An upset stomach is most likely to get better with simple home remedies, such as drinking the following herbal beverages.
An upset stomach, if not caused by infections, is most likely to get better with simple home remedies, such as herbal drinks and bland food.
Here are some of the most effective herbal drinks that help an upset stomach:
- Ginger water, juice, or tea
- Ginger water is available as ginger herbal water, tea, juice, and ale. You can buy them online or make one at home.
- To make ginger water, boil four cups of water and add 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger to it. Let the water rest for 10 minutes and strain the liquid through a sieve. You can drink it warm or chilled and add a flavoring agent, such as honey or lemon, to the drink.
- According to multiple scientific studies, ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory and antiulcer. It is an effective home remedy for nausea, flatulence, and bloating. It possesses a carminative effect and reduces stomach and intestinal cramping.
- Alternatively, having ginger tea with or without milk helps with an upset stomach.
- Peppermint tea
- Brewing peppermint tea or sucking on mint candies relaxes the smooth muscle and acts as an antispasmodic. It is effective at reducing stomach cramps, bloating, and flatulence.
- Chamomile tea
- A cup of chamomile tea not only calms your mind and gives you a good night’s sleep but also helps you soothe your upset stomach. This is due to its anti-inflammatory action, which can reduce the pain of cramping and spasms.
Other things that might help you include:
- Give it time: When you are traveling overseas or have tried something new at a food joint, you may suffer from mild stomach aches, and that is okay if you do not feel dehydrated or too weak. You may just need to give it some time till it goes away on its own. While you are away from home, your body has to adjust to the new bacteria in the food and water.
- Heating pad: Heating pads (hot water bag or electric) can soothe your stomachache by improving peristalsis in case of constipation. However, avoid it if you are having diarrhea because heating can aggravate the peristaltic movements and worsen your diarrhea.
Nutrition with liquids
Whenever you experience an upset stomach, you need to switch to a diet of clear liquids in frequent, small amounts until you start feeling better. To prevent yourself from getting dehydrated and get clear or pale yellow urine, make sure to drink enough fluids.
If you are not able to control your vomiting, try to take a few sips of water or suck on ice.
Once you feel better with this or after having these herbal drinks, you can start with the following things before shifting to your normal diet:
- Clear soup broth, such as beef, chicken, or vegetable broth, or bouillon
- Decaffeinated tea
- Black coffee (avoid if you have watery stools)
- Clear soft drinks, such as 7-Up, Sprite
- Juices, such as apple, grape, cherry, or cranberry (make sure to avoid citrus juices)
- Prune juice (only if you have constipation)
- Fruit drinks, such as Tang and Gatorade
The BRAT diet
If you do not feel like throwing up after having liquids, you can start with having the following solid foods:
- Rice (white rice)
- Toast (white toast)
The BRAT diet is recommended by many pediatricians or child specialists when children suffer from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
What symptoms are associated with an upset stomach?
An upset stomach is also called indigestion. It is a general term used to describe the feeling of discomfort felt in the upper abdomen.
You may experience other symptoms, including:
When should you contact a doctor?
Most of the time, at-home treatments can help you get rid of stomach upset. However, if it persists or worsens, you need to get medical help.
Contact your doctor if you suffer from one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
Medically Reviewed on 2/17/2022
National Institutes of Health. Chamomile. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/chamomile
American Academy of Family Physicians. BRAT Diet: Recovering From an Upset Stomach. https://familydoctor.org/brat-diet-recovering-from-an-upset-stomach/
Nikkhah Bodagh M, Maleki I, Hekmatdoost A. Ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: A systematic review of clinical trials. Food Sci Nutr. 2018;7(1):96-108. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6341159/
Chumpitazi BP, Kearns GL, Shulman RJ. Review article: the physiological effects and safety of peppermint oil and its efficacy in irritable bowel syndrome and other functional disorders. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2018 Mar;47(6):738-752. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29372567/