Simple Home Remedies for an Upset Stomach
Even homeschoolers have “sick days.” What can you do when you or your student has an upset stomach?
Nausea can often be an indicator of much more serious conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or gastritis. However, when it’s clear that the stomachache is as simple as carsickness, overeating, indigestion, gas pain, or stress, there are lots of remedies out there for feeling better!
Let's take a look at a few common home remedies.
Sip clear liquids in tiny swallows. Limit yourself to warm or room temperature clear liquids like tea and juice. (Iced drinks might further upset your stomach.) Let your stomach adjust to the intake by sipping your fluids in tiny swallows.
Mint and chamomile. Peppermint leaves contain menthol, a digestive aid, and chamomile works as an anti-inflammatory. Both can ease your stomach and your nausea.
Peppermint tea recipe: steep 1 tablespoon of peppermint leaves in a cup of hot water for 8-15 minutes. Strain before drinking.
Chew fresh mint: if you have fresh peppermint leaves, chewing them raw is another option.
Chamomile tea recipe: steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried chamomile in a cup of hot water for 10-20 minutes. Strain before drinking.
Tea bags: Both peppermint and chamomile tea are available in teabag form.
Ginger Root Tea
Ginger is a well-reputed folk remedy that is used to treat a wide range of disorders. The medicinal properties of ginger have been associated with gingerols which can relax the smooth muscle of your intestines. Ginger also relieves nausea. It may be more difficult to find ginger around your home, but it is well worth keeping in stock.
Ingredients for ginger root tea:
- A few inches of fresh ginger root
- 1-2 cups of water
- Honey (optional)
Clean and peel the root. Grate or finely chop a few inches ginger root. Boil your water and then add the ginger. Boil this mixture for 3 minutes and then allow it to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, strain/filter the root from the water, and add honey if you want.
Other ways to ingest ginger
Ginger chews have become very popular in recent years. An authentic all-natural ginger ale will have medicinal value plus some carbonation. If you can't stand the taste of ginger, there are easy supplements (although I recommend fresh).
Lemon & Lime
Both lemons and limes can ease different types of stomach pain and nausea.
Got indigestion? Try warm lemon water! Squeeze a full fresh lemon into a glass of warm water. (Don't use warm water from the faucet, heat water to a warm temperature.)
Why does this work? The high acidity level of the lemon encourages your body to break down food by upping the natural production of HCL. Your digestion will speed up and you'll stay healthy and hydrated.
Mix the juice from 1/2 fresh lime with a club soda to reduce stomach aches from overeating. The soda's carbonation helps relieve belly pressure from indigestion. With luck, you'll start burping the discomfort away.
Home Remedies for Specific Causes of Upset Stomach
Here are the most common causes of a normal upset stomach with very specific bullet-point suggestions for curing it.
When you’re recovering from the stomach virus, also known as norovirus or “the stomach flu,” try these things to ease back into feeling well.
- Don’t rush it! Get plenty of rest (even after you begin to feel better).
- Drink clear liquids when you can (but avoid caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, and high-sugar drinks). Try water, decaf tea, or even sports drinks to help you rehydrate.
- Eat an easy-to-digest diet, like white bread and crackers, white rice, (this is one time that whole wheat ISN’T the better option) applause, bananas, etc. Avoid foods that are greasy, fatty, spicy, heavy, or have much fiber or dairy.
When you’re riding in the vehicle, especially on a curvy or bumpy road, in the back seat, or trying to read, you may develop motion sickness. Here’s what you can do to fix the nausea.
- Stop reading, watching movies, etc.
- Close your eyes and sleep, if you can.
- Open the car window for fresh air.
- Sit in the front seat.
- Keep your eyes focused on the horizon in front of you.
- Turn on music with a strong rhythm (helps steady your inner ear balance).
- Don’t eat.
- Stop the vehicle for a break—get out and walk around.
High-stress situations can cause stomach pain. Stress affects not only your mind but your body as well. Try to get away from the stress, if only for a while, and teach yourself ways to deal with it.
- Give yourself a break.
- Think about something else.
- Take deep breaths.
- Find something to laugh about (read some comics, watch a comedy).
- Rub your tummy (yes, seriously!) — if you can feel a tight “tension lump” above your stomach, just under where your ribs meet, rub it (like you would rub tense shoulder muscles). Use both thumbs, or your fingertips, to massage the lump downward, several times, until you feel it begin to relax and dissolve.
More Remedies for an Upset Stomach
Many of these remedies will help ease your stomach no matter the ailment, whether you’re recovering from norovirus or you’re just suffering from overeating. Try…
- Yogurt with live antibiotics, plain (no sugar) will add good bacteria to your insides.
- Chew or sip peppermint (especially good for overeating)
- Eat cherries, raisins, apricots, and prunes (for constipation)
- Activated charcoal (“soaks up” the bad stuff)
- Sprite or 7up
- Apple cider vinegar and honey (1 Tablespoon each, in warm water)
- Caraway seeds (unless you’re pregnant or breastfeeding)
- A warm heating pad on your stomach
- The BRAT diet
Be careful when you take Pepto-Bismol. The over-the-counter pink cure is not meant for queasy stomachs. It was designed for curing disease-provoked stomach upsets like inflammation or irritation. Don't take Pepto if you're already vomiting.
When to see a doctor. Stomach problems may indicate you have a serious problem. See a doctor if you have trouble keeping water down for over 6 hours or experience stomach pain/discomfort for over 48 hours.
Get well soon!
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals, and this article should not be considered professional medical advice. Please use discretion and consult a medical professional when necessary.