Many of us suffer from poor digestion. It’s a common problem that millions of people deal with every single day: bloating, gas, tummy pain and more. So what do we do? We resort to the dozens of medications on the market that may work, may not work for us, or may seem to work by masking our symptoms without solving the problem.
Few people realise that holistic treatments can help improve poor digestion. First, let’s identify the root of the problem. Indigestion generally comes in the form of discomfort or a feeling of fullness during or after eating. It can also come in the form of a burning sensation or some form of pain in the upper stomach. Common symptoms include:
- Gas and burping
- Constant stomach growling
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Acidic taste
- Burning sensation throughout the stomach
- Vomiting and general nausea
Heartburn often accompanies indigestion, as stomach acids rise up into the oesophagus. And these symptoms can be enhanced during times of heightened stress or depression. These symptoms are often intensified during pregnancy, particularly during first trimester.
Natural Ways to Improve Poor Digestion
There are a number of herbal remedies you can try for indigestion. Essential oils can provide wonderful support for nearly any sort of ailment, and a poor digestive system is no exception.
While there are a number of single oils — Peppermint, for one — that work well for dealing with stomach problems, a blend will deliver the greatest impact. It’s also quite effective for maintaining general digestive health. Only yesterday, researchers found that a slow-release peppermint oil appeared to significantly reduce severe abdominal symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and is now being considered to be prescribed by doctors.
Here are the some examples of how oils can help: a blend (DI Gize, for example) will deliver the greatest impact and this can be achieved by combining several essential oils
- Stomach discomfort, motion sickness and indigestion: Fennel, Ginger and Juniper.
- Digestion and maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract: Anise, Tarragon, Peppermint, Lemongrass and Patchouli.
These oils can be applied both internally (in moderation, of course) as well as topically to the abdomen. It is best applied when an upset stomach occurs. You can also add a couple of drops to water or other beverage before flying or a road trip to curb dizziness and motion sickness symptoms.
Hand reflexology for easing indigestion
Reflexology can bring quick relief to indigestion by warming up the ‘reflex’ points linked to your digestive organs.
As indigestion is linked to blocked energy throughout the body, working your spine reflex will relax your nervous system in general and aid digestion.
To contact your spinal reflex, massage one hand with the other. Work from the base of your right hand to the top of your thumb, before starting on your left hand. Take your time to enjoy the process, allowing 2-3 minutes per hand.
To further unblock the energy in the body, you can apply 1 drop of either Peppermint or Ginger essential oil to the area and work this into the reflex points.
Don’t forget your diet
For the most effective holistic approach to poor digestion, consider these diet and consumption tips in conjunction with your essential oils:
- Chew with your mouth closed
- Slow down your eating
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol
- Steer clear of spicy foods
- Resist the temptation of late-night snacking
- Keep track of what you’re eating in a diary to see what may be contributing to your indigestion.
Enjoy exploring these simple, effective holistic treatments for helping your digestive system.
Michelle Gardner is a trained nutritionist and wellness coach with ten years experience working with essential oils
Michelle works with Young Living Essential Oils on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.