Between getting out and about again and switching from heavy winter comfort food to fresh spring fare, it’s no wonder we’re more likely to experience gastrointestinal, or GI upset in the spring. Fortunately, the keys to soothing discomfort are already in your kitchen cabinets!
Nix nausea with citrus sniffs.
Hitting the road but find yourself prone to motion sickness? Tuck a lemon in your purse. At the first sign of nausea, peel the citrus fruit and take slow, deep sniffs. Doing so quashes queasiness.
Soak up the sun.
Research from the journal Frontiers in Microbiology found that sun exposure may improve gut health, which in turn may reduce GI upset. Apparently, UV light plays an important role in protecting good bacteria in the intestine, and may therefore reduce your risk of inflammatory diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Just remember that too much UV light has downsides, so don’t stay out for more than 15 minutes or so!
Banish bloat with fennel.
There’s a powerhouse remedy hiding in your spice rack: fennel. The super seeds relieve bloat and constipation, because they can relieve digestive problems that cause gas, and they are rich in fiber.
Bonus: Fennel has antimicrobial properties, which may help remove “bad” bacteria from your gut. Simply chew a few of the anise-flavored seeds whenever you feel uncomfortably puffy.
Heal heartburn with ginger.
When you feel that familiar burn coming on, it’s ginger to the rescue! While research is ongoing into ginger’s effectiveness, a 2011 study from Cancer Prevention Research shows that it reduces inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. This ease of inflammation may be what gives you the reflux relief you need.
To get the benefits, sip on ginger tea or nibble on a ginger chew.
Cure constipation with molasses.
Feeling backed up? There’s a sweet Rx for that: A study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that blackstrap molasses works as well as laxatives at easing constipation. It brims with magnesium, a mineral that has a gentle laxative effect. Savoring 1 tablespoon before bed may provide relief by morning.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.