Being a foodie is a common trait amongst Indians and so are gastric problems. Indigestion, gas, bloating, hiccups, heartburn, stomach pain, ulcers, and nausea are some of the common features of gastric problems. These are the frequently received rewards of an unhealthy lifestyle, including binge eating, smoking, drinking alcohol, sleep disorders, eating junk, stress, etc. Flaunting these rewards can put one into embarrassing situations.
Owing to discomfort, one cannot leave it unattended. Also, one cannot consult a doctor or approach a pharmacy so frequently for such a general problem.
Some of the most common causes include stress, a diet that is excessive in dairy, an inactive lifestyle and not including enough fibre in your diet. These are apart from medical conditions that may cause gastric problems as a symptom.
Top Causes of Gastric Problems
1. Low levels of fibre in your diet
2. Lack of regular physical activity, sedentary lifestyle
3. Travel or any other drastic changes to your regular routine
4. Excessive amounts of dairy products
5. Chronic and unmanaged stress
6. Not going to the toilet regularly (possibly due to pain or haemorrhoids)
7. Consuming excessive amounts of diarrhoea medication
8. Antacids that contain calcium, aluminium
9. Other medications that are rich in iron as well as painkillers, antidepressants
10. Being pregnant
Food causes may include – carbonated drinks, beans, artificial sweeteners, potatoes, pasta, eating or drinking too fast, using a straw, swallowing excessively
Disease causes may include – lactose allergy, gluten allergy, IBS, Crohn’s disease, GERD, peptic ulcers
The symptoms may include:
- Acid reflux (burning in the throat)
- Bloating, gas, belching
- Bad breath
Usually, these symptoms are mild and short-lived, they typically don’t require medication but simple solutions at home can make them go away quicker. So, here are some home remedies for instant relief from gastric problems.
1. Taming your Tummy with Tea
A lot can happen with a cup of tea. Although, targeting the root cause of gastric problems is the best approach. But in case a quick relief is needed from minor stomach issues and temporary bouts of discomfort, then here is a warm cup of tea to save one’s day.
Such a relieving tea can be prepared by brewing in water one or a couple of the herbs commonly found in the kitchen inventory, as listed below. In some cases, one may also add honey to it.
It is made by boiling gorgeously green seeds of fennel, locally called saunf, in a cup of water for 3-5 minutes. It helps instantly in relieving bloating, heartburn, gas, colic in infants and loss of appetite. In addition, it also exhibits antibacterial properties and can relieve bowel irregularities.
b. Chamomile Tea
It is made by boiling dried daisy-like flowers of chamomile. It possesses anti-inflammatory and mind-calming properties. Drinking it before meals and at bedtime may reduce indigestion, bloating, trapped gas and relieve tummy cramps
c. Ginger Tea
It is made by boiling a piece of fresh ginger root in water. The main constituent present in ginger is gingerol that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking it before or with a meal stimulates the secretion of saliva, gastric juices and bile production, neutralizes gastric acid
Other ingredients, such as ajwain (carom seeds), caraway (shahi jeera), liquorice (mulethi), and holy basil (tulsi) can also be brewed in water and consumed to ease gastric issues, like indigestion, gas, bloating, cramps and nausea.
Also Read: Stomach Bloating: Causes and Home Remedies
2. Beverages that can Soothe your Stomach
Apart from tea, sipping other types of drinks may also relieve gastric troubles. Some of which are listed below.
a. Cold Milk
Drinking a glass of cold, fat-free and sugarless milk provides instant relief from the burning sensation felt during acidity or acid reflux. It contains calcium that not only neutralizes acid but also curbs and prevents its production.
Drinking cold buttermilk before or during meals is an age-old home remedy against stomach gas. It aids in neutralizing gastric acid and prevents acid from irritating and damaging the stomach lining. Also, it’s a naturally occurring probiotic drink that stimulates digestion, prevents the building up of gas and relieves bloating. One may also add a pinch of roasted cumin powder and black salt to buttermilk to further enhance its effectiveness against gastric troubles. Even lactose-intolerant patients can easily digest it.
c. Mint Juice
One teaspoon of mint juice or mint tea or having mint chutney is a quick remedy to get rid of trapped gas and to ease stomach pain due to it.
d. Lemon Drinks
Consuming lemon water or lemon tea is a wonderful remedy to get instant relief from gastric problems. One may also add to lemon water, a pinch of black salt, powdered roasted cumin seeds and ajwain to enhance its taste and benefits and thereby, making it a wonderful drink to please stomach. Adding a pinch of baking soda to a glass of lemon water may also prove beneficial in reducing acidity and improving digestion.
e. Other Drinks
Having apple cider vinegar or clove oil (2-5 drops) in a beverage, such as water or tea before, during or after meals may also help in relieving gastric trouble.
