Natural Remedies for Indigestion

James A. Duke, Ph.D. shares his experience with herbs as natural remedies for indigestion, including green pharmacy herbs for troubled stomachs.


| October/November 2002



A teaspoon of ginger is good medicine to calm a stomach that doth protest too much.

A teaspoon of ginger is good medicine to calm a stomach that doth protest too much.


MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Learn all you need to know about herbs as natural remedies for indigestion.

Many years ago, my family and I spent a good deal of time in Panama. The late, great anthropologist Reina Torres de Araus invited our family out to her Los Cumbres residence for wonderful meals. After dinner she never served coffee, just chamomile tea. Back then I didn't appreciate how much sense it made to end an evening meal with this wonderful beverage. Now I know better. 

Chamomile is what herbalists call a carminative, that is, a stomach soother, and it's especially good for indigestion. It's also a sedative. Many people drink chamomile tea before bed time to help them sleep.

Green Pharmacy Natural Remedies for Indigestion

Hundreds of herbs can help soothe a troubled tummy. Here are several I recommend.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita). Commission E, the German group of scientists that makes recommendations on herbal safety and effectiveness, considers chamomile effective for relieving many gastrointestinal complaints, including indigestion. Dr. Andrew Weil, author of Natural Health, Natural Medicine, says the best home remedies for an upset stomach are chamomile and peppermint tea. I prefer peppermint, but both are effective and easy to grow in your garden.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita). Most herbalists, myself included, have a special regard for peppermints ability to relieve indigestion. I've needed peppermint more often since 1990, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave me a bad case of indigestion by ruling that peppermint is ineffective for stomach distress. This does not mean peppermint is useless: It means the FDA's evaluation was.





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