Ever get that feeling that your stomach wants to explode before you even finish your meal? Or maybe a sharp pain below the breastbone? That’s indigestion—or is it heartburn? Those terms often get thrown about interchangeably, but they’re not quite the same thing. Heartburn is that burning sensation in your chest and sour taste in your mouth that could be caused by eating fatty and acidic foods, and if you get it often, it could be a symptom of another condition, like gastroesophageal reflux disease. Or it might be a symptom of indigestion. Indigestion (formally called dyspepsia) can be caused by eating less-than healthy foods, consuming excessive caffeine, and eating too fast, but it can also be linked to stress, anxiety, and other digestive diseases. In addition to heartburn, signs of indigestion include gas, bloating, and feeling too full to finish eating a meal. The next time it strikes, give one of these natural remedies a try.
Get ready to hug your mint plant. Sipping a mug of peppermint tea after eating relaxes the stomach muscles and improves the flow of bile, which helps you to digest fats more quickly, relieving your symptoms. (However, if you have gastroesophagel reflux disease, you shouldn’t drink peppermint tea as it could actually make things worse.)
If your indigestion is caused by stress, a regular meditation practice may help you unwind, which in turn can calm your symptoms. In fact, meditation has been reported to be effective in lessening gastrointestinal issues associated with mental health.
Related: 20 Reasons To Start Meditating Today
It seems counterintuitive to drink something acidic when indigestion sets in, but many people swear this works. There’s no scientific backing for it, but folk remedies say a glass of warm water with a splash of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey before a meal aids digestion and is a surefire way to prevent upset stomach caused by indigestion.
Though not well-studied by science, traditional medicine says chamomile tea can help settle the stomach and dispel gas caused by indigestion.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, probiotic foods like yogurt help to ease digestion and populate the good bacteria in your gut, making it easier for your body to process foods that might otherwise trigger indigestion.