. Chamomile herb is proved to relieve you from a number of indigestion symptoms starting from intestinal gas, heartburn, vomiting, nausea, motion sickness, loss of appetite to diarrhea. Take a tea bag of chamomile and steep it in hot water for 10 minutes. Then drink it warm minimum twice daily to keep your indigestion issues at check.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is very effective in treating many health issues with indigestion being one of them. It helps to balance the acid levels in your stomach and inhibits the bacterial growth in your gut, thus giving you relief from the gastric issues. Besides, it calms your digestive system. You may drink ACV twice daily simply with water or by adding a bit of honey to that mixture.
In my post on cumin seeds I had already mentioned how much effective cumin or “jeera” is in improving our digestion process. The thymol content helps to stimulate salivary glands, which helps in better digestion of foods. They also soothes your stomach nerves and cures any ulcer that that has occurred due to the stomach acid secretion. In addition, studies also proved that cumin seeds along with coriander and turmeric increases the secretion of Lipase that further stimulates digestion.
Take around 2 teaspoon of cumin seeds and add in a cup of water and boil it for 20 minutes or till the time it turns brown. Let it cool down a bit and then drink it. If you drink it three times a day, it will improve your digestion as well as relieve you from mild stomach pains. Also, add them in your meals in frequent basis.
Carrots are highly beneficial for our health. This highly nutritious ingredient can help you to get rid of indigestion. Packed with dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals they lower the risk of occurrence of indigestion and other intestinal problems. Several enzymes present in them stimulate saliva production and other digestive juices that in turn boost the digestive process. You may chew carrots directly in the form of salad or drink it as a juice to promote better functioning of your digestive system.
This tasty fruit is extremely beneficial for your digestive health. It helps in the secretion of several enzymes that are antibacterial in nature. This helps in the proper functioning of your digestive system. Pomegranates are also rich forms of alkali that help to neutralize the acidic content in your stomach, which further benefits your digestive process. Further, the presence of B complex vitamins helps to convert proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy, thereby aiding in the process of digestion. Therefore, you must eat pomegranate to reduce giddiness, hemorrhoids, nausea, dysentery, diarrhea, intestinal worms and other signs of indigestion. You can simply drink pomegranate juice daily or mix it with a bit for honey to add to the taste.
Yogurt besides being tasty also helps in the problem of indigestion. Often it is a custom in many homes to eat it after having heavy meal. Yogurt helps in balancing the amount of bad and good bacteria in your gut. Therefore, the good bacteria boost the immune system and improve the functioning of your digestive tract. Besides, they break the milk sugar present in dairy products and give us relief from gas problems. Therefore, you must eat fresh yogurt 2-3 times daily or after any heavy meal to promote better digestion of foods.
Coconut water also forms a part of the best remedies and tips to prevent indigestion. It cools down your system and flushes out the harmful toxins present in your body. Drinking coconut water gives you relief from the gas in your gastrointestinal tract. Even doctors recommend patients of frequent indigestion to drink fresh coconut water two times daily to facilitate proper digestion.
If you want a natural antacid to relieve you of your indigestion then drink baking soda along with water. It neutralizes the acidic content in your stomach and relieves you of the gas and heartburn. In addition, the antibacterial property of baking soda also cures digestive issues caused by harmful microbes. Mix around 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water. You can drink this regularly on an empty stomach or 1-2 hours after meals to get complete relief from indigestion issues.
Adding this wonder spice in your dishes regularly not just adds to the taste but is also one of the best remedies and tips to prevent indigestion. Cinnamon contains several nutritious compounds that give instant relief from bloating and abdominal pain. Besides adding in your meals, you may also drink a mixture of hot water and cinnamon after your meals especially heavy ones to improve better digestion of foods.
Aloe vera juice is a natural laxative that facilitates proper digestion. It neutralizes the acids present in stomach, thereby providing instant relief from the burning sensation that one commonly experience during gas troubles or indigestion. So make sure you consume aloe vera juice if you frequently suffer from the problem of indigestion.
Tips to prevent indigestion easily
Apart from incorporating all the above ingredients that help to prevent the indigestion, you must also make some lifestyle changes that will further help you get rid of your digestive issues.
- Drink plenty of water. Minimum 10-12 glasses per day. This will improve your digestive process.
