Indigestion, or an upset stomach, can strike anywhere and any time. When it does, it can be uncomfortable and distressing. The good news is that there are natural and simple ways to support a calm stomach and experience indigestion relief. That’s exactly what we’ll cover in this article.
In addition to offering you some tips for upset stomach relief, we’ll also share several ways you can fend off indigestion in the first place. But before we do, let’s discuss a few of the symptoms and causes of indigestion so you can better understand what’s going on in your body.
Symptoms and Causes of Indigestion
Indigestion is also referred to as dyspepsia or an upset stomach, and it’s very common.1 Here’s what indigestion can feel like.
Though indigestion is prevalent, not everyone who experiences it feels exactly the same way. For example, you may feel full shortly after you begin your meal; feel full longer than you should after you’ve finished eating; or experience nausea, bloating, or discomfort in your upper abdomen.1
In addition, burping and passing gas or simply a growling, rumbling, noisy stomach can indicate indigestion.2
People with indigestion can also experience heartburn, though not all do—and some health experts consider heartburn a separate condition.1
Many lifestyle habits can bring on indigestion, as can other medical conditions. Although not a complete list, here are some of the most common causes:1,2
- Eating quickly
- Eating too much
- Fatty or greasy food
- Spicy food
- Consuming too much caffeine
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Consuming too many carbonated drinks
- Stress and occasional anxiousness
- Food allergies or sensitivities
Talk with Your Doctor
While mild indigestion usually isn’t serious, if you are concerned or are experiencing other symptoms along with a persistent upset stomach, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor.
It’s also a good idea to talk to a holistic doctor or a naturopathic physician before adding herbal supplements to your regimen. There are a lot of herbal options to choose from, and a health professional will be able to provide guidance on the best herbs for your particular concerns.*
Natural Remedies for Indigestion Relief*
As you may know from firsthand experience, indigestion can be quite uncomfortable. But by taking the right steps before, during, and after you eat, you can help to both prevent and relieve indigestion in natural ways that are easy on your body and stomach.*
1) Take Digestive Bitters Before Eating*
The best way to keep from feeling the discomfort of indigestion is to prevent it from happening in the first place. One way to do this is to be proactive and consume digestive bitters before you even take your first bite of food.*
The use of bitters to help aid healthy digestion has a long history in China, India, Europe, and the Americas, dating back thousands of years in some cases.* Bitters are meant to be taken around 15 or 20 minutes before your meal and serve to prime your digestive system.*
2) Make Wise Food Choices
Another way to help prevent indigestion is to avoid eating the foods that bring on discomfort for you, or at least minimize your consumption of them.
As we mentioned, specific foods such as greasy and spicy foods, along with beverages such as coffee, carbonated drinks, and alcohol can all contribute to an upset stomach.
If you deal with indigestion on a regular basis, it may be worth experimenting with making changes to your diet.
You can keep a food diary (writing down what you eat and when you have symptoms) to help identify foods that you may be sensitive to so that you can steer clear of them in the future.
And if you've overindulged, you can also turn to Reflux ReliefⓇ after your meal. With a blend of herbs and mineral nutrients, these convenient chewable tablets help cool occasional heartburn and relieve indigestion.*
3) Eat Mindfully
What you eat isn’t the only important thing to think about when it comes to an upset stomach. How you eat your food can also affect your digestion, which, after all, begins in your mouth.
Eat slowly and, as mom always said, chew with your mouth closed, waiting until you’ve swallowed to speak.2
Eating smaller amounts can also help.2 And when you’re really savoring your food, eating slowly and chewing thoroughly, you just might find that you don’t need to eat as much as you thought.
This approach to eating is called mindful eating. To be more engaged in the practice, take a deep breath before your meal, enjoy the tantalizing scents and multiple flavors of your food, and be present in the moment.
4) Exercise—But at the Right Time
Physical activity contributes to your overall health and well-being, so it's no surprise that it can also help keep your digestive system running smoothly.
