A stomach ache is a very common problem with varying degrees of discomfort and related symptoms. You can experience mild to sharp pain in the stomach or abdomen, stomach cramps, gas, nausea, diarrhea, bloating and vomiting.
Some common causes of stomach aches are indigestion, gas, heartburn, constipation, a stomach infection, overeating and lactose intolerance. However, stomach pain can also be due to more serious issues like an ulcer, a hernia, gall stones, a urinary tract infection and appendicitis.
When you have a stomach ache, it can be really difficult to concentrate on anything. Irrespective of the reason behind the stomach ache, you want it to go away fast.
Some natural and simple home remedies can give you quick relief. These home remedies are particularly effective for stomach aches due to indigestion, gas, bloating and similar conditions.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for a stomach ache.
Ginger has antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties that help regulate the digestion process, in turn reducing stomach pain. Plus, ginger helps decrease the production of free radicals as well as increase digestive juices and neutralize stomach acids.
- Cut one medium-size fresh ginger root into thin slices.
- Bring one cup of water to a boil and add the ginger slices. Boil for three minutes, and then simmer for another five minutes.
- Remove from heat, strain, and add honey to taste.
- Sip it slowly.
- Drink ginger tea two or three times a day to ease stomach ache and improve digestion.
For a stomach ache due to indigestion, fennel seeds can give you quick relief as they have carminative, diuretic, pain-reducing and antimicrobial properties. Fennel seeds can give you relief from other indigestion symptoms like gas and bloating, too.
- Add one teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds to a cup of hot water and let it steep for eight to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow it to cool and strain it. Add a little honey and drink it slowly.
- Alternatively, you can chew one or one and one-half teaspoon of fennel seeds after a meal.
You can use either of these remedies three times a day to reduce a stomach ache.
Asafetida, also known as hing, has antispasmodic and antiflatulent properties that help treat stomach aches caused by gas or indigestion.
- Simply add a pinch of asafetida to a glass of warm water, mix it well and drink it two or three times a day. You can also add a pinch of rock salt. This remedy is equally effective for both a stomach ache and gas.
- Alternatively, add one teaspoon of asafetida to a cup of warm water. Soak a cotton cloth in the solution and place it on your stomach for 10 to 15 minutes. This will soothe the stomach and reduce pain. Do this several times a day.
Chamomile can soothe an aching stomach as well as relax the muscles in the digestive tract. If your stomach ache is due to indigestion, chamomile is just the right thing for you. Moreover, it possesses anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant, and sedative properties.
- Put one teaspoon of dried chamomile in a cup.
- Pour boiling water in the cup and cover it.
- Allow it to steep for 15 minutes, strain and add lemon juice or honey according to your taste.
- Sip the tea slowly.
- Drink this two or three times a day.
5. Baking Soda and Lemon
Being an alkaline, baking soda restores the pH balance in the body and counteracts infections, hence relieving your stomach ache as well as bloating and gas. Lemon is a good source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that removes free radicals from the body and detoxifies it.
- Add the juice from one lemon, one teaspoon of baking soda and one-quarter teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water.
- Drink it immediately, before the fizz fizzles out.
- Use this remedy three times a day until your stomach ache is reduced.
Note: Do not use this remedy if you have high blood pressure or you are on a low-sodium diet.
Peppermint can also reduce a stomach ache. The antispasmodic effect of peppermint on the muscles in the digestive tract helps relieve pain caused by gas. Plus, peppermint improves the digestion process.
- Two to three cups of peppermint tea can ease a stomach ache. To make the tea, add one teaspoon of dried peppermint to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for five to 10 minutes, strain and add a little honey. Sip the tea slowly.
- Alternatively, you can chew some fresh peppermint leaves from time to time for quick relief.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps treat stomach aches caused by gas or indigestion. The antibiotic nature of apple cider vinegar soothes the stomach and improves digestion.
- Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in one cup of warm water.
- Add one tablespoon of honey.
- Drink this solution every few hours until the stomach pain is gone.
Note: If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can try regular vinegar.
Yogurt is good for your stomach’s overall health. In fact, yogurt with live cultures (good bacteria) improves digestion and relieves stomach aches due to indigestion.
- Mix two tablespoons of plain yogurt and a pinch of salt in a cup of water.
- Add three teaspoons of juice from fresh coriander leaves.
- Finally, mix in one-half teaspoon of cardamom powder.
- Drink this one hour after eating your meals to ease a stomach ache.
You can also eat plain, unsweetened yogurt several times a day until you notice improvement in your condition.
9. Rice Water
When suffering from a stomach ache, you should eat only bland food. Rice water is a bland food that acts like a demulcent, which means it relieves inflammation of the stomach lining and reduces pain.
- Wash one-half cup of white rice thoroughly.
- Boil six cups of water in a pan and then add the rice in it. Cook the rice uncovered.
- When the rice becomes tender, strain the water and allow it to cool.
- Add one-half teaspoon of honey.
- Sip the warm rice water slowly.
- Drink it twice daily.
You can also eat rice with yogurt as a bland food.
10. Warm Compress
Heat is one of the best ways to soothe a stomach ache. It increases circulation and speeds up the digestion process. As food gets digested properly, stomach pain will be alleviated.
- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your stomach for five to 10 minutes at a time. For best results, lie down with the heating device over your stomach. Do this several times a day.
- Enjoying a warm bath or shower for 15 to 20 minutes at least twice a day will also help relieve stomach pain.
If your stomach pain persists for more than three days and you are having symptoms like fever and headache, you should visit your doctor immediately.