An upset stomach can leave you in considerable pain and significantly disrupt your quality of life.
Natural herbal teas can be a great way to soothe the gastrointestinal (GI) tract while improving digestion.
In this article, we’ll discuss supportive herbs and herbal teas that can help ease stomach discomfort.
Table of Contents
Best Tea for Upset Stomach
Below is a list of the best herbs to use in tea for upset stomach. These natural GI teas have been used for centuries to improve GI complaints.
One of the most effective and gentle herbs for upset stomachs. Peppermint tea is well known for being high in volatile oils as well as having a fresh, clean flavor profile.
In a research review looking at peppermint, researchers discovered that peppermint oil has multiple actions on the GI tract. Peppermint oil was found to relax the muscles of the GI tract. It was also found to reduce inflammation, indigestion, and alleviate nausea.
In another review, peppermint oil was effective in providing pain relief for those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The oil helped relieve stomach discomfort and minimize the frequency of other symptoms.
In a clinical trial involving patients with IBS, researchers found that peppermint oil reduced the severity and discomfort of IBS flare-ups. The oil was also found to ease abdominal pain.
Peppermint is part of the mint family and has an invigorating, fresh scent and flavor. Drinking peppermint tea benefits the gut by helping to relax the muscles of the bowel wall. This can reduce cramps, bloating, and flatulence.
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Chamomile is one of the most popular herbs globally, often used to release body tension and encourage digestion due to its mild bitter qualities. It is in the Asteraceae, or daisy, family and has a gentle green apple scent.
In a review of chamomile, researchers observed that a chamomile extract effectively relieved diarrhea. The researchers noted that chamomile’s volatile oils were responsible for this effect.
Another review mentions that chamomile is effective in easing stomach spasms, promoting digestion, and protecting the stomach lining. Researchers also noted that chamomile may be able to prevent ulcer formation.
A clinical trial observing patients undergoing GI surgery found that chamomile reduced the frequency of flatulence. The drops were effective up to 2 hours after the surgery.
In a clinical trial involving women undergoing chemotherapy, researchers discovered that chamomile and ginger effectively reduced how often the women vomited. They were given 500mg of chamomile extract 2x/day.
AHG registered herbalist David Hoffmann recommends chamomile for indigestion, gastric ulcers, diarrhea, and colic.
Chamomile tea has a light floral scent and a slightly bitter flavor. It blends well with many other herbs and is a great base herb when using other herbs that do not taste great. Drinking chamomile tea can help to settle the gut and improve digestion, and, as a bonus, can improve sleep quality.
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Licorice root is a popular herb for its sweet flavor and numerous therapeutic qualities. It is commonly used to ease inflammation, specifically in the gastrointestinal tract.
In a review of licorice, researchers discovered that licorice significantly increased the healing time of gastric and small intestine ulcers. Patients who received licorice experienced relief within 5-7 days of the first dose.
Another review states that licorice root may support those with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis due to its ability to decrease inflammation in the GI tract.
A clinical trial observing subjects with peptic ulcers discovered that licorice significantly increased the recovery rate. There were also no adverse side effects, like edemas or high blood pressure, which happen with other ulcer treatments.
The American Botanical Council suggests licorice root for easing GI spasms and as a tea for stomach issues and laxative purposes.
Licorice is very sweet tasting with an anise-like aroma. Licorice root tea may be a great option if you struggle with an inflamed gut as it can help to reduce inflammation.
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Similar in smell to licorice, fennel belongs to the carrot, or Apiaceae, family. It was originally native to the Mediterranean but has since been naturalized globally. Fennel is a popular post-dinner tea for its ability to encourage digestion.
In a clinical trial involving patients who underwent abdominal surgery, those that received fennel seed experienced significantly less bloating. Researchers also noted that the fennel group had a significantly shorter hospital stay than those who received the placebo.
An animal study discovered that frequent dietary use of fennel encouraged digestion and improved appetite. This suggests that fennel may be helpful for those that experience discomfort from insufficient digestion.
Fennel has a fresh, sweet aroma with a licorice flavor. Fennel tea improves digestion by reducing inflammation in the bowels. It also decreases bacteria that can cause gassiness.
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5. Green Tea
Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis buds and leaves and is known to have numerous health benefits. It has been used across many cultures for thousands of years and has gained popularity due to its ability to support optimal digestion.
A review of green tea mentions that it may help prevent gastrointestinal disorders due to its active constituents called catechins. Researchers note that catechins support the gut microbiome.
Another review states that green tea has the ability to correct imbalances in the gut microbiome. This effect may reduce inflammation in the GI tract and ease discomfort.
The American Botanical Council suggests green tea for gut health and inflammation.
Green tea has a grassy, toasty flavor and smell. It’s known to help the stomach and GI tract break down food more effectively.
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An upset stomach can occur from numerous complications. Some causes of stomach discomfort are foods that cause gas, over-eating, inflammatory conditions, indigestion, and food allergies.
Experts in the US claim that GI complications account for 1 million ambulance visits annually. The most common symptom of an upset stomach is indigestion and heartburn, making up 30% of reported cases.
Stress also heavily affects the GI tract. Other factors that may influence the GI tract include:
Considering diet changes is one of the best ways of soothing an upset stomach.
Many herbal teas may soothe gas, minimize bloating, quell indigestion, ease inflammation, and support digestion.
Click here to read our list of the best bitter herbs to support digestion.
Best Tea for Upset Stomach Recipe
Below is one of the best tea for upset stomach recipes that will be helpful to have on hand when GI issues arise.
1 tsp. organic peppermintleaf (Mentha x piperita)
1 tsp. organic dried licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
½ tsp. organic chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
½ tsp. organic dried ginger (Zingiber officinale)
1 cup boiling water
Sweetener of choice, to taste—I prefer raw, local honey
- Blend the herbs, put in a metal tea strainer, and add 1 cup of boiling water.
- Cover and steep for 10 – 15 minutes
- Add sweetener of choice, and enjoy!
How Herbs Support an Upset Stomach:
Herbs can help improve GI issues in various ways. They can encourage digestion, ease GI tension, soothe redness and discomfort, and promote appetite.
Some categories of herbs that improve upset stomach include:
- Carminative – these herbs are high in volatile oils that soothe GI tension, promote healthy digestion, and quell gas. Some carminative herbs include peppermint, fennel, and chamomile.
- Cholagogue – this type of herb encourages the secretion of bile from the liver, boosting digestion. Some cholagogue herbs include turmeric and goldenseal.
- Bitter – as the name suggests, these bitter herbs promote bile secretion and help soothe the gut wall. Some bitter herbs include gentian, yarrow, and dandelion.
- Demulcent – these herbs soothe the stomach and intestine lining, minimizing discomfort, redness, and irritation. Some demulcent herbs include slippery elm and marshmallow root.
Whatever the underlying issue is, herbal teas can be a great way to reduce GI discomfort.
Ways to Improve an Upset Stomach:
There are numerous causes of an upset stomach, but some main issues are stress and inflammation. Inflammatory GI complications can be genetic or arise from environmental triggers.
Some lifestyle changes that may help reduce upset stomach discomfort include:
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Consider removing foods from diet
- Avoid smoking
- Eat slower
- Implement movement
An upset stomach can be frustrating, embarrassing, and painful. Drinking herbal tea for an upset stomach may help ease tension in the GI tract, soothe irritation, and encourage healthy digestion.
It is essential to consult a healthcare professional if you are considering adding an herbal tea to your daily routine.
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