An upset stomach can cause discomfort and disrupt daily activities. While over-the-counter medicines can provide quick relief, they may also have side effects. Tea, on the other hand, can be a natural remedy for soothing digestive issues without the risk of negative side effects. Here are 8 of the best teas for calming an upset stomach.
Ginger tea has been used for centuries to alleviate nausea and digestive problems. It is a natural remedy for morning sickness in pregnant women and motion sickness caused by planes and boats. A study showed that pregnant women who consumed 1 milligram of ginger root daily experienced a reduction in nausea. One cup of ginger tea contains approximately 250 milligrams of ginger, so drinking 2 to 4 cups of ginger tea daily can help alleviate feelings of nausea.
Licorice tea is made from the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant and is native to Europe and Asia. It has been used extensively by Egyptians and in traditional Chinese medicine. The anti-inflammatory properties of licorice tea help to soothe and alleviate pain in the gut while chemical compounds help to rebuild the stomach lining. A study showed that licorice root can inhibit the growth of H. pylori bacteria, which is known to cause peptic ulcers. It is advisable to consume 1 to 5 grams of licorice root three times a day before each meal for up to one week, and then take a break for two to three weeks before consuming again.
Chamomile tea is made from chamomile flower buds and is known worldwide as a soothing, relaxing tea. It offers carminative properties, which help reduce feelings of gas and bloating that can cause stomach upset. Chamomile tea also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe stomach conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. A scientific review showed that chamomile tea lowered the production of gastric acid, which can lead to acid reflux disease when present in excessive amounts. Drinking chamomile tea can offer a natural calming effect, reducing stress, and further soothing an upset stomach.
Peppermint tea is an integral part of alternative medicine and has been shown to alleviate pain associated with menstrual cramps and nausea. Peppermint can inhibit pain receptors that originate in the colon and lead to severe pain in the stomach muscles. Peppermint tea can be easily grown at home, and harvesting a few leaves can provide a soothing remedy for a stomach ache. However, it is best to avoid peppermint tea if you have acid reflux issues as it can result in negative side effects.
Holy Basil Tea
Holy basil tea is made from the Ocimum tenuflorum plant, which is native to Southeast Asia and is commonly known as tulsi tea. In Indian medicine and Ayurveda, holy basil is widely used for its medicinal properties. Studies have shown that holy basil tea can decrease stomach acid and increase the lifespan of mucus cells that protect the digestive tract from disease. It can also reduce the presence of stomach ulcers, which can cause severe discomfort and disruption in the digestive system.
To use holy basil tea to eliminate ulcers and decrease pain, brew tea using 2 to 3 teaspoons of holy basil leaves per 8-ounce cup. Allow the leaves to steep for 5 to 6 minutes before straining and consuming. Avoid adding sugar or other flavorings to tulsi tea, which can aggravate stomach pain and ulcers.
Fennel tea is made from the seeds of the Foeniculum vulgare plant. The ancient Romans and Greeks believed fennel offered increased strength and health that could provide a longer life. Researchers have found that fennel seeds and fennel tea can help to stimulate the flow of gastric juices and reduce pain thanks to antispasmodic and carminative properties. Chinese medicine has used fennel tea to treat gastroenteritis, indigestion, and hernias for centuries.
Scientists think fennel tea works to reduce gas and bloating, which can lead to stomach pain and chronic conditions such as colic in babies. To reap the stomach-soothing effects of fennel tea, use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of fennel seeds in tea each day. Fennel tea is considered generally safe, but make sure to ask a healthcare professional before giving it to infants or when consuming while breastfeeding.
Green tea is widely researched for its health benefits. One study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology found that regular consumption of green tea is one of the best ways to prevent gastrointestinal disorders in the first place. Catechins in green tea are easily absorbed in the intestines and can accelerate reduction of fat deposits and increase metabolism, which can aid in a host of digestive problems. Green tea can also help to stimulate the production of gastric juices including bile, which can help to break down food more efficiently leading to fewer incidences of bloating and gas.
Research has shown that green tea can help to alleviate colitis and chronic gastritis, two diseases caused by inflammation and irritation in the stomach that can affect digestion. Green tea contains catechins including EGCG, which help to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms of pain.
We recommend consuming 2 to 3 cups of green tea per day to help improve digestion. Make sure to drink green tea after each meal and not on an empty stomach as this can actually increase stomach problems. Green tea contains naturally occurring caffeine just like black tea, so limit consumption of this tea before bed to prevent insomnia.
Black tea contains tannins which can have an astringent effect on the lining of the intestines, making it an effective remedy for an upset stomach and diarrhea. Inflammation of the intestinal lining can cause diarrhea, and black tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can help get your digestive system back on track.
In a randomized study on children aged 2 to 12 with diarrhea not caused by bacteria, black tea was found to be effective in managing diarrhea symptoms. Patients who received black tea showed significant improvement in their symptoms after 24 hours compared to the control group.
Since black tea contains caffeine, it’s best to avoid consuming it before bed to prevent insomnia. Aiming for one or two cups throughout the day is recommended, depending on your caffeine tolerance.