- Please try to get rid of smoking, as it is the cause behind a number of health problems with indigestion being one of them. Besides, not just you, it put all the people around you at risk.
- Indigestion is common in people who are severe alcoholics. Too much drinking of alcohol is very injurious to your health. If you want to get relief from indigestion, please control your intake of alcohol immediately.
- Make sure you eat slowly and chew your foods well before engulfing.
- Do not chew your food with your mouth open, eat too much fast, or talk while eating. This is because all these activities make you swallow too much air, some of which may go to your digestive tract and cause gas.
- Avoid drinking fluids while consuming meals. Instead, drink them after you complete your meals.
- Spicy and oily fatty foods must be avoided as much as possible. These are one of the leading reasons behind so frequent occurrence of indigestion.
- Also, avoid foods that are rich in acids for example tomatoes or citrus fruits.
- If you are intolerant to lactose, avoid the dairy products. In fact, avoid foods that you are allergic to.
- Try to eat small meals and avoid heavy ones so that your stomach need not work too hard or too long.
- Too much drinking of coffee may also result to indigestion. So drink coffee in moderate amounts and also restrict all foods and beverages containing caffeine.
- Try to maintain a proper timing of taking meals specially your dinners. You must avoid late-night eating at any cost.
- Physical activity is important. Various yoga asanas like ‘pawanmuktasana’, ‘bharadvajasana’ are efficient in treating indigestion.
- Daily exercise is very good but if you workout with a full stomach, it can lead to indigestion. Therefore, try to exercise before you eat or minimum one-hour post having meal.
- You can apply heat on your stomach with a hot bag or sit in a hot tub. This will help your muscles to relax, ease the stomach cramps, and release the gases.
- Stress and anxiety also causes indigestion. So try to keep your calm and relax. You may go for meditation, stress managing procedures and other biofeedback techniques.
- Deep long breathing also helps to relax the muscles in the abdomen and ease the pain. This is another method of relieving stress which in turn helps to get rid of gas and indigestion.
- Do not lie down right after you have eaten your meals. In fact, try to wait minimum two hours after your last meal before going to sleep.
- Make sure that your head is elevated above your feet when you go to sleep. Use proper pillows to enable you to sleep in that posture. This makes the digestive juices to go into the intestines and not the esophagus.
- Try to encourage bowel movements that will enable the gas to find its way out.
- Too much tight fitting clothes may cause digestive trouble as they put pressure on your stomach that in turn causes the contents to travel to the esophagus.
- Generally, medical advice is not needed in case of indigestion. However, do call a doctor in case of the following situations:-
- If you are 55 years or above
- Too much vomiting or blood in vomit
- Excessive weight loss
- Complete lack of appetite
- Too much difficulty in swallowing
- Tarry stools, black stools or blood in stools
- Excessive pain in upper abdomen
- If you have iron deficiency anemia
- A huge lump in your stomach
- If indigestion is unusual accompanied by sweating, difficulty in breathing or pain circulating to the neck, jaw or arms
Over to you: which is your goto home remedy to cure indigestion?
Indigestion is very disturbing and can occur any time. While it is common to suffer from digestive issues once in a while, frequent occurrence of indigestion is not good. It causes unnecessary discomfort that can ruin your day. Therefore, people who are more prone to digestive troubles may use some these home remedies to cure indigestion. Adequate intake of lemon, ginger, cumin seeds, green tea, peppermint tea, yogurt, coconut water etc will help you improve your digestive system and facilitate smooth digestion of foods.
However, simply eating the lemon or ginger or fennel seeds will not help, you will have to change some of your bad habits like drinking too much alcohol or smoking in order to avoid frequent occurrence of digestive trouble. Also other habits like eating slowly, chewing well, lots of daily water intake, avoiding oily fatty foods etc must be maintained to avoid indigestion. So lead a disciplined lifestyle and follow all my above-mentioned best remedies and tips to prevent indigestion.
Indigestion in general is not so life threatening but it sometimes is a symptom of some other medical condition. Therefore, if in any case you find that indigestion is lasting for a prolonged period or is unusual, do not delay and take a doctor’s help.
Do you suffer from indigestion? Have you checked out my best remedies and tips to prevent indigestion? Do share me your feedback and do not forget to like, comment and share if you find my article helpful.
Until then, stay safe, stay healthy and keep indigestion at bay.
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.