ChatterTip of the Month July 2010
Natural Remedies for Stomach Problems
© Adriana Mullen
The sign of Cancer rules over the stomach (as well as the breasts) so it is not unusual for people born under this sign to have stomach problems. Cancers usually have a noticeable belly and may also be prone to bloating. Indigestion is a general term that usually refers to anything from our old friend the hiccups to heartburn, abdominal discomfort and stomachaches, nausea and flatulence. Some of this can be avoided simply by eating more healthy and slower, but here are a few “natural” remedies for some of these common complaints.
Bloating & Gas
The following vegetables are supposed to help with bloating – Celery, Cilantro, Cucumber, Dandelion Root,Watercress (notice the high “water” content in all of these and that the word “water” is even in one them! Remember, Cancer is after all, a “water” sign so drink lots of it!), and a more surprising one on the list is Artichoke!
The fruit Papaya also contains an enzyme that helps to break down fiber (something that can cause gas & bloating if it is not digested well) and Charcoal is also excellent for reducing gas.
Ginger has long been known to help calm nausea from pregnancy (back to Cancer’s belly again!) and it is also great for calming the stomach even if you are not pregnant! It can also be used to help ease motion and travel sickness. One word of advice – always have something containing “effervescence” in the pantry, whether it is Club Soda, Seltzer Water, Ginger Ale or even Beer! (Hops for instance, are also used to ease spasms for sufferers of Crohn’s Disease) Drink enough of it (not just a little sip) so that the bubbles force you to belch, which will make you feel a whole lot better! This is good for both nausea as well as bloating & gas and I am sure that many of us recall our mothers giving us Ginger Ale when we had a sick tummy?
Apparently, eating ½ a cup of Sauerkraut each day eases digestion, and ¼ teaspoon a day of Horseradish will detox the body, while a few dashes of Hot Sauce curbs the appetite! Less spicy is the fruit Pineapple that contains an enzyme (Bromelin) which is known to help break down food, thus aiding digestion. Drinking a tea made from Peppermint leaves relieves indigestion (I always keep a box of peppermint tea bags on hand) whilst Cilantro also aids the digestion and helps to prevent nausea as well as easing stomach ulcers. And what would a ChatterTip section be without mentioning our good old faithful friend Vinegar, which once again is so incredible that it can be used to fight food-borne infections as seen by Ethiopian researchers who found that it was champion at killing the nearly invincible egg-stage of certain intestinal parasites. Also, drinking a mixture of warm Vinegar & a little Honey in a cup of hot water can help to ease the digestion as well.
Eating plenty of “fiber” in the diet and drinking plenty of fluids is usually suggested to help avoid sluggish bowels and constipation. Personally, I drink a healthy smoothie every day, containing (amongst other ingredients) ground Flax Seeds, an excellent source of fiber. Rhubarbapparently contains a natural laxative while dried fruits such asPlums/Prunes, Figs & Apricots have a very high fiber content. I remember years ago when we were on holiday in the South of Spain and my mother and I discovered a fresh fig tree near the villa we were staying in. Well, we both loved fresh figs and we stuffed ourselves. Plucked fresh from the tree, they were absolutely delicious but we did spend rather a lot of time in the bathroom as a consequence!
Ripe, mashed Bananas ease nausea and act as a gentle “constipant” after a bout of gastroenteritis. They also help to restore the healthy bacteria to the intestines and increase the levels of depleted Potassium. Carrot juice or soup is also helpful, especially for infants. Live Yoghourt (Acidopholus) will also help to restore the live bacteria to the stomach and digestive tracts. A few drops of Myrrh tincture in a little warm water helps to relieve the symptoms of diarrhea and once again, Honey is a natural antibiotic as well as a natural anti-inflammatory.