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Dyspepsia (Indigestion)

Indigestion covers a whole range of distasteful symptoms, which mostly result from food not smoothly passing through your digestive system. Victims may suffer from nausea or heartburn, with stomach acid rising up into the oesophagus. Abdominal pain or bloating of stomach may also be seen. Some causes of indigestion are eating too much too fast, eating foods that are not agreeable with your system, having excess or dearth of stomach acid, and even wearing clothes that fit tightly around the middle.

Our grandparents used some of the home remedies outlined below to soothe their stomach pain, but you need to remember that no matter which method you choose, you will have to carefully scrutinise what foods you eat, how frequently you eat and how much you eat.

Traditional remedies

  • One of the oldest spice used for soothing a bout of indigestion is ginger. How it works has not quite been understood, but it is proven that it improves digestion and has antispasmodic properties, which make it useful even for stomach cramps. You can either take an easily available ginger capsule after meals, or drink a cup of tummy-warming ginger tea. To prepare the tea, grate some ginger and steep it in boiling water for 10 minutes, and then drink.
  • Another traditional treatment for indigestion is camomile herb. It is best taken in the form of a tea. Drink three cups a day before meals.
  • Peppermint oil relieves pain caused by stomach cramps and also stomach bloating. Take 1-2 peppermint capsules, available in health food shops, three times a day after meals. However, if you have heartburn, peppermint is not the ideal cure, as it can cause reflux of the acid, so avoid taking indigestion remedies at the same time as you take peppermint.
  • Chew and swallow a spoon of fennel or caraway seeds when you suffer from indigestion, or after eating a large, spicy meal that may cause indigestion. They contain oils that relieve stomach spasms, nausea and also help in controlling flatulence.
  • The Greeks in ancient times relied on licorice to relieve pains cause by indigestion. Besides, this herb has a range of other benefits, and is even used in the treatment of menstrual problems and respiratory infections.
  • You can also drink a glass of water mixed with bicarbonate of soda to neutralise acid in your gut, and relieve painful wind. Since it can also produce gas, experts recommend that you add a few drops of lemon juice to it.
  • Some practitioners of ancient medicine claim that drinking a simple cup of hot water can relieve indigestion as well as any other remedy.

Be cautious when it comes to fruit juices and dairy products

  • Though they are considered healthy, fruit juices can cause gas and abdominal pain from indigestion. So if you wish to have fruit juice, limit the intake to 150 ml at a time, and drink it with food so it gets digested better.
  • If you feel that dairy products produce gas and make your stomach bloated, it may be because your stomach is intolerant of lactose, a sugar contained in milk. If such is the case, avoid dairy foods or get yourself some lactose-free products.

Eat slowly, chew properly

  • Don’t eat too fast or swallow big pieces of food without chewing them properly, as it can cause flatulence or bloating. Besides, when you eat very fast, food does not get mixed with saliva and this inhibits the digestive process.
  • Your last big meal of the day should be eaten at least three hours before going to bed, as the digestive system functions optimally when you are awake.

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