What’s the Buzz

Natural Remedies for Stomach Pain

cartoon woman with stomach pain

Most people have experienced an upset stomach at some point in their lives. This condition can affect various parts of the digestive tract. It can usually be treated at home, often with natural remedies. Please continue reading to learn about some home remedies that can help you treat an upset stomach naturally. 

What are the symptoms of an upset stomach?

Some of the common symptoms of upset stomach or indigestion include acid reflux (heartburn), stomach ache, stomach cramps, nausea, gas, bloating, belching, farting, hiccuping, and foul-smelling breath. If you have symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting that last for more than one day, you should have your upset stomach medically reviewed. If you are constipated, please see a doctor if you have not had a bowel movement for more than 4-5 days.

How do you make stomach pains go away?

Mild stomach aches often go away on their ownyou just need to give it a little time. Waiting might also be a good idea if you have symptoms of mild food poisoning. Diarrhea and vomiting are the body’s way of getting rid of the bacteria and toxins. You should stay well hydrated while the body flushes itself out.

If you think gas is the cause of your stomach ache, over-the-counter antacids like Mylanta Gas can usually do the trick. If you have diarrhea, taking some Pepto-Bismol or Imodium might help.

How do you get rid of a stomach ache in 5 minutes?

If you have severe abdominal pain with other symptoms like fever and diarrhea, you should seek medical attention. If your symptoms are mild, you can try the following to get relief from the stomach ache.

Try sitting up instead of lying down

In people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the acid in the stomach can travel backward into the esophagus (food pipe) and cause heartburn. Sitting up can help relieve the symptoms. If you need to lie down, do so with your head, neck, and upper chest propped up on a couple of pillows.

Take a warm bath or use a hot water bottle

The heat from a hot bath or heating pad can help relax tense muscles. This can ease indigestion caused by tense stomach muscles or intestinal muscle spasms.

Avoid certain foods

Spicy foods, fried or fatty foods, rich and creamy foods, and heavily preserved foods are harder to digest. Avoid foods like these when you have an upset stomach as they can make your symptoms worse.

Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol

Cigarette smoke can irritate the throat, which may already be irritated after vomiting. Too much alcohol can damage the stomach lining and increase the work of the digestive tract. 

What can I drink to ease stomach pain?

Here are some beverages that work as natural remedies for stomach problems.

Water

It’s important to stay well hydrated if you have an upset stomach, especially if you have symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting, which can quickly lead to dehydration

Coconut water

It contains nutrients like magnesium and potassium that help to reduce stomach contractions, muscle spasms, and stomach pain. Coconut water is a better option for rehydration than sports drinks and carbonated beverages because it is low in sugar and calories and does not cause acidity. You can try sipping a glass of coconut water every 2-3 hours to ease symptoms of an upset stomach.

Milk

If you have a feeling of burning or tightness in the lower chest, it could be due to acid reflux. One of the natural remedies that can work for this symptom is drinking a glass of milk. Milk neutralizes the stomach acid and relieves stomach aches. However, this may not be a good idea for people who have lactose intolerance.

Ginger tea

You can buy ginger tea from a supermarket or make it at home by boiling fresh ginger root in water. Ginger chews can help reduce nausea, stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ginger supplements are available over the counter as well. Note that ginger ale is best avoided because it contains sugar that can feed the bad bacteria. 

Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea or peppermint oil is a natural remedy that can help relieve stomach cramps, farting, and bloating, especially in people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS). It works by helping the muscles of the digestive system to relax. 

Aloe vera juice

Home remedies like aloe juice can provide relief from acid reflux, encourage bowel movements, help with protein digestion, reduce inflammation, and improve the balance between bad and good bacteria in the gut. Aloe vera juice can help with symptoms such as heartburn, flatulence (farting), nausea, and vomiting.

Apple cider vinegar

Drinking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in one cup of warm water with a little honey (to make it palatable) can relieve gas or indigestion in people with an upset stomach. Taking undiluted apple cider vinegar is not recommended, however, because the acidity can irritate the throat and damage the tooth enamel.

What foods can relieve stomach pain? 

Here are some foods that can act as natural remedies for stomach aches and other symptoms of an upset stomach.

BRAT diet

BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) is a diet doctors recommend for diarrhea. These are starchy foods that help to bind the stool and make it firmer. They can also help reduce the number of times you need to go to the toilet. Plus, they are bland foods that do not irritate the stomach lining. They can help soothe tissues irritated by stomach acids in vomit. Lastly, the foods in a BRAT diet contain nutrients like magnesium and potassium to replace the ones lost during vomiting and diarrhea.

Spices

Spices like cinnamon, clove, fennel seeds, and cumin are used in Chinese medicine to relieve an upset stomach. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can speed up slow digestion. These spices can help ease cramps, acidity, indigestion, gas, bloating, belching, and other digestive tract symptoms. You can add these spices to your food or make a tea by adding them to boiling water and sipping on the liquid 2-3 times a day. 

When to see a doctor for abdominal pain

An upset stomach is a common problem and it is not usually a cause for concern. Most people start to feel better in a few hours or a day at most. However, if the symptoms last for more than a day, it is important to seek medical attention, especially in young children and older adults who can become dehydrated very quickly. 

Other symptoms that warrant an evaluation by a healthcare provider include:

  • Uncontrolled diarrhea or vomiting that lasts for more than a day
  • Constipation for more than 4-5 days
  • Blood in the stool or vomit
  • Fever
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Arm pain or chest pain
  • Problems with swallowing
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling a lump in the upper or lower abdomen

References:

  1. http://www.journaltcm.com/modules/Journal/contents/stories/156/4.pdf
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/diarrhea/basics/when-to-see-doctor/sym-20050926