Are you prone to heartburn, indigestion, bloating or other belly upsets and in need of stomach pain relief? These natural remedies can quickly ease, even prevent, your worst symptoms.
Nix indigestion with St. John's wort. It's best known as a treatment for blue moods and anxiety, but Mayo Clinic researchers have pinpointed another benefit that St. John's wort delivers: It erases chronic indigestion for at least one in three patients! The herb works by revving production of the "happiness" hormone serotonin, which also happens to be essential for proper digestion. The study-proven dose: 300 mg. to 500 mg. daily. You can purchase St. John's wort online at Amazon.com. Important: Always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.
Heal heartburn with almonds. Eating just three or four almonds after every meal could prevent heartburn as effectively as OTC medications, Stanford University researchers report. Almonds are loaded with healthy fats that neutralize excess stomach acid before it can wash up into your esophagus, explains Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., co-author of Best Choices from the People's Pharmacy.
Block bloating with marshmallow tea. Sipping 6 oz. of this mild, slightly sweet brew before each meal could cut your risk of bloating and belly pain 50%, or ease any uncomfortable symptoms you already have within 30 minutes reveals University of Hawaii research. This herbal tea is rich in mucilage, a soothing compound that coats the digestive tract and reduces bloat-triggering inflammation, says Laurie Steelsmith, N.D., author of Natural Choices for Women's Health.
Get rid of gas with pineapple and papaya. Both of these tropical fruits are brimming with anti-inflammatory enzymes that encourage the growth of healthy probiotic bacteria in the intestines. The reason that University of Delaware researchers say enjoying one cup of either daily can tamp down gassiness in as little as one week! Tip: Heat destroys these enzymes, so use fresh or frozen fruit, not canned or dried.
Stop diarrhea with a probiotic. If you're prone to loose bowels, a capsule a day of Saccharomyces boulardii could reduce your flare-ups 75%, and cut your symptoms 50% within two days if you're experiencing them now, say University of Kansas scientists. This healthy probiotic crowds out the bad bacteria the cause diarrhea, while also improving your ability to absorb fluids, their studies show. One option: Jarrow Formulas' Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS, $30 for 180 capsules at Amazon.com.