Ugh. There is not much that's as stinky (no pun intended) as a bellyache. The side-splitting cramps, the gassy grossness, the emergency runs to the bathroom, and the nausea are only some of the many charms of an upset stomach. As crappy as a rumbly tummy can be, lots of us power through them because OTC pills and harsh meds can be even worse than the affliction itself. But did you know there are a number of natural ways to ease symptoms of a sick stomach? Put down the newspaper and flush those belly blues away with one of these 7 no-crap, natural ways to kick your stomach ache.
1. Chamomile Tea
A hot cup of chamomile tea is just what you need to relieve nausea, stomach aches, and other belly-related discomfort. The soothing herbal properties will safely settle the stomach and reduce inflammation. Not only is chamomile great for helping you feel better, but it tastes fantastic and smells like a bouquet of fresh flowers. Much better than how your bathroom smelled earlier today! If chamomile isn't your bag, go for a piping hot cup of peppermint tea instead. It's said to relax the lining of the stomach and aid in digestion. It can also rid you of that belly bloat that often accompanies an unsettled stomach. Peppermint tea is refreshing and tasty, and will perk you up after hours spent glued to the toilet.
Cinnamon buns may have caused your bout of the runs, but a dash of cinnamon powder, cinnamon tea, or a cinnamon stick steeped in hot water may actually relieve your bellyache and reduce gas. It can even help you poop if that's your conundrum. Now, an artificial ruby red cinnamon flavored hard candy is not going to help you (except for ridding you of your acid breath perhaps). Go for the real stuff and once you're cured, use the rest in a bowl of Quaker Oats.
Fresh ginger or even a glass of natural ginger ale has been known to ease nausea. If those two choices aren't available, ginger tea is another fine option to get rid of your symptoms. Sorry fellas, Mary Ann doesn't have the same health benefits as Ginger, though she may help you get over your sea sickness.
4. Fennel Seeds
Got gas? Yea, we know it was you. Well no need to expel in embarrassment any further. Fennel seeds are great for gas buildup and flatulence. Eat some after a gassy meal or once you feel bloating and discomfort. They actually freshen the breath too, but he who comes close enough to one's face after wading through a cloud of flatulence probably isn't too discerning.
Ok, beware moo juice lovers. Milk is not great for most stomach issues. In fact, you may feel like a total cow if you sip a chocolate milk when you've got a bellyache. One thing milk can help though is a bout of painful heartburn. It will neutralize the acid buildup and relieve that nasty burn. If all else in the stomach region is fine, go for a cold glass of milk. If you are lactose intolerant, you know this remedy ain't for you.
Got the runs? Then this is not your remedy. In fact, too much of it may have gotten you (and your underpants) into this mess. However, if you are backed up with painful constipation, go for a high-fiber bowl of bran cereal or another high-fiber food. Be sure to pair your fiber with lots of water to get things moving again. Before you know it, you'll be regular. Well, at least in the defecation department.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
This may seem a bit aggressive, but a spoonful of apple cider vinegar can relieve the symptoms of an upset belly. It helps manage the bacteria in your stomach and intestines to make everything well-balanced and feeling fine. If the taste is too nasty for you to glug down your gullet, mix some in with water and lemon with honey or maple syrup and it will taste surprisingly tasty. Mary Poppins would have sung about it, but 'apple cider vinegar' doesn't have quite the same ring as 'sugar'.
With these natural cures, you'll be feeling like your old self in no time. Till then, opt for the soft toilet paper.