Struggling with digestive problems can be a major pain in the… well, you know. Many people struggle to digest their meals smoothly and efficiently, leading to bloating, discomfort, and a lot of time spent in the bathroom. Herbal teas and natural remedies for good digestive health may be useful as solutions for these common stomach and intestinal problems.
Common issues like constipation and heartburn can cause intensive discomfort. Over the counter medications like bismuth subsilicate are available to help with a wide range of issues, but in some cases, they can have unwanted side effects.
Water, fiber, and other dietary changes can help immensely with stomach pain, as can many herbal remedies to improve digestion. Many medicinal herbs can help soothe discomfort, reduce gas and bloating, promote digestive regularity, or stave off nausea.
Herbal remedies represent a safe, natural alternative way to reduce inflammation, poor digestion, and other causes of common stomach problems.
Herbs for digestive health are natural and safe to take, and many of them have been used for hundreds or even thousands of years.
You’ll even recognize some of the ingredients in over the counter products at the drugstore.
Common Digestive Problems
Digestive problems come in all different types, starting with issues in the esophagus, and extending all the way into the lower intestines. From heartburn and GERD, to intestinal bloating and constipation, there are many places in the system where things can go wrong.
Here are a few of the most common reasons that people look into natural solutions for digestive health problems:
Constipation can result from a variety of factors, including dietary intake, hormonal imbalances, and medication side effects. One of the most common digestive health problems out there, rates of constipation in the general population are estimated at anywhere from 2% to 30%. Low fiber dietary intake or insufficient fluids can lead to constipation.
It can also be associated with diabetes, celiac disease, and other medical conditions. Natural remedies for constipation can include dietary changes and herbal teas.
Loose stool can be a sign of gastroenteritis, but it can also result from other medical or dietary factors. It can often cause dehydration due to fluid loss. Deficincies in Vitamin A and zinc, especially in children, can lead to frequent diarrhea. Whether the cause is infectious or dietary, herbal teas and remedies for digestive health can help.
Abdominal bloating usually results from an excess of digestive gases inside the intestines. It can cause discomfort by making your stomach area feel full and tight. Bloating is associated with a wide range of other digestive health problems, like constipation, acid reflux and GERD, food intolerances, rapid gastric emptying, IBS symptoms, and more.
The gases that cause bloating are generated by natural bacteria in the digestive system. Improper or irregular fiber intake, especially soluble fiber, can cause the bacteria to produce more gas than usual. Bloating is also common in conjunction with constipation. Increasing your insoluble fiber intake can often help with bloating, as can various herbal remedies for digestive health.
Heartburn & Acid Reflux
Heartburn is an uncomfortable burning sensation in the middle of the chest that occurs when acid from the stomach is regurgitated upward into the esophagus. In many people, this occurs occasionally when certain foods are ingested, often spicy foods full of chemicals like capsaicin.
When heartburn is frequent or chronic, it can indicated gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic condition caused by failure of the lower esophageal sphincter.
Hemorrhoids are vascular structures in the anal canal that can occasionally become inflamed, causing severe discomfort. Their exact causes are unknown, but they tend to be associated with irregular bowel movements, low fiber intake, aging, obesity, and genetic factors.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, loose stools, constipation, and other abnormalities.
IBS has no clear organic causes, but it’s quite prevalent, affecting an estimated 14.1% of the US population, most of whom probably haven’t been formally diagnosed. About 10% of cases develop following an infection, but the condition may also be caused by stress, bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, or other causes.
IBS can often by managed through dietary changes. High fiber low-FODMAP diets, which limit certain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestines, have produced positive improvements in an estimated 70% of people who have tried it.
For people who don’t respond to dietary fiber increases, natural herbal teas that act as mild laxatives can also be helpful.
Natural Solutions for Better Digestive Health
If you don’t have a clearly diagnosable medical condition, there’s only so much that over the counter medications can do.
Too many medicinal laxatives is bad for your digestion, and you can become dependent on them to process food normally. Similarly, overuse of antidiarrheal medications can lead to constipation.
To fix your digestion and boost your metabolism, you can takes steps to improve your digestive health naturally. Getting enough fluids and electrolytes, eating enough fiber, and changing your dietary balance can help regularize your body’s digestive cycles.
Here are a few good natural solutions for better digestive health.
Drink More Water
Getting enough water can make a big difference in your body’s ability to digest foods efficiently. In particular, drinking more water can be a good natural solution for chronic constipation. Adequate fluid intake helps keep digested food moving through the small and large intestines, preventing the intestinal walls from drying out the materials by absorbing too much water.
Experts generally recommend about 91–125 fluid ounces of water per day to prevent constipation and other digestive problems.
Get More Fiber in Your Diet
Dietary fiber is important for your body’s natural digestive processes. Experts recommend about 25–40 grams of daily fiber intake.
Consuming more fiber helps regularize your digestion and bowel movements, easing constipation and preventing loose stools.
It also promotes the growth of the beneficial bacteria that live inside your digestive system.
Eat Foods Lower in Fat
Fat malabsorption is a common problem, and diets that are too high in fat can impair your body’s digestive health. This can be a problem for people on low-carbohydrate and high-protein diets, which generally involve high levels of healthy fats.
