Stomach Trouble? Helpful Herbs to Try

Centuries before there were drugstores, there were herbal remedies that people relied on to ease stomach discomfort and aid digestion. If your tummy is talking back to you, try one of these remedies. Taking these in supplement form is more likely to give you a healing dose, but there’s no harm in spicing up some of your dishes to help bring some relief.

Ginger

This spice has been used to treat gastrointestinal problems, like diarrhea, motion sickness and nausea for more than 2,000 years, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. “Ginger has a calming effect that has been demonstrated by research,” says registered dietitian Robyn Flipse. “It has compounds that have the ability to calm or relax what’s causing a nauseous feeling.” Ordering in Chinese food won’t give you enough to make a difference, but sprinkling ground ginger onto a serving of cereal and sipping on a cup of ginger tea may do the trick.

Peppermint

Turns out it’s more than just the festive flavor of a candy cane. Research suggests that peppermint may help calm the stomach muscles, helping food pass through more quickly. Studies show that coated peppermint capsules eased Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms like bloating, diarrhea and gas. If any of those symptoms are tripping you up, you may consider sipping a cup of peppermint tea.

Anise

An herb with the flavor of licorice, it’s long been used as an aid to address flatulence, heartburn and stomach aches. “If you eat in an Indian restaurant, there is often a little dish there that contains anise and other herbs,” says Flipse. “It’s very traditional in that culture to end the meal that way to improve digestion.” But if you’re not crazy about the flavor -- it tends to evoke a love-it or hate-it response -- it may not be the best option for your herbal arsenal.