It is so common when we have a stomach ache, we go right to the medicine cabinet, reach in and grab the Pepto-bismol! A quick fix for instant relief, right? Well, what if there was a much safer and easier way to remedy your stomach ache? What if instead of reaching into the medicine cabinet we looked inside our kitchen cabinets or our refrigerators for our medicine? Well, in other parts of the world the idea of using traditional foods as stomach ache remedies isn’t something foreign, it’s extremely common.
Here in America, we often use “Tums” or “Pepto-bismol,” and I know way too many people who are so quick to pop a few Tums after they’ve had a large meal because they know a stomach ache is coming their way–not normal, right?! The ingredients that make up Pepto-bismol are completely artificial, and many people even question the safety of them as well. From the Pepto-bismol website, the ingredients are “benzoic acid, D&C Red No. 22, D&C Red No. 28, flavor, magnesium aluminum silicate, methylcellulose, saccharin sodium, salicylic acid, sodium salicylate, sorbic acid, water” YIKES! Red No. 22? No thank you. I don’t even know what methylcellulose is and I don’t think my body will know either, plus saccharin sodium? Why is there an artificial sweetener in a stomach pain reliever?! Are we THAT addicted to sugar in this country?! Meanwhile, in other parts of the world they are using plants, roots, vegetables and spices to treat stomach pains.
In England, people use Peppermint tea to remedy a stomach ache. It is believed to relieve stomach cramps and constipation. Peppermint tea can be a quick fix, and a much more soothing way to calm your stomach pains. According to TheSleauthJournal.com, not only is peppermint tea a contain stress relieving properties but it also “offers a slight boost in estrogen levels to some drinkers, which can help curb these hormonal problems and aid in clearing up acne.”
Ginger is used in China to treat stomachaches and nausea. Ginger helps aid in secretion; the Chinese cut up a few pieces of ginger, add it to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Americans created “ginger-ale,” as another “traditional” remedy for stomach pains, how many of you drank ginger ale when you were younger at home with a stomach ache? Our parents thought they knew best!
In Mexico, Blackberry Root tea is used to ease any indigestion and diarrhea. Blackberry root tea is rich in “tannins,” which helps constrict blood vessels and calms the stomach. Blackberry root is also very rich in vitamin C, so while aiding in stomach pain this tea also offers some powerful immune system boosters as well..sign me up!!
Nutmeg, the spice commonly used in America in teas and pies is used in Indonesia because of its potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to calm stomach spasms and any blockages in the digestive tract which could lead to stomach pains. Due to its antibacterial properties, nutmeg is a common ingredient in most toothpastes, strengthening gums and teeth.
The Greeks, the ones who think everything is remedied by Windex (just kidding- that is a terrible misconception, it’s really white vinegar!! Much safer than Windex too!) actually use fennel to fight bloating and gas pains. They add 1 tsp of fennel seeds to a cup of hot water, strain and sip. Side note, you can even chew on it for a burst of naturally fresh breath (learned that from my Uncle!).
In French Guiana, they use my favorite spice ever, cayenne pepper! Cayenne pepper is a powerful anti-inflammatory and in French Guiana they use to help remedy gas pains and constipation. The red spice is also considered a powerful metabolism booster; you may find after incorporating cayenne pepper into a meal hunger may come quicker than usual. Totally normal! Cayenne pepper really can be added to anything, water, juice, smoothie or food! It’s delicious but just a pinch is needed if you’re sensitive to spicy foods.
So, what do you think? Are you willing to give these traditional remedies a try? Let us know!