Digestion all begins in the mouth when we take our first bite of food. It enters the stomach and travels through the small and large intestines, and eventually the digested food is eliminated. It is a rather intricate system, and common digestive disorders such as heartburn, acid reflux, nausea, IBS, gas, stomach cramps and constipation, to name a few, can cause daily suffering for some people. There are natural cures available for common digestive problems that can help alleviate symptoms.
Many known teas can help calm and soothe the stomach. Ginger is often referred to as the stomach tonic and can help with bowels, stomach cramps, nausea and other digestive disorders. Chamomile tea can relax and help with gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea and constipation as well as the symptoms associated with IBS. Peppermint tea can control gas and heartburn and tame an upset stomach. Any of these teas can be purchased at many grocery or local health food stores.
More people who have digestive disorders are starting to use aloe vera juice. The many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found in aloe vera juice can assist in healing digestive disorders. It can soothe the stomach and help relieve constipation, diarrhea and gastrointestinal problems. Because aloe vera forms a protective barrier in the lining of the esophagus, it can help relieve acid reflux and heartburn. Aloe vera is also known to help with peptic ulcers. Drinking a glass of the juice when you wake and before bed each day can help keep stomach issues at bay.
Probiotics are live microbial organisms that are naturally found in the digestive tract and are often called "friendly bacteria." Probiotics can help people regain good digestive health while helping with conditions such as gas, IBS, diarrhea, colitis, and constipation. Yogurts and kefir often have probiotics in them, or people can take supplements; however, other foods also contain probiotics, such as sauerkraut, aged cheese, cottage cheese, miso and green foods like chlorella, wheat grass and spirulina.
Papaya or Pineapple Fruit Enzymes
Papaya aids in digestion and intestinal health. Papaya contains the enzymes papain and chymonpapain, and both of these are digestive aids. These enzymes aid in cleansing the digestive tract, which can help reduce bloating, nausea, flatulence and cramps. Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelaine, which helps break down the proteins in foods and generally aids in digestion. Both of these fruit enzymes can be helpful when eaten, used as juices or purchased as tasty chewable tablets that can act as an antacid.
Chew anise seeds for indigestion. Take charcoal capsules for gas and diarrhea. Increase your intake of fiber for diarrhea and constipation. Drinking lots of water in between meals aids in digestion. Black plum (jamun fruit) helps digestion.
- Giant Book of Kitchen Counter Cures; MS, RD, Colleen Pierre, Karen Cicero, R.D., Colleen Pierre. M.S.; 2004
- Natural Health Remedies; Janet C. Maccaro; 2006
- The Complete Guide to Vitamins, Herbs and Supplements; Winifred Conkling, David Y. Wrong, M.D.; 2006