These are some natural remedies that I use when I am suffering from an upset stomach, indigestion, cramps, gas, bloating, or even a hangover.

Remedy #1 – home made ginger tea
This is so simple, cheap, easy, and effective.
All you need is some ginger root, raw honey, lemon, and boiling water.
Wash the ginger root, peel it, and cut about 3 “quarter-sized” slices into a large mug. Slice up some of the lemon, and put 2 slices into the mug also. Add about a teaspoon of honey, pour boiling water over, and let it sit for 2 minutes. Stir vigorously with a spoon (I also poke at the lemon and ginger slices to release the flavor) and give it a taste. You can add a little more of each ingredient if you feel it is too weak, however drinking it in a mild solution I find to be the most helpful. The reason this works so well is because ginger is a herbal remedy for nausea and indigestion, lemon compliments ginger, raw honey is soothing (it’s also great for a sore throat – raw honey makes a very gentle peroxide solution when left against the skin, so when you swallow a spoonful of it, it helps to kill bacteria in your throat and soothes irritation) and the warm water helps your stomach to relax and digest better. In fact I always try to drink water at room temperature or slightly warm. Cold water is a shock to the system. This “tea” is so helpful and inexpensive, and the ingredients are easy to procure. Alternatively, if you don’t have access to all of these ingredients, you can buy a commercial tea that is ginger-based, such as Stash Organic Lemon Ginger Green Tea, shown below, but I must say, making my own from only the very most basic ingredients has been infinitely more helpful when I am having some stomach problems. I also find it more soothing, and faster-acting, than commercial teas.

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Remedy #2 – mint. My mother had some peppermint plants growing in the corner of her garden when I was a child. She loved the roses, because they were pretty and smelled nice; I loved the mint because it was useful and tasty. Eventually my beloved mint was torn up to plant more (useless) roses. I was devastated! Anyways, if you have access to fresh mint (it is very easy to grow, especially on the west coast) the cure for an upset stomach is only a few leaves away. Break off 2 large, unblemished mint leaves, rinse them with water, chew them up, and swallow them followed by a small glass of warm water. You can also take several leaves, put them into a tea diffuser or cheesecloth, steep them in 2 cups of boiling water, and drink this mild “tea” to soothe your stomach. Bonus: chewing mint leaves or drinking mint tea will also freshen your breath and wake you more wakeful. Fun fact: When I was in elementary school, I used to chew a mint leaf on my walk to school to help me get energized in the morning.

If you don’t have fresh ginger or mint, you can use essential oils, or extracts, just make sure that they are food grade (edible) and preferably organic.  Also use only a TINY drop in 2 cups of warm water. You can add more if you like, but oils and extracts are extremely potent and can be overwhelming. Another way to use ginger essential oil to soothe stomach upset is to mix a few drops into an ounce of carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, sweet almond, olive oils all work) and then rub it into your abdomen and lower back. For some people, putting a little onto a napkin and sniffing it a few times can relieve nausea and morning sickness.

Ginger and peppermint are two of my favorite plants. I grow my own of both and also make sure my essential oil stash always includes these two.

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