That being said, when you’re looking for indigestion relief, make sure you exercise at the right time for your body. Give yourself at least one hour after a meal before hitting the gym, heading out for a run, or whatever other activity you enjoy.2
5) Manage Stress
Stress is almost inevitable in our fast-paced world and, unfortunately, it can sometimes contribute to indigestion.2
While you likely won’t be able to eliminate all the stressors from your life, you can work to manage them and help your body cope as healthily as possible. Self-care looks different for everyone, and it may take some time to figure out what works best for you.
Managing stress might include taking up yoga, practicing deep breathing throughout the day, adding adaptogens to your wellness routine, or setting aside time to exercise and spend time with friends and family.*
And when you find yourself with a fluttery stomach from nerves or occasional anxiousness, turn to Gaia Herbs GI Feel Good.*
The Lemon Balm used in this supplement is grown on our Certified Organic Gaia Farm, which is located in the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina. In addition to Lemon Balm, we also grow fields of flowering Echinacea, brilliant California Poppy, and more than 30 other herbs.
We nurture and observe each plant, allowing it to flourish in the sun until just the right moment to harvest.
For plants used in our supplements that we cannot grow on our own farm in the supply that we need or due to climate reasons, our network of organic and sustainable farms allows us to source herbs from where they grow best, and where conditions are ideal to produce the highest possible level of beneficial botanical compounds.
As part of our commitment to transparency, we make it easy for you to discover the origin of all of the herbs in your formula―how they were grown, harvested, and extracted—and allow you to see validation of your product’s level of purity and potency.
Simply visit meetyourherbs.com, the world’s first herb traceability platform, and enter the ID number located on the back of any Gaia Herbs product, to access this information and more.
6) Put Ginger to Work*
Ginger is a popular herb for calming an upset stomach.* You can cook with it, or you can take it in supplement form to best experience its benefits.*
Our liquid extract is meant to be taken in a small glass of water, but if you prefer swallowing capsules, you can take advantage of Ginger with Gaia Herbs Ginger Supreme.*
Since adults aren’t the only ones who need digestive support via herbs like Ginger, we also created GaiaKids® Tummy Tonic.* Developed by a Pediatric Naturopath, this formula for little ones provides great-tasting support for occasional upset tummies.*
7) Drink Between Meals
You know that drinking enough water every day is essential for your overall wellness. But what you may not realize is that when you hydrate, you can actually impact indigestion relief (or lack thereof).
The key is to skip the big glass of water during your meal, since drinking while you’re eating can dilute the stomach acid you need for good digestion.3 Instead, hydrate between your meals.
8) Sip Herbal Tea
Our last tip for indigestion relief is one of our favorites: Drink a cup of hot herbal tea after your meal. When you sit down and savor a mug of hot tea, you not only aid digestion but also create a relaxing, stress-reducing moment.*
Calm Indigestion the Natural Way*
Indigestion is uncomfortable, but you don’t have to stay in discomfort. Whatever the cause of your upset stomach, turn to the natural remedies we shared in this article to get the indigestion relief you need to get back to enjoying life.*
To aid healthy digestion, take Gaia Herbs Sweetish Bitters before your meal and eat slowly and mindfully.* You can also focus on small lifestyle changes, such as exercising and drinking water at the right times of day as well as reducing stress.
And, of course, turn to herbs that support digestive health, like Gaia Herbs Ginger Root.* With the right care, you can keep your digestion on track and indigestion and upset stomach at bay or to a minimum.
1. Mayo Clinic Staff, “Indigestion,” Mayo Clinic, accessed on March 29 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/indigestion/symptoms-causes/syc-20352211.
2. John P. Cunha, “Indigestion (Upset Stomach) Causes and Treatments,” Emedicinehealth, August 30, 2019, https://www.emedicinehealth.com/indigestion/article_em.htm.
3. “What Causes Heartburn?” College of Naturopathic Medicine, accessed on March 29, 2021, https://www.naturopathy-uk.com/news/news-cnm-blog/blog/2020/05/29/what-causes-heartburn.
4. “Feeling Bloated and Gassy?” College of Naturopathic Medicine, accessed on March 29, 2021, https://www.naturopathy-uk.com/news/news-cnm-blog/blog/2021/03/09/feeling-bloated-and-gassy.