An upset stomach is an annoying and uncomfortable scenario, sometimes even painful. Though everyone experiences an upset stomach once in a while, some people suffer more than others and, the most common culprit is food poisoning. Other possible reasons are stress, overeating, motion sickness, gas, medicine reaction, etc. The symptoms may vary according to the cause, but most people experience heart burn, vomiting, nausea and watery stools.

It is better to opt for treatment as soon as one experiences the symptoms as it prevents complications. But in certain instances, rather than rushing to the doctor or to the medical store at the first sign of trouble, one can find relief through everyday items in the kitchen. Thanks to nature, there are truly superb home remedies that can work to alleviate stomach discomfort.

Ginger

Since ancient times, ginger has been used to ease an upset stomach. Studies show that antibacterial and antifungal properties of ginger work exceptionally well to treat upset stomach. Mix together one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Have this twice a day after meals.


Your kitchen cabinet is all you need to treat a distressed stomach


For making ginger tea, add two slices of fresh ginger in boiling water. Steep for 10-15 minutes, then discard the ginger slice and add a little honey. Drink this tea two to three times in a day.

Ginger reduces the frequency of bowel movement and helps get things to normalise.

Apple cider vinegar

Using apple cider vinegar is one of the standard remedies which quickly soothes an upset stomach. Add one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water. Add a half teaspoon of honey to sweeten it. Sip this concoction three times in a day, preferably before the meal, until you feel relief. The acid in apple cider vinegar interferes with starch digestion, so lesser calories enter the body, while high pectin relieves nausea.

Mint

Since ages, mint has been used to ease indigestion and fight nausea. The herb is packed with antibacterial and antispasmodic properties which help to relax an irritable bowel. Extract one teaspoon mint juice from fresh mint leaves by using a blender; add half a teaspoon of honey, half a teaspoon of lemon juice and mix well. Take the mint mixture twice a day.

Stomach friendly ispaghol husk

Add two teaspoons of ispaghol husk in a glass of cold or normal water along with some sugar to settle an upset stomach. You can also consume it by adding two teaspoons in yoghurt. Ispaghol husk soaks up excess liquid in the intestines and firms the stool.

Foods to sooth an upset stomach

Choosing the wrong food can prolong stomach misery. Therefore, you should avoid spicy food, processed food, refined sugar, cream, milk, cheese, soda, dessert, candy, caffeine and chocolate. It’s a good idea to keep food simple during this time to alleviate your woes naturally.

Stay hydrated

Upset stomach causes loss of fluids and salts from your body and causes dehydration which results in weakness. So staying hydrated should be your main concern. Take clear broth as it will provide water and salt to your body. Drinking black tea sweetened with honey is another option, which aids in reducing intestinal inflammation.

Make a drink by mixing juice of one lemon, four teaspoons of sugar and half-a-teaspoon of salt in half-a-litre of water. Drink it throughout the day.

Yoghurt is a promising ingredient

Although consumption of dairy products is not recommended when battling stomach issues, yoghurt can really help to deal with an irritated digestive system. Choose organic, plain yoghurt, it is packed with “active cultures” which will increase the healthy bacteria in your body and stimulate regular bowel movements.

Banana and apple helps an upset stomach

Banana and apple are good to settle the stomach. These are easily digestible and pectin in fruit helps to firm up the stool. Consider eating banana and apple instead of other fruits while your stomach problem persists.

Starchy foods are the best

Starchy foods like plain white rice and boiled potato are easy to digest and can act as binding agents. The main dietary objective when suffering from loose bowel is to eat foods that are bland and low in fibre. Plain white rice and boiled potatoes hold these features. The soft foods pass through the track easily without any trouble.

Treat your upset stomach naturallyand feel better in no time.

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, June 5th, 2016