There are many causes of indigestion from eating too quickly, eating too much, or eating acidic foods or taking medicine on an empty stomach. Fortunately, indigestion isn’t usually serious and frequently responds to simple home remedies for indigestion.

The following excerpt from Secret food Cures by Joan and Lydia Wilen provides an array of home remedies for indigestion to relieve or prevent indigestion discomfort.


The famous actress and comedienne Mae West once said, “Too much of a good thing…is wonderful!” We say, “Too much of a good thing… can cause indigestion!”

There are several different types of indigestion—mild, severe and persistent. Persistent indigestion may be caused by a food allergy. The best course of action is to get professional medical help and have it checked out.

That said, severe indigestion or stomach pain may be something a lot more serious than you think, so it’s also important to seek professional help immediately.

CAUTION: Never take a laxative when you have severe stomach pain

Mild indigestion usually produces one or a combination of the following symptoms— stomachache, heartburn, nausea and vomiting, or gas (flatulence). If you are feeling minor tummy troubles, here are some remedies to try.

Natural Remedies

The first thing a person suffering from a mild case of indigestion usually does is promise never to overindulge again. That takes care of next time. As for now, relief may be just a few paragraphs away.

• When you have stomach cramps caused by indigestion, sip some peppermint or ginger tea as your after-dinner drink.

Roll Some Relief

• In the case of acid indigestion, thoroughly chew a teaspoon of dry rolled oats, then swallow them. The oats not only soothe the acid condition, they also neutralize it.

• We keep daikon in the refrigerator at all times. It’s a Japanese radish—white, crisp, delicious and available at your greengrocer or Asian market. It’s an effective digestive aid, especially when eating heavy, deep-fried foods. Either grate one to two tablespoons or have a couple of slices of the daikon with your meal. It also helps detoxify animal protein and fats.

• When you have a white-coated tongue, bad breath and a headache, it’s probably due to an upset stomach. A wise choice of herbs would be sage. Sip a cup of herbal sage tea slowly.

Red-String Relief

•We have come across some strange-sounding remedies for which there seems to be no logical explanation. We’ve included a few of them, simply because they sometimes work. This is certainly one of them—when your stomach aches, tie a red string around your waist. (If the pain disappears, fine. If not, try another remedy.)

• When you have a sour stomach, chew a few anise seeds, cardamom seeds or caraway seeds. All will sweeten your stomach and your breath as well.

• Like rolled oats, raw potato juice also neutralizes acidity. Grate a potato and squeeze it through cheesecloth to get the juice. Dilute one tablespoon of potato juice with 1 ⁄2 cup of warm water. Drink it slowly.

Brush It Off

• Take a wire hairbrush or a metal comb and brush or comb the backs of your hands for three to four minutes. It’s supposed to relieve that sluggish feeling you get from eating one of those old-fashioned, home-cooked, the cholesterol-can-kill-ya meals.

• This remedy was recommended to us for a nervous stomach. Add 1 ⁄4 teaspoon of oregano and 1 ⁄2 teaspoon of marjoram to one cup of hot water. Let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain and sip slowly. Two hours later, if you still have stomach uneasiness, drink another fresh cup of the mixture.

International Relations

• This remedy from India is recommended for quick relief after a junk-food binge. Crush one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and steep them in one cup of just-boiled water for five minutes. Strain and drink slowly. You should feel better in about 10 minutes.

• According to a Chinese massage therapist, if you are having stomach discomfort, there will be tender areas at the sides of your knees, just below the kneecaps. As you massage those spots and the tenderness decreases, so should the corresponding stomachache.

• Mix one tablespoon of honey and two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass of hot water and drink the mixture.

WARNING: Diabetics and people with honey allergies should not use honey.

• By eating one large radish, all the symptoms and discomfort of indigestion may disappear, unless radishes do not agree with you. In that case, move on to the next remedy.

• By eating one large radish, all the symptoms and discomfort of indigestion may disappear, unless radishes do not agree with you. In that case, move on to the next remedy.

• By eating one large radish, all the symptoms and discomfort of indigestion may disappear, unless radishes do not agree with you. In that case, move on to the next remedy.

■ Recipe ■

Papaya Shake

1 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks.

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 ⁄8 to 1 ⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup milk

12 ice cubes

Fresh mint leaves

Combine the first five ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Add ice cubes and process until frothy. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired. Makes three cups.


Mellow Yellow

• Put on a yellow slicker, not because it’s raining, but because color therapists claim that the color yellow has rays that can help heal all digestive problems. Eat yellow foods like bananas, lemons, pineapple, squash and grapefruit. Lie down on a yellow sheet and get a massage with some yellow oil. What could be bad?

• Chamomile and peppermint teas are very soothing. At the first sign of indigestion, drink a cup of either one.

• Eat, drink, or take some form of papaya after eating. Fresh papaya (the yellow ones are ripe), papaya juice or papaya pills help combat indigestion, thanks to papain, the potent digestive enzyme they contain.

• In moderation, drink some white wine after—not during—a meal to help overcome indigestion. (Women who are pregnant, or nursing should not drink alcohol.)

Hits the Bullseye

• Arrowroot is a wonderful stomach settler. Combine one tablespoon of arrowroot with enough water to make a smooth paste. Boil the mixture. Let it cool, then add one tablespoon of lime juice and take it when you have “agita.”

• Garlic helps stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes. If you’re plagued by indigestion, take garlic supplements after lunch and after dinner. Use garlic in salads and, whenever possible, in cooking—unless garlic gives you indigestion.

NOTE: Eating garlic with parsley can help prevent the indigestion from garlic.

• Scrub an orange and eat some of the peel five minutes after finishing a meal.

• Boiled or steamed zucchini sprinkled with raw grated almonds is a side dish that will ensure better digestion.

• Cayenne pepper sprinkled sparingly (no more than 1 ⁄4 teaspoon) on food or in soup will aid digestion.

Herbal Helper

• Add fresh basil to food while cooking. It will make the food more digestible and also help prevent constipation. If you really have a taste for basil, add 1 ⁄8 to 1 ⁄4 teaspoon to a glass of white wine and drink it after, not during, the meal. (Women who are pregnant, or nursing should not drink alcohol.)

Indigestion Prevention

• If you have trouble digesting raw vegetables, at least three hours before eating, sprinkle the veggies with fresh lemon juice. Somehow the lemon, as wild as this sounds, partly digests the hard-to-digest parts of the greens. • A doctor we know practices preventive medicine on himself before eating Szechuan or Mexican food or any other “hot” food that would ordinarily give him an upset stomach. He takes one tablespoon of extra-virgin, coldpressed olive oil about 15 minutes before the meal.

The Quick Kick Test

Are you sure it’s gas and not your appendix? To test for appendix problems, in a standing position, lift your right leg and then quickly jut it forward as though kicking something. If you have an excruciating, sharp pain anywhere in the abdominal area, it may be your appendix. If this is the case, seek medical attention immediately. If there is no sharp pain when you kick, it’s probably just gas, but you should check with your doctor to be sure.

• We’ve heard that one teaspoon of whole white mustard seeds taken before a meal may help prevent stomach distress.

• Add one cup of bran and one cup of oatmeal to a gallon of water. Let it stand for 24 hours, then strain, keeping the liquid. Drink a cup 15 minutes before each meal to prevent indigestion. • To prevent indigestion by aiding digestion, see if this helps—try not to drink any beverages during or after meals. Wait at least one hour—preferably two or three hours—after eating to drink any liquids.

To find more simple home remedies for indigestion and other common complaints buy a copy of Secret Food Cures from

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