Many things can cause localised stomach pain from indigestion, to ulcers and food poisoning.
When symptoms arise, stomach pain can be uncomfortable at best, and at worst, debilitating. However, with the help of certain natural remedies, whole foods and plant oils (nature’s medicines), your stomach pain can pass quickly so that you can be back to your best self.
Read on to discover the common causes of stomach pain and 5 natural remedies that can help.
Causes of Stomach Pain
Stomach pain or discomfort can occur for a wide variety of reasons. Usually it’s simply a function of indigestion, gas or bloating, but it can be a symptom of something more serious.
Some causes of stomach pain include:
- Food sensitivity
- Food poisoning
- Irritable bowels
- Stomach flu
- Stomach ulcers
Regular stomach pain can be a sign of a serious offence inside the gut that needs healing, usually a result of dietary choices.
Inflammatory diets that are heavy in processed and refined sugar and grain products, as well as processed meats and fatty take away foods, are generally the main culprits of stomach pain.
These types of diets alter the balance of your gut microbiome enabling bad bacteria to grow and flourish inside your stomach and eventually causing you pain.
Stress, emotional trauma and a lack of sleep are also big contributors to stomach pain if they get out of hand. Finally, if you don't drink enough clean water every day, your digestive system won't get what it needs to flush out toxins and waste inside your intestines, which if allowed to accumulate, will lead to stomach pain.
Because your gastrointestinal organs are such a vital system of your body, it pays to get on the front foot with stomach problems, to deal with the cause and support your digestive system to heal. Over-the-counter drugs might help suppress the pain temporarily, but they'll do little to deal with the true cause of the problem and are likely to exacerbate the issue down the road.
Here's 5 suggested natural ways to help soothe and heal stomach pain:
1. Dietary Adjustments
One of the most common reasons you might be experiencing stomach pain is simply because your digestive system is overwhelmed as a result of the food you eat.
If the stomach pain you're experiencing is a 'one-off' due to a particular overindulgence, then usually it's simply a case of giving your digestive system a break for a day, drinking plenty of water, some light walks, rest and allowing your body to eliminate the offence so you can re-set.
A couple of remedies that can help include; mixing 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar into a big glass of chilled water and drinking when you wake up will add gentle acids into your stomach to help breakdown the offence.
Also, mixing a 1-2 teaspoons of Bentonite Clay and Diatomaceous Earth into a glass of water and drinking will help bind toxic residues stuck in your intestinal tract (which may be causing the pain) so that they can can be released from the body. The Diatomaceous Earth specifically, will also target and breakdown any intestinal parasites living in your digestive system that could be a source of the stomach pain.
On the other hand, if it's a regular problem that shows up often, it's usually a sign of excessive eating, a bad diet and/or poor food combining.
Tips that can help:
- Reduce your portion sizes at each meal or eat smaller snacks throughout the day
- Eliminate processed and refined food, junk food and fried take-away foods
- Consume 80% of your diet as plants (fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) and as much of this raw as you can. Limit concentrated foods (animal products, whole grains, beans, legumes etc) to 20% of your diet
- Drink a minimum of 2 litres of water per day, however 1 litre per 22 kilos of body weight is the optimum amount for vital health
- Try to avoid eating animal products and whole grains at the same time and never eat sugary deserts after eating meat.
Limit coffee, avoid artificial sweeteners and avoid pasteurised and homogenised dairy products as much as possible (go with raw organic, grass fed, no added hormones).
Add fermented foods to your diet as these will help to cultivate good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut, which is crucial for a healthy gut microbiome and avoiding stomach pain. These foods include; sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, olives, pickles and organic cheeses, yogurts and kefir.
So, what else should you eat?
Aim for a balanced diet rich in plant whole foods in their most natural form, sourced locally and spray-free where possible. Add healthy fats to your diet, which include cold-pressed plant oils like extra virgin olive oil, macadamia oil, coconut oil and avocados. All of these deliver powerful phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and are very effective for nourishing the digestive tract and soothing stomach problems.
Choose food with the fewest number of ingredients possible, without added sugar, preservatives, laboratory salt and other additives. Eat slowly and mindfully to avoid swallowing air or overeating.
