Home Remedies for Stomach Aches & Cramps
Stomach ache or pain in the abdomen can be of distinct types and caused by distinct factors. Often, the causes of stomach aches and cramps are bloating or gas and indigestion. Commonly though, many experience stomach problems are owing to irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, and even heartburn. While in some cases the pain triggered is mild, in others the pain can be severe. Stomachaches can be chronic in nature and consistent. In others, they can be intermittent, i.e., one can experience stomach aches as they come and go with time. Often, for those suffering from stomach related issues on a day to day basis, poor dietary habits are a primary cause. Sometimes, stomach pains may trigger different symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, bloated appearance of the time, acidity and burning sensation in the stomach.
Causes of Stomach Aches and Cramps
Just about everybody at some points in their lives experiences pain in the stomach. Most of the time, the cause of abdominal pain is not serious. They can be diagnosed and treated with home remedies. However, in many cases though, abdominal pain can also indicate a serious illness. This makes it critical to recognize the stomach ache symptoms and know when to get in touch with the doctor. Whether one experiences a mild abdominal pain or is affected by sharp stomach cramps, there can be a range of factors that can be attributed to them. Some common causes of stomach ache include indigestion, stomach virus, appendicitis, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, food allergies, extreme workout, gas, lactose intolerance, ulcers, menstrual cramps in women, endometriosis, Crohn’s disease, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or urinary tract infection.
- Symptoms that Call for Diagnosis
If your abdominal pain happens on a regular basis and the pain is contacted your health care provider at the earliest. If your stomach ache also occurs with a fever or you are experiencing dehydration, it might mean there is an underlying severe problem. Inability to pass stool and vomiting are severe concerns. Also, if you are experiencing painful or too frequent urination call your doctor. Tenderness of abdomen to is a sign to take not of. Abdominal pain resulting from an injury or pain that lasts for more than a few hours must not be ignored and brought to the immediate attention of a health care practitioner.
Home Remedies for Abdominal Pain
Following are some natural remedies that are substantially effective in healing abdominal pain without the use of pharmaceutical medicines –
Chamomile Tea – Drink chamomile tea to ease your stomach aches and cramps. The anti-inflammatory properties of this tea help in relieving the pain by relaxing the inflammations caused by the smooth muscles of your upper digestive tract. The lining of the smooth muscles become often inflamed because of gastritis, causing stomach ache and cramps. Drinking the tea relaxes these muscles and therefore, the contractions that push up the food ease up eventually decreasing the spasms. For making this tea, take 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile in a mug of boiling water. Let it steep covered for 15 to 20 minutes. You can alternately use a teabag and steep it for 10 minutes. Drink the tea whenever you experience stomach pains.
Heat Application – Heat application is an excellent home remedy for easing stomach aches and cramps in minutes. Moist hot towels, hot water bag, warm rice compresses or even a hot water bottle when placed on your stomach for some time can help in easing your stomach ache. To make an effective warm rice compress, only cook some rice in the microwave on high, for 30 to 60 seconds. Fill up this rice in an old sock or a plastic bag and then cover it with a cotton towel or an old T-shirt. Apply this hot rice compress on your stomach to get relief in few minutes. Another way of using heat application for relieving stomach ache is heating salt in a pot and then applying this hot salt tied inside a tube sock. This method helps by soothing the stressed muscles of your stomach and increases blood circulation in your abdomen. It also boosts digestion and eases all cramps.
Rice Water – Rice water is the extra starch water which you get after cooking rice. It is an excellent demulcent. This water contains a substance that relieves inflammation in your stomach muscles which are responsible for causing spasms. Drinking this liquid forms a soothing film on the inflamed lining of your belly, gradually easing the painful parts and relieving the pain. Just take half a cup of white rice and boil it in a pot with two cups of water. Cook the rice in medium heat and as it starts getting tender, take it off from the heat and let it soak in the warm liquid for another 3 minutes, with the pot lidded. Drain this warm rice water and drink it as it is or mixed with honey.
Warm Lemon Water – If you are always suffering from problems of indigestion, drinking warm lemon water on a regular basis will benefit greatly. Plus, it also helps ease a stomachache. The high acidity of a lemon triggers the production of hydrochloric acid, which in turn, breaks down the food and this boosts up the process of digestion. Plus, your system remains more hydrated and well-flushed from toxins. To make lemon water, just squeeze out the juice from a fresh lemon and mix it in a big glass of warm water.
Peppermint Tea – Peppermint finds a good use in the treatment of stomach aches and abdominal muscle cramps. The tea soothes the stomach muscles and also, improves the bile movement, boosting your digestion. This tea is extremely useful for anyone who regularly suffers from indigestion and bloating/gas, which often cause stomach ache. Take 1 or a couple of teaspoons of dried peppermint leaves and soak them in a cup of hot boiling water. Let it steep for a good 10 minutes and drink it warm. The same results can be obtained using a teabag. If you can get your hands on fresh peppermint leaves, it would also benefit greatly to chew on them.
