Five Natural Digestive Aids To Soothe A Sore Stomach

Posted June 30, 2016


Whether your stomach irritation is from slow motility (aka constipation), indigestion, or food allergies there are a few remedies that can ease your ache. Here are some of my favourites below, which can be taken individually or in a combination supplement.

Ease Tummy Issues with Triphala – Triphala is a standardized blend of three fruit extracts—Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica and Emblica officinalisin equal proportions. It is an Ayurvedic herbal blend commonly used for supporting intestinal detoxification, occasional constipation and overall colon health. Research has found that this popular herb also displays antimicrobial activity – in other words, it has the ability to fight off certain types of bacteria as nature’s own antibiotic. In India triphala is employed for everything from headaches and anti-aging to anti-inflammatory and blood sugar balancing.

One animal study found that  triphala demonstrated anti-cancer effects. Researchers administered the supplement to cancer-afflicted mice, at a dose of 100 mg per kg of body weight, for seven days. After one week lab analysis showed significantly less growth in cancerous cells in mice who were administered triphala. With a strong balancing effect at low doses like one gram a day it tends to treat diarrhea, while higher doses (up to 4 grams a day) can treat constipation. Most maintenance doses are around 1-2 grams per day.

Get in some Glutamine: Although glutamine is often attributed to sports nutrition, it’s also an infamous gut-healer. It has been shown to maintain the villi – the absorption surfaces of the gut. One study (albeit in rats, so not necessarily applicable to humans) showed substantial protection of glutamine at 1500 mg/kg/day against aspirin-induced stomach ulcers – in both the active and healed stages (Digestion, 1976; 14: 85-8). One 1995 study found that the early administration of glutamine to severe burns patients prevented the complication of stress ulcers that commonly develop after extreme thermal injury (Chung Hua Cheng Hsing Shao Shang Wai Ko Tsa Chih, 1995; 11: 189-92). Glutamine at 400 mg four times a day for four weeks completely healed stomach ulcers in more than 90 per cent of the patients taking it (Texas State J Med, 1957; 53: 840-3). digestive disorders, nutritional supplements, glutamine, amino acids, stomach acid, antacids, peptic ulcers, burns, stress. Take 500mg twice daily on an empty stomach. To improve absorption add 50mg of vitamin B6 and 100mg of vitamin C.

Reduce stomach inflammation with turmeric. Tumeric, also known as curry in your spice rack, is well known for reducing inflammation. However that inflammation doesn’t just end at joint pain. This wonder-supplement can reduce substance P in the body, which is the pain receptor neurotransmitter. It also stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which can improve digestion and reduce bloating and gas. One double-blind study found that patients who took curcumin for ulcerative colitis (an inflammatory condition of the colon) along with medical treatment, had a lower rate of relapse than those who received medical treatment alone. It is thought to increase mucin content of the stomach, thereby preventing ulcerations and improving symptoms of gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome and colitis. While curry powder contains turmeric along with other spices, the amount of curcumin in curry powders is variable and often relatively low, so I recommend taking it in supplement form.

Leave it up to licorice: While childhood visions of this candy may pop into your head (and with that, whether black licorice makes you drool or cringe), the deglycyrrhizinated version has medicinal values. Basically, this removes the ingredient that can cause high blood pressure and water retention in some individuals, leaving the stomach soothing part intact. Licorice root is known to increase the production of mucin which protects your gut lining against excess stomach acid.  According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, one study found that 100 people who consumed deglycerrized licorice extract for six weeks experienced improved stomach ulcer symptoms. You can opt for a lozenge or chewable form, taking 1-2 before meals or consume 250 – 500mg of the supplement form per day.

Add in Aloe to Alleviate Digestive Distress: I often recommend that my patients add one ounce of aloe vera to their smoothies or a glass of water each day to keep things moving through their digestive tract and prevent constipation. It has gentle laxative properties and can sooth stomach irritation. Take a 500 mg capsule before or after meals or consume 1-2 ounces per day in your smoothies. Noet that this shouldn’t be taken long term but is a perfect adjunct to a detox diet, or during times that you feel your bowels are in the slow lane.



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