Take Probiotic Supplements
Inside your body are millions of bacteria who naturally live inside your digestive system in a symbiotic relationship. These bacteria are important for digestion, and may even contribute to other processes like mood regulation.
Eat Meals at Regular Times
Eating at predetermined times during the day can help regularize your digestive cycles and promote better health. This provides a healthy natural solution to digestive issues like constipation and irregular bowel movements, as well as helping to boost your metabolism.
11 Super Effective Herbal Remedies for Digestive Health
Interested in trying herbal teas for digestive health? These ten widely available herbs are known for having scientifically proven qualities that can help improve your digestion, reduce stomach discomfort, and promote a healthy metabolism.
Senna plants are a family of legumes that are often used for their laxative properties as a natural remedy for digestive problems, notably constipation. There are many species of senna plants. Some are herbs or shrubs, while others are larger trees.
Senna glycosides, which are extracted from the plant, are widely used in commercially available laxatives designed to relieve mild constipation.
Oral senna can produce a bowel movement in as little as 6–12 hours, making it a good solution for occasional digestive difficulties. Senna leaves are also available, and can be incorporated into herbal teas for digestive health.
Ginger is most commonly found as a culinary spice, especially in East Asian cuisine, but it’s also helpful as an herb for digestive health.
In medical studies, ginger has been found to be more effective than a placebo for easing nausea and abdominal cramps in people with seasickness, morning sickness during pregnancy, and nausea from chemotherapy. In traditional medicine, it’s also used as a remedy for gastroparesis, poor gastic motility, constipation, and heartburn.
Cascara (Rhamnus purshiana) is a species of buckthorn native to the Pacific Northwest. For centuries, the chinook people have used cascara bark as a mild laxative herb for digestive problems.
Like senna, cascara contains chemicals called glycosides that act as a natural laxative by stimulating the colon. They help inhibit the absorption of water and electrolytes inside the intestines, increasing the bulk of the stool and preventing dehydration.
Aloe vera is a popular decorative succulent plant with many therapeutic and medicinal uses. Aloe’s translucent inner pulp makes a great topical balm for infections, rashes, and itchy skin, but aloe also has properties that make it a good natural herbal remedy for digestive health.
Formerly, aloe was often used in over-the-counter laxatives. Today, however, it’s not approved for medicinal use by the FDA. However, you can still find alternative remedies that use aloe to soothe digestive problems.
Chia (Salvia hispanica) is a plant in the mint family whose seeds have recently gained popularity as a healthy nutritional supplement. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, essential nutrients that boost brain function and promote memory and healthy mood regulation.
Chia seeds can also be a useful herbal remedy for digestive health. Due to their bulky fiber content, chia seeds can help promote digestive regularity and prevent loose stools.
Psyllium (Plantago sp.) are a genus of plants widely used for the production of mucilage. You’ll find psyllium husk in many commercially available dietary fiber supplements.
Psyllium works because of its high mucilage content. Mucilage refers to a clear, gelatinous agent found in plants, which attaches to water and can help improve digestive regularity.
Marshmallow (Althea officinalis) is a perennial plant that’s been used for centuries in Europe and Asia for its medicinal effects. Its Greek name means “to heal,” a reference to the plant’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Marshmallow root can be helpful as a component in herbal teas for digestive health.
The plant acts as a demulcent, promoting mucilage and forming a soothing film over mucous membranes. This can help soothe stomach pain and heartburn, and many people also use it to try to detoxify and cleanse the colon.
Mullein (Verbascum sp.) is a genus of small flowering plants found in the Mediterranean regions of Europe. Mullein has traditionally been used in Europe in herbal teas for gastrointestinal problems. It’s thought to have antispasmodic properties that can soothe stomach cramps. Many people also find it to have calming and anxiolytic properties, and it can also have antibacterial effects.
Barberry (Berberries vulgaris) is a shrub that produces bitter but edible berries, which are rich in vitamin C. The plant’s root bark is used in traditional medicine for its antiinflammatory and anticonvulsant effects, which may help improve digestion and get rid of gastrointestinal pain and discomfort. The active compound in barberry plants is an alkaloid called barberine.
Barberry root bark can be used in herbal tea for digestion, helping to improve diarrhea symptoms from infectious illnesses. It can also help reduce heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgarae) is a species of flowering plant that’s closely related to carrots. Fennel’s leaves, bulbs, and seeds are commonly used as a vegetable, providing a rich source of protein, fiber, and minerals.
Fennel is widely regarded as an effective herbal solution for digestive health issues like gas, acid stomach aches, and abdominal cramps. Fennel helps relax the smooth muscle tissue of the organs in the digestive tract, promoting good digestion.
Slippery Elm Bark
The bark of the slippery elm tree (Ulmus rubra) is an effective demulcent, used in herbal teas that help soothe the digestive tract.
Digestive Problems? Try Our SMOOTH Herbal Tea Program
If you’re struggling with bloating, constipation, discomfort, and other stomach problems, our SMOOTH herbal tea program is designed with you in mind.
In our extensive research, we’ve found the most potent and effective herbal blends to promote digestive health, reduce bloating and constipation, and prevent nausea and stomach pain.
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