3 Teas to Cure Indigestion Woes

Indigestion is hard to define because it’s used so interchangeably with terms like heartburn, bloating, and general stomach aches. It’s best to know the underlying cause in order to find the most effective remedies, but for such a vague term that can be hard. Some define it as only irritation of the upper lining of the stomach chamber, often occurring alongside a number of different maladies. So to tangle the meaning up even more, someone with indigestion could be experiencing heartburn as a result. Here I am referring to it as any discomfort in the stomach region, but particularly discomfort as it relates to heartburn/acid reflux.

Here are 3 herbal teas to help cure your indigestion woes.

Demulcents and Mucilage: The Stars of the Show

Demulcent:

A demulcent is an agent that soothes irritation and inflammation, typically by applying a protective film over mucous membranes. Examples include glycerin, honey, and syrup. They also can contain mucilage.

Mucilage:

A water soluble fiber that presents as a thick gummy substance, and is produced by many plants to store water. Mucilage is extremely hydrophilic (water loving), and will trap water in its cage like molecular structure to form a gel. When mixed with water, it will swell many times its size. The saccharide (sugar) in it links in such a way that the human digestive enzyme cannot break it down-which is why is so excellent for helping with indigestion, upset stomach, heart burn, and other stomach ailments. It can also aid in digestion in that it will relieve constipation as it can add bulk to stool. A little bonus, it will also ease a cough, or and coat and soothe a sore throat.

teas for sour stomach

*Do Note*
Mucilage can slow the absorption rate of certain medications due to its protective coating in the digestive system. Try to take them at least an hour apart. Also, the protection that it provides varies, usually lasting up to several hours. This is why 2 or 3 cups a day makes a huge difference.

1. More Marshmallow Please

Marshmallow (althea officianalis), is an herb that has been used by great empires that have risen and fallen over the last 2,000 years. The Roman Empire, the Chinese empire, and the Egyptian empire, to name a few, used it as a source of food and for its medicinal properties. Both the roots and the leaves contain mucilage which, when combined with water, make a slick gel of sorts [1]. It’s this gel that is cherished for its ability to soothe irritated mucous membranes of all sorts. This gel adheres to the epithelial lining of the stomach, creating a literal coating [2]. This protective film relieves irritation and inflammation, protects against further acid damage, and is particularly helpful in indigestion as it relates to acid reflux or ulcers.

marshmallow root tea

You will need…

-2-3 tablespoons of marshmallow root
-2 cups of water
-Mason jar (at least 16 ounces)
-Raw honey (optional)

Directions

This is a cold infusion, which helps preserve the integrity of the mucilage. Pour the water in the Mason jar and add your marshmallow root to it. Screw on the top and give it a gentle shake. Store in the fridge overnight or for 24 hours, depending on how viscous it is. The result is usually a pale, slightly foggy viscous liquid. Strain the tea and press to extract all the extra goodness from the root. Add honey to taste, and drink up to two cups daily. You can warm it slightly after it’s infused if you find that more soothing.

2. Sip on Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is also a demulcent with a decent amount of mucilage. The bark of the tree (typically the inner bark) is chopped or ground up for use. For making an herbal infusion (aka…tea), use the ground bark. A cold infusion also works best here, again to get the best out of the mucilage. However, I’ve also done a hot infusion with very warm or gently boiled water and still found it to be soothing, especially if I haven’t prepared a cold infusion ahead of time.

slippery elm digestion tea

For a cold infusion you will need…

-1-3 tablespoons of ground slippery elm bark
-1 cup of water
-honey to taste
-A glass mason jar

Directions

Add water and slippery elm to the mason jar, shake, and store in the fridge up to 24 hours. Strain before drinking.

For a hot infusion you will need…

-2-5 tablespoons of ground slippery elm bark
-1 cup of boiling water
-Your favorite mug
-Honey to taste

Directions

Put the slippery elm bark in your favorite mug and cover with boiling water. Stir and steep, covered, for 5-10 minutes. Add honey to taste.

3. Gotta’ Love Licorice

Last but certainly not least is licorice root, also a demulcent and keeper of that oh so precious mucilage. And yes, like marshmallow root, licorice root does not resemble much of its more artificial cousin that we are used to. But, especially with a bit of honey, it’s a wonderful soothing tea. It can also be made cold or hot, depending on your preferences-although again cold infusion may protect the integrity of mucilage more.

Licorice Indigestion Tea

For a cold infusion you will need…

-1-2 tablespoons of licorice root
-1 cup of water
-honey to taste
-A glass mason jar

Directions

Add water and licorice to the Mason jar, shake lightly, and store in the fridge up to 24 hours. Strain before drinking.

For a hot infusion you will need…

-1-2 tablespoons of licorice root
-1 cup of boiling water
-Your favorite mug
-Honey to taste

Directions

Grab your fav mug and pop in the licorice root. Cover with boiling water and steep, covered, for 5-8 minutes. Add honey to taste.

An ounce…

…of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Lifestyle changes usually have to accompany any remedy for indigestion. There is no magical cure. How fast you eat, what you eat, what medications you’re on, how much you eat, your weight, and more can all contribute to indigestion and other G.I. problems. However, nature has provided us with some awesome ways to bring us comfort as we go about maintaining our healthy selves! (Mucilage, take a bow.)


P.S. Click here to download my free Coconut Oil eBook. It has over 107 everyday coconut oil uses, including uses for- weight loss, pet health, hair, skin, house cleaning, pests, DIY beauty products and so much more.

By Claire Goodall

Claire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse.

Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything 🙂 Meet Claire

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