Herbal remedies for indigestion
Herbal remedies have been used successfully for thousands of years. Now, modern science is backing up this ancient wisdom, with growing evidence that some herbs, especially fennel, papaya, caraway and ajwain, may help in the treatment of indigestion.6–9
If you do intend to try herbal remedies, and especially if you are taking any other medicines, please remember to consult your doctor. Some herbal remedies and medicines may interact, and it is best to get expert advice to avoid potential complications.
The role of diet and lifestyle
In most cases, indigestion symptoms appear soon after eating.2,3 Some of the triggers include overeating or eating too quickly, eating fatty, greasy or spicy foods, or having too much caffeine, alcohol or fizzy drinks.3
It stands to reason then, that making some changes to your diet and lifestyle are simple things you can do at home or work to get relief from indigestion. Do keep in mind though, that while these are again suggestions based on studies, they might not always work and it is best to seek expert advice.
Studies and surveys on many different foods used as home remedies for stomach aches have shown the following ones work best.4,5
Foods that may help digestion4,5
Is rice especially nice for indigestion?
A review of studies looking at the effects of rice in patients with indigestion and other gastrointestinal complaints found that it was especially beneficial.5 Rice is easy to digest and it’s unlikely to cause any allergic reactions.5
Some other simple ways to relieve those symptoms
Treatments like antacids can also help
Acidity can play a role in indigestion. There is an overlap between many of the causes and triggers of acidity and indigestion.2,12,13 One of the defining symptoms of acidity problems is heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the centre of the chest.2,12 Heartburn can also be a symptom of indigestion.2,12
You can learn more about the relationship between acidity and indigestion here – especially if you have symptoms such as heartburn or acid reflux.
If you think acidity contributes to your symptoms, take Eno. Eno gets to work in just 6 seconds14, and rapidly neutralizes stomach acid, thereby relieving you from the pain.
You should see your doctor if your symptoms worry you. Your doctor may prescribe other medications or do some tests.
Where to find out more
We know how much indigestion can disrupt your everyday life. However, with easy-to-access foods and simple diet and lifestyle changes, managing it may be simpler than you think. Do keep in mind though, that while these tips are known to work based on studies, they don’t always guarantee relief. Please consult your doctor if you have persistent or particularly severe symptoms, or if there’s anything you’re not sure about.
We’ve also put together some great home remedies for acidity problems. Take a look here to find out more.
Disclaimer: While the remedies listed in this article have been widely studied to be beneficial for indigestion, they are not intended to be, and should not be treated as a substitute for any form of professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek your doctor’s advice for questions regarding medical conditions.
- De Oliveira Latorre MRD, da Silva AM, Chinzon D et al. Epidemiology of upper gastrointestinal symptoms in Brazil (EpiGastro): a population-based study according to sex and age group. World Journal of Gastroenterology 2014; 20 (46):17388–17398.
- Dyspepsia and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: investigation and management of dyspepsia, symptoms suggestive of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, or both. Clinical Guideline, September 2014. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK).
- Mayo Clinic. Indigestion. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/indigestion/symptoms-causes/syc-20352211
- Akhondi-Meybodi M, Aghaei MA, Hashemian Z. The role of diet in the management of non-ulcer dyspepsia. Mid East J Digestive Dis 2015; 7 (1): 19–24.
- Gonlachanvit S. Are rice and spicy diet good for functional gastrointestinal disorders? J Neurogastroenterol Motil 2010; 16: 131–138.
- Badgujar SB, Patel VV, Bandivdekar AH. Foeniculum vulgare Mill: a review of its botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology, contemporary application and toxicology. BioMed Res Int 2014; Article ID 842674.
- Muss C, Mosgoeller W, Endler T. Papaya preparation (Caricol®) in digestive disorders. Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2013; 34 (1): 38–46.
- Johri JK. Cuminum cyminum and carum carvi: an update. Pharmacognosy Rev 2011; 5(9): 63–72.
- Boskabady MH, Alitaneh S, Alavinezhad A. Carum copticum L: a herbal medicine with various pharmacological effects. BioMed Res Internat 2014; 2014: 569087.
- Sandhu DS, Fass R. Current trends in the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gut and Liver 2018; 12 (1): 7–16.
- Khodarahmi M, Azadbakht L. Dietary fat intake and functional dyspepsia. Adv Biomed Res 2016; 5: 76–79.
- Choung RS, Locke GR, Schleck CD et al. Overlap of dyspepsia and gastroesophageal reflux in the general population: one disease or distinct entities? Neurogasterenterol Motility 2012; 24 (3): 229–e106.
- Vakli N, Wernersson B, Wissmar J, Dent J. Sleep disturbance due to heartburn and regurgitation is common in patients with functional dyspepsia. United European Gastroenerology Journal 2016; 4 (2): 191–198.
- A Comparison of the Effect of Regular ENO and Placebo on Intragastric pH inHealthy Fasted Subjects . Does not imply relief.