Stomach pain can interfere with daily activities and severely reduce your quality of life. While stomach pain can signify a serious health condition requiring medical attention, you can often get relief from home remedies like ginger, probiotics, and hydration.
This article discusses 10 science-based home remedies that can alleviate various types of minor stomach pain and discomfort without significant side effects:
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties provide relief for upset stomachs. Studies show that ginger helps reduce nausea and abdominal discomfort, making it a go-to home remedy for stomach pain.
Consuming ginger tea, ginger ale, ginger chews, or ginger capsules can all be effective. Always start with small doses to avoid triggering heartburn.
2. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil contains menthol, which helps relax stomach muscles to ease pain from conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Research indicates peppermint oil capsules taken twice daily work as well as prescription antispasmodics for IBS pain and diarrhea.
You can also try peppermint tea. Avoid very high oral doses of peppermint oil, which might worsen heartburn.
3. Chamomile Tea
Long used for medicinal purposes, chamomile can lessen inflammation and relax the digestive tract to relieve ulcer pain, abdominal cramping, nausea, and gas.
For optimal effects, steep 2-3 grams of dried chamomile flower heads in hot water for 5-10 minutes and drink up to thrice daily between meals. Speak to your doctor before use if taking blood thinners.
Probiotics may alleviate stomach pain and diarrhea associated with digestive disorders like IBS or infections by restoring healthy gut bacteria and microbial balance. They interact with your body’s immune response and digestive systems.
Food sources include yogurt, kefir, and fermented items. Probiotic supplements in doses up to 40 billion colony forming units (CFU) per day are considered safe for healthy adults to aid digestion.
5. Licorice Root
Licorice root liquid or chewable DGL tablets can coat and help heal stomach ulcers and combat indigestion and heartburn. Studies indicate taking 380-1,140 mg licorice root extract daily relieves abdominal pain and discomfort.
However, avoid ingesting whole licorice root or high doses long term due to the risk of dangerously low potassium levels.
6. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds relax digestive tract muscles and encourage the production of mucus in the stomach to protect against acidity, making fennel an excellent home remedy for many types of stomach pain.
You can chew about half a teaspoon of fennel seeds after meals, brew fennel seed tea, or obtain supplements only under medical supervision due to the limited evidence on appropriate dosing.
7. Avoid Triggers
Preventing stomach pain is better than treating it. Take note of triggers like spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, overeating, dehydration, stress, or certain medications that tend to precede your discomfort. Eliminating strains from your diet and lifestyle can go a long way toward avoiding recurrences of minor stomach pain.
8. Apply Heat
For stomach pain from cramps or a pulled muscle, applying a heating pad directly on your abdomen increases blood flow to relax those tissues and offer soothing relief. Use care to avoid burns, even on low heat. Always place a towel between your skin and the heating pad.
9. Stay Hydrated
Insufficient fluid intake can lead to abdominal cramping, constipation causing pain, headaches that radiate to the stomach, acid reflux, and bloating. Drinking adequate water is key to avoiding dehydration and reducing acute or chronic stomach discomfort and associated conditions. Carry water with you throughout the day.
Certain over-the-counter supplements like digestive enzymes may also alleviate stomach pain from indigestion, gas, acid reflux, or inflammatory conditions when taken daily with meals. For instance, the digestive aid pancrelipase helps properly break down fats, carbs, and proteins.
Discuss supplement options with your doctor, especially if taking other medications, to avoid complications. Only purchase reputable brands following Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP).
When to See a Doctor
While home remedies can mitigate stomach pain caused by minor issues like dietary triggers or menstrual cramps, worsening or severe abdominal pain may indicate an underlying condition necessitating medical treatment.
See a doctor right away if you experience stomach pain alongside symptoms like fever, blood in vomit or stool, unrelenting headaches or dizziness, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or vaginal bleeding. Sudden, sharp abdominal pain could signify appendicitis, kidney stones, ulcers, or other serious illnesses requiring prompt medical care.
The Bottom Line
Simple yet effective home remedies like ginger, peppermint oil, licorice root extracts, probiotics, and fennel seeds can safely and naturally alleviate multiple causes of minor stomach pain and discomfort when appropriately used. Learning preventative steps is also key.
However, worsening stomach pain or that occurring alongside concerning symptoms warrants an immediate visit to your doctor to diagnose and treat any underlying medical conditions. With the right combination of at-home relief and physician guidance when necessary, you can get your stomach discomfort under control.