3. Strengthening the Mucilage in the Stomach
Mucilage is a slimy and slippery substance found in certain plants. The mucilaginous substance swells in water and is bland in taste. When consumed they form a protective layer over the inflamed lining or sore surface of the stomach that not only protects it from further damage by acid but also aids in its healing. Few examples are listed below:
Ispaghula, commonly known as isabgol, does wonders in gastric troubles. Consuming it with curd helps in relieving stomach upset, indigestion and loose stools. Having it with cold milk helps in treating symptoms of acid reflux. Taking isabgol with hot milk helps in treating constipation.
b. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have anti-inflammatory properties and aids in treating symptoms of acid reflux. Apart from this, they are also rich in nutrients, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. These can be added (after soaking it in water) to cold beverages, smoothies, fruit juices, yoghurt, porridge, puddings, etc. and consumed.
4. Pacifying Powders for the Stomach
People with an upset stomach, gas, acidity, heartburn and other gastric troubles can also get relief by directly consuming powders of ingredients from kitchen inventory, such as seeds of fennel, carrom, caraway, coriander, etc. Few examples are listed below:
- Consuming the powder containing green cardamom, fennel seeds and unrefined sugar in equal parts in a glass of cold milk may offer an instant relief upon experiencing heartburn or acidity.
- Similarly, one may also get rid of acidity upon consuming fine powder containing cumin seeds, coriander seeds and sugar twice daily with water.
5.Topical Creams and Pastes to Ease Stomach
In cases, where one cannot drink or do not feel like consuming anything the following approach can benefit in relieving symptoms of gastric trouble instantly.
a. Asafetida Massage
Massaging the abdomen gently with the asafetida water prepared by mixing asafetida, commonly known as Hing, with a few drops of warm water does wonder by relieving pain in the stomach due to gas.
b. Stomach Pain-relieving Paste
It is prepared by mixing a finely powdered mixture containing dried ginger (sonth), long pepper (pippal), black pepper (kali mirch), asafetida (hing) and rock salt (sendha namak) with a few drops of water. Applying this paste on the abdomen for two hours after warming it mildly may provide relief from abdominal pain due to gas.
Other Remedies To Consider
Here are a few quick remedies you can try apart from the ones mentioned above:
- Drink water – Water is essential for normal digestion, ensure that you are drinking enough every day. This is one of the easiest home remedies for gastric problems.
- Avoid Laying Flat – Laying flatmate causes the stomach acid to rise up and worsen your gastric symptoms, try to use a pillow or inclined backrest when you sleep.
- Try the BRAT diet – It consists of foods that are easy on the stomach like bananas, crackers, oatmeal, mild tea, boiled potatoes and broth.
- Cinnamon, Cloves, Cumin – These spices are thought to reduce inflammation, calm the stomach lining, and stimulate faster digestion along with increased bile secretion.
- Figs – These may help reduce the acidity of your stomach secretions, but excessive amounts could make gastric problems worse.
- Aloe Vera Juice – It has been shown to reduce the acid reflux action and provide some relief.
- Basil – It may have anti-ulcer properties, it can also reduce the production of gases which may provide gastric relief.
- Liquorice – It is thought to help gastric problems by supporting healthier and better protection of the stomach lining.
- Coconut water – It may help to reduce the pain symptoms of gastric issues since it contains ample amounts of magnesium and potassium.
- Yarrow – It is thought to be an acid reducer, it may cause the stomach to reduce the amount of acid it produces.
- Ajwain Seeds – Ajwain is thought to aid in faster digestion due to the presence of thymol in the seeds, better digestion may reduce the risk of gas buildup.
- Triphala Powder – Steeped in water and consumed at night, this herbal powder is thought to help with gastric issues.
Try these natural home remedies for gastric problems and see if they work for you.
How To Avoid Gastric Problems Long Term
As mentioned at the start, the causes of gastric issues are a variety of dietary and lifestyle choices. Avoiding the discomfort and pain of future gastric problems is as simple as cutting these harmful factors out of your life. Cutting out or reducing coffee and soft drinks, alcohol, tobacco and smoking and excessive junk foods from your life will go a long way to curtailing any risk of gastric related health conditions.
Following some healthy habits like eating regularly, avoiding binge eating, sleeping regularly and getting some form of daily physical exercise can all further lower your chances of developing a gastric problem in the long term. Try to stay away from foods that are hard to digest as well as acidic foods like lime, baking soda etc.
It should be noted that some people may experience gastric issues like GERD and similar serious conditions, despite maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This is due to unavoidable physical issues in their body, the only solution to that is to seek professional medical treatment. The above-mentioned home remedies may provide instant relief from occasional bouts of gas and other symptoms of gastric troubles. However, if these tips fail to provide much relief then one must seek medical help immediately.
1. What are some of the common symptoms of GERD?
Some common symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing and regurgitation of food or sour liquid. It may also cause chronic cough, disrupt sleep or worsen asthma if you have acidity at night time.
2. When should one see a doctor for gastric problems?
One should seek immediate medical care if he or she experiences chest pain, shortness of breath or jaw or arm pain. If you experience severe or frequent GERD symptoms and take over-the-counter medications frequently or if home remedies are not working for you, you must consult a doctor.
3. Can smoking lead to gastric problems?
Yes, smoking contributes to many common disorders of the digestive system, such as heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.