Indigestion is defined as imperfect digestion and medically termed dyspepsia. It commonly results from eating too much or too fast; swallowing large amounts of air; inadequate chewing or chewing with the mouth open; emotionally upset; physically fatigued, eating when constipated and washing down needed enzymes for digestion by drinking liquids with meals.
Symptoms usually disappear after the stomach has been allowed to rest for a few hours and the cause of the irritation is avoided. Antacids make the symptoms subside, but by neutralizing stomach acid, they prevent efficient digestion. Antacids will also interfere with the absorption of nutrients and can interact with aspirin or prescribed medications. Their continual use may produce side effects including constipation, diarrhea, increased stomach acid secretion or kidney stones.
Hydrochloric acid is required for the breakdown and digestion of many foods. You can determine yourself if you need; or have to much, hydrochloric acid with this simple test.
Take one tablespoon of lemon juice OR apple cider vinegar. If your heartburn goes away, then you need more stomach acid. If your symptoms get worse, then you have to much hydrochloric acid.
Vitamin A – in the form of beta-carotene, is helpful for the stomach inflammation of gastritis. Take up to 25,000 IU twice daily for 5 days.
B Complex – The B vitamins are essential for normal digestion. One comprehensive tablet daily plus 50 to 100 milligrams of B1, B6, niacinamide and pantothenic acid may benefit all types of digestive problems.
Calcium and magnesium – are natural antacids and are used in over the counter products. For after meal distress: one 10-grain tablet of calcium carbonate can be chewed OR 500 milligrams of magnesium gluconate may be taken with milk. Chronic indigestion and nausea may be symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
Acidophilus – can also be used for indigestion. Most often the shortage of the friendly bacteria is the cause of indigestion.
Sulfur – relieves symptoms of heartburn. Take 3,000 milligrams daily for one week.
Many herbal remedies are well known for their tonic effect on the digestive system, helping to maintain digestive health and functioning.
Aloe vera juice – is good for heartburn and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Take 1/4 cup on an empty stomach in the morning and at bedtime.
Balm is well-known for its soothing properties to support digestion and the entire gastrointestinal tract.
Burdock stimulates digestive juices and bile secretion making it useful in treating digestion problems. It supports routine detoxification carried out by the body and supports the digestive system helping to lessen common wind, non-recurrent bloating, and support healthy bowel movements.
Chamomile has a soothing and tonic effect on many body systems, including the digestive and nervous systems and this makes it an excellent supportive supplement for digestive health.
Fennel is an herb that has been used since ancient times, and was traditionally used to prevent ‘growling stomachs’ during church services! Furthermore, fennel has been shown to assist with digestion in even the most delicate digestive systems, such as infants.
Ginger eases heartburn. Make a decoction by placing 2 teaspoons dried ginger root in 8 ounces of boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes, drink up to 2 cups per day. Modern research has investigated its effectiveness in supporting digestive juices and promoting healthy digestion.
Kelp contains the chemical “alginic acid” which swells up on contact with water when taken orally. It forms a seal at the top of the stomach and for this reason is used in many over the counter heartburn preparations.
Licorice eases symptoms of heartburn. Take one 200 to 300 milligram DGL chewable tablet three times daily before meals.
Meadowsweet is a soothing remedy for the digestive system that helps to support the health of the stomach lining and digestive mucosa, also promoting healthy levels of stomach acid and digestive secretions. It has been researched extensively for its ability to support stomach health.
Mint helps to maintain the health of the muscles of the digestive tract as well as support the flow of natural digestive juices and bile, thereby assisting healthy digestion. Peppermint eases heartburn and relaxes the muscles involved in the digestive process. Drink up to 3 cups infusion daily OR take 2 to 3 capsules daily between meals.
In some cases, persistent indigestion may be a symptom of an underlying illness requiring treatment. If symptoms persist, see your doctor.