There’s nothing fun about upset stomach and indigestion — when it’s bad, it can make carrying out even the most simple activities, like driving to work or looking after the kids, just about impossible. In situations like this many people reach for over-the-counter drugs like bismuth or an antacid.
One of the oldest and most popular methods for reducing indigestion and soothing an upset stomach is ginger root. In fact, it’s so effective at treating digestive problems that you can buy it in supplement form in most grocery stores or pharmacies. Of course, you can also use ginger root or ginger spice to help with an upset stomach — just add it to a little hot water and sip it slowly. If you’re really desperate for some ginger, a can of ginger ale should also help.
So, why is ginger so effective in helping reduce digestive issues? It’s because ginger root contains chemicals known as gingerols and shogaols, which have been shown to effectively relax the muscles lining the human digestive system.
When you pull a muscle, whether it’s in your neck, back, legs, or just about anywhere else on the body, it’s a good idea to apply heat using a heating pad. That’s because heat can help relax swollen muscles and alleviate pain and discomfort.
But there’s also value in applying a heating pad to the abdomen in the event that you start to experience an upset stomach or serious indigestion. That’s because the warmth of the heating pad can help to loosen muscles in this part of the body, helping you overcome the discomfort and get back to normal. Heating pads are available in a number of formats, from those you fill with hot water to those you warm in the microwave, to those that are unwrapped and used a limited number of times. Just lay down, apply the heat, and try to let the pad do its work.
Rice makes an excellent side dish for a number of reasons: for one, it has a fairly neutral taste and easily absorbs flavors; second, it’s usually cheap and easy to find. But eating rice is also a great way to alleviate upset stomach and indigestion because it has demulcent properties that help coat the lining of the stomach and reduce inflammation.
There are a few ways to get the benefits of rice. You can cook it and eat it if you’re feeling up for a simple, bland meal. Or, if you’re not feeling like eating anything, you can use rice water (or the water that’s left over after you cook rice). To prepare rice water at home, simply use roughly twice the amount of water you’d usually use to cook rice.
Ever wonder why so many restaurants present customers with a handful of peppermint candies after a meal? It’s because peppermint has been shown to help digestive muscles relax, reducing the chance that someone who recently dined will suffer from an upset stomach and indigestion.
But peppermint candies are mostly sugar, so they’re not exactly ideal for treating more serious digestive discomfort. When feeling a little under the weather at home, reach instead for peppermint tea, which can help improve the flow of bile and limit gas and bloating. Simply pour hot water over a peppermint tea bag or, ideally, fresh peppermint leaves.