Are you wondering if there are natural remedies to aid your digestion rather then taking a handful of pills?  If so, you are not alone given that many people do suffer from one digestive issue or another.  Examples of digestive issues can be heartburn, constipation, poorly digestive food and more. 

Often times when experiencing digestive issues, people will take acid reducing medications, laxative, stool softners, or an array of supplements.  Though these can be of benefit, they can also lead to dependence on these medications and supplements just to keep things moving.  If you are lacking adequate digestive enzymes with eating, have underlying infections, food intolerances or other reasons that can be upsetting the natural digestive processes, certainly addressing the imbalance is important.  However this takes time and the guidance of functional medicine practitioner to help you get to the root cause(s). 

So what do you do to get relief in the meantime? What Can You Do If You Suspect Something Is Amiss With Your Digestion?

Luckily, there are many natural remedies that can help to combat digestive issues- whether it be relating to poor absorption, reflux disease or constipation- there is something for everyone.  Here is a list of just 10 of those natural remedies to aid you digestion:

Turmeric

Long been used in Asia, more specifically Indian regions, Turmeric has been shown to decrease the incidence of peptic ulcer disease. Turmeric contains the compound curcumin, which is a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. This effect significantly reduces the chance of ulceration occurring in the stomach, typically from an inflamed region exposed to strong gastric acid.

Cinnamon

Used frequently used as a spice for flavor, cinnamon is also effective in treating gas and associated bloating. Cinnamon has also traditionally been used as treatment for upset stomach, and to stimulate appetite.

Aloe Vera

The uses of aloe Vera for digestive health is unmatched by any other herb. Aloe Vera contains tons of amino acids, vitamins and enzymes, which help to speed up digestion and fecal transit. Aloe Vera also boosts immunity and, is a natural anti-fungal and antibiotic, and is useful in management of inflamed intestines and the colon. Taking aloe in gel form is the most popular method of use.

Cardamom

An essential component of the spice Garam Masala, it is frequently used in Indian dishes, especially curry. Cardamom can be used to stimulate appetite, reduce bloating, and treat heartburn and constipation, making it a very versatile herb.

Chia Seeds

As if there was nothing more this superfood could accomplish, chia seeds help promote normal intestinal transit of food as well as exerting anti-inflammatory effects in the intestinal tract.  This is one of my favorites and can be put into so many foods.  

Slippery Elm Bark

A Native American remedy used for centuries, it becomes a very thick, viscous gel when combined with water. It is especially efficient at soothing irritated segments of the digestive tract, because very useful in treating irritable bowel syndrome.

Peppermint

A popular ingredient in many herbal remedies to treat gas and indigestion. In fact, a study conducted in 2011 demonstrated that peppermint is effective in managing pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome, since it has the ability to regulate pain pathways in the intestine. It however, will not help to reduce gastric reflux and nausea.

Ginger

Ginger promotes complete digestion and subsequent absorption of foods, as well as being useful in the treatment of nausea and indigestion. Ginger also helps relieve the pain from intestinal colic, by slowing down the frequency or intensity of spasms.

Dandelion

Dandelion, one of the most widely used bitter herbs can decrease the likelihood of experiencing indigestion since it speeds up gastric motility, or the movement of food from the stomach into the intestines. Dandelion also helps in the absorption fat, since it stimulates the production of bile.  Use them in a salad or consume in tea form.

Burdock Root

This is a useful herbal preparation especially for people that struggle with sluggish digestion, or reduced stomach acid production. Burdock root helps with digestion by stimulating the production of more gastric acid- but caution needs to be followed, as it is not for everyone. If you have a history of gastric reflux or irritable bowel syndrome, Burdock Root can exacerbate them.

Try some of these remedies out and if you are needing further assistance, I would love to help you get to the root cause of your digestive issues.  As a functional medicine nurse practitioner I have helped many people just like you.  

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