Stomach aches are a symptom of a problem, rather than a disease. If the cause of the stomach ache is unknown, the goal of treatment is to relieve the cramping and inflammation of the gastrointestinal system. If you're frequently experiencing stomach aches, talk to your doctor. You may need to be treated for anxiety, bacterial gastritis or ulcers.
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Chamomile tea is often successful at treating stomach aches because it works to soothe the stomach in different ways. If you're suffering from an unknown food allergy reaction, chamomile helps by its chamazulene content, an anti-inflammatory agent. A study published in the October 1994 issue of Planta Medica found that chamazulene prevents the release of free radicals involved in a food allergy reaction. In "1,000 Cures for 200 Ailments," Dr. David Kiefer explains that the oil found in chamomile prevents gastrointestinal inflammation. Chamomile is also a mild sedative, and so relieves stress, one of the most common causes of stomach pain. It's important to steep your chamomile tea bags in hot but not boiling water—boiling water destroys some of the active compounds.
According to the "PDR for Herbal Medicines," peppermint can help relieve irritable bowel syndrome, nonulcerative stomach pain, gastrointestinal cramps and stomach pain related to gallbladder problems. According to Dr. Robert Rister in "Healing Without Medication," peppermint is one of the most common stomach ache remedies in the world. To prepare peppermint tea, either purchase peppermint tea bags or peppermint leaves. Steep 1 tbsp. in 1 cup hot water for 10 minutes. Drink as required.
According to Dr. Rister, lavender encourages secretion of bile, and so, like peppermint, it relieves stomach pain due to gallbladder problems that prevent the proper digestion of fats. Like chamomile, lavender is also a mild sedative, and is an effective treatment for low-level anxiety. Rister suggests steeping 1 tsp. chopped lavender in 2/3 cup hot water for 10 minutes. You can also buy prepared lavender tea bags.
Yogurt contains active bacterial cultures that significantly aid in the digestive process. To get these cultures from a drink, look for commercially prepared yogurt drinks. The label must say that they contain active cultures. Or you can prepare your own yogurt drink by blending a smoothie containing yogurt and fruit juice. Dr. Rister explains that the lactobacillus found in yogurt also can inhibit helicobacter pylori, a common cause of gastritis—an inflammation of the lining of the stomach.
Ginger Tea or Ginger Ale
According to the "PDR for Herbal Medicines," ginger is used to treat stomach inflammation, nausea, dyspepsia and motion sickness. Ginger promotes the secretion of saliva, gastric juices and bile, which all improve digestion. Ginger can be taken as a tea. Buy ginger tea bags and steep as instructed on the label. Ginger can also be found in traditional ginger ales. Check the ingredients to be sure the ginger ale actually contains ginger. The carbonation in ginger ale will also soothe the stomach and can help to bring up trapped gas.
- "Planta Medica"; Chamazulene: An Antioxidant-Type Inhibitor of Leukotriene B4 Formation; H. Safayhi; 1994
- "1,000 Cures for 200 Ailments"; Editor Dr. Victor Sierpina; 2007
- "PDR for Herbal Medicines 4th Ed."; Thomson Healthcare Inc.; 2007
- "Healing Without Medication"; Robert S. Rister; 2003