2. Boost Fibre Intake
A common cause of stomach pain is constipation or diarrhoea. With dietary changes over time and regular exercise, these issues should become a thing of the past.
Your digestive system needs foods rich in whole fibres to do the clean up work required to eliminate food waste. When these fibres are not there, your body has little choice but top store the debris, which is how parasites form in the digestive tract and stomach pain can become an ongoing problem.
Hi diet high in whole plant fibres and water, will ensure a healthy functioning digestive system and ultimately less pain.
Specific whole foods high in fibre to include in your diet include:
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
- Sweet potato
- Beans and legumes
- Raw nuts
- Whole grains
On days when constipation is a problem and you need a boost, try our proprietary Get Things Moving fibre blend, which is a combination of Ground Flaxseeds, Psyllium Husk, Chia and Hemp Seeds.
3. Try Natural Herbal Remedies
Natural remedies have been around for thousands of years, and there are plenty of ways to soothe stomach pain without turning to over-the-counter-medication.
Ginger is one of the best ways to soothe nausea naturally and quickly, while also being anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Opt for ginger as a whole food or in tea rather than ginger soda, which has very little to no natural ginger and will actually cause more bloating and gas. You can also use Ginger Essential Oil which is extra convenient and particularly potent. Just a couple of drops in a mug of warm water before bed can soothe stomach pain quickly.
Peppermint tea and liquorice root can also soothe stomach pain. Again, apple cider vinegar is also known for its effectiveness in improving digestive issues, including soothing cramps, reducing heartburn, boosting metabolism and so much more.
For a major detox overhaul, our Cleanse Me colon cleanse is a 2-4 day protocol to help you fully detoxify and re-set your digestive system. This program is recommended periodically only e.g. 2-4 times per year as it is an intense cleansing protocol and is usually best as a precursor to a multi-day juice fast or raw food detox diet cleanse. It contains a specific mix of: Australian Food Grade Bentonite Clay, Psyllium Husk, Ground Flax, Dried Ginger, Apple and Cinnamon.
4. Reduce Stress
Mental and emotional stress are major causes of intestinal pain, so finding ways to manage stress is extra important, particularly if you experience these symptoms often.
Reducing stress could help you soothe stomach pain, while also improving your overall health and wellbeing. Because of the physiological link between the brain and gut, it is a well known fact that people who suffer from chronic stress typically suffer from intestinal pain.
It’s certainly not always easy to manage stress in today's world, but there are ways you can reduce chronic stress that you can consciously practice.
Find an activity that you can easily do whenever you feel stressed. This could be deep breathing, relaxation massage, ocean swimming, hiking, beach walking, meditating, cycling, yoga postures at your desk, salt baths and more.
The key to managing stress is in finding a method that works for you. Everyone is different in the way that they manage stress, so it's up to you to experiment with different activities to tap into your own method.
Movement, shifting your mindset and embracing nature should all be in the mix when it comes to managing stress. Find an outlet that enables you to escape from the environment that causes you the most stress, where you're able to focus in on what's important, practice gratitude and reshape your perspective.
Earthing e.g. walking bare footed on the sand or grass, is a great way to combine many of these at once because of the stress-relieving impact that connecting your bare feet to the energy of the earth is proven to have.
5. Essential Oils
Essential oils are incredibly healing and soothing, so it makes perfect sense that they’d be helpful when it comes to stomach pain. There are many different essential oils that can help soothe stomach pain, fight nausea, improve cramps, and more.
Your first step is to make sure you’re choosing a quality essential oil brand that uses pure, potent ingredients that will actually work. These five essential oils will help improve stomach pain and other aches, relax you and reduce your stress, and ease nausea.
Use your preferred essential oil or a blend by combining a few drops to your favourite carrier oil. Smooth the blend over your stomach, your neck, or your wrists. You can also add them to a diffuser, or add a drop to your drinking water.
Most stomach problems are the result of poor food choices and imbalances in the gut microbiome, which can be fixed by making some relatively simple dietary and lifestyle changes.
By listening to your body, giving your digestive system a rest and the chance to re-set and heal, and by embracing some of the simple natural remedies outlined in this blog, you can support your body to make stomach pain a problem of the past.
Tolman Self Care.