Ginger Tea – Ginger tea is an excellent home remedy for healing stomach aches and cramps. Ginger root contains two active ingredients – shogaol and gingerol. Both these substances work by relaxing the smooth muscle lining of the intestinal tract. This eases the colicky stomach aches or muscle spasms. Also, ginger tea greatly helps when you feel nausea accompanied with a stomachache. Wash and peel 1 to 2 inches of fresh ginger. Then, cut it into small pieces or grate it. Bring a couple of cups water to boil and add the ginger in it. Simmer it for 5 to 10 minutes until the liquid reduced to half. Strain this tea, add honey and sip it slowly for relaxing drink to relieve stomachache.
Citrus Club Soda Drink – Wash down your stomach ache and cramps with a cooling and refreshing drink made of lime or lemon juice and club soda. Often overeating can result in stomach pain and uneasiness. The carbonated club soda allows you to pass out the trapped gas through burping and relieves the pressure that had built up in the belly. The acidic content, on the other hand, helps in hydrochloric acid secretion which boosts digestion. Thus, after you drink a lemon or lime based soda drink, you automatically start to feel better as your stomach pain gradually ebbs away. Squeeze the juice of half a fresh lime or lemon to a club soda of 8 ounces. Stir the mixture and enjoy a cold, refreshing drink to soothe your tummy.
Fennel Seeds – If you have a tendency of suffering from stomach ache caused by indigestion then chewing on fennel seeds can bring you good relief. These seeds contain anethole, which is a volatile oil and the key ingredient which stimulates digestive juice secretion for facilitating digestion. This element also acts on inflamed muscles and reduces the spasms and aches caused by it. Fennel seeds are an excellent remedy for relief from the inflamed stomach, gastritis, and stomachache. Take half to one teaspoon of these seeds after a meal and chew on them well. However, if you are pregnant, this remedy is best avoided.
Caraway Seeds – Caraway seeds are an excellent remedy for killing cramps and aches related to the stomach. Consuming caraway seeds benefits by relieving indigestion and gas. You can consume caraway seeds either in the form of tea or simply chew them. To prepare caraway tea, simply mix a teaspoon of its seeds in boiling water. Allow the seeds steep for some 5 to 10 minutes. Strain out the water and drink the tea on an empty stomach for best results.
Asafetida – Asafetida is the resin of an Indian plant that has found extensive use not only in cooking but also in healing various ailments. Asafetida contains antiflatulent and antispasmodic properties which make it an unparalleled natural medicine for stomachaches that are triggered by indigestion or gas. Take a glass of warm water and add a pinch of asafetida. Stir well and drink this mixture 2 to 3 times a day. For added benefits, you can also mix in a pinch of rock salt to the glass. This further boosts the digestion. Alternately, you can mix a teaspoon of the ingredient in a cup of warm water. Soak a soft cloth in this water and dab it on your stomach for 10 to 15 minutes. This remedy soothes the stressed muscles of the stomach and eases the pain. This treatment can be performed several times in a day.
Thyme – Thyme is one of the most dependable natural remedies for easing abdominal pain. Not only does this first herb cure stomach spasms but also relieves from gas and boosts the digestive system. The essential oil of thyme loaded with carminative and antispasmodic properties which push down the trapped gas in the body. You can apply this essential oil on your stomach for relief within few minutes. Alternately, you can steep dried thyme leaves in hot water for 10 minutes and drink the stained tea for the same healing effects.
Dos and Don’ts
Here are some things to remember when experiencing stomach aches –
- It is always an innovative idea to take some rest when you attacked with a stomach cramp. Often a worked up body and a stressed mental state can cause stomach ache while relaxing can ease the stress and lessen the pain.
- Try to eat small portions at your meal times instead of 2 to 3 large meals. Eating bland or mild foods are usually recommended when you are down with a stomachache. Dry roast, crackers, boiled rice, applesauce, and bananas make excellent foods during this time. Spicy and fatty foods, other fruits, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol are not recommended until 48 hours after the stomach ache symptoms have eased.
- Also, stay away from aspirin and other medicines of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory types like naproxen and ibuprofen. These medications may cause irritation in the stomach, aggravating your abdominal pain.
Drink more Liquids for a Healthy Stomach
Staying hydrated is one of the key measures for keeping stomach aches and cramps at bay. Often, dehydration is the single leading cause of stomach problems. Patients suffering from stomach virus and gastroenteritis are often found to have the tendency of avoiding drinking enough water. This causes the acids in the stomach to override, causing various stomach problems. Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water to maintain a healthy and functional intestine. This way, your body can quickly flush out the toxins and virus from the body. Besides water, you can enjoy sports drinks, fresh fruit juices, sparkling water, green teas and even clear broths to maintain a hydrated body.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
One effective way to keep stomachaches at a safe distance is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Diet plays a vital role in keeping your digestive system in sound health. Foods like beans, potato, cream, yogurt, and sweets are best avoided in the night time. If you are prone to stomach problems, adopt a light diet with easily digestible foods. Avoid spicy and fried foodstuffs. Often, too much of mental stress, anxiety and fear can impact the digestive system in a negative way, leading the way to stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and gas.