Mylanta Alternatives, Natural Remedies for Indigestion

Natural remedies for indigestion
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Indigestion makes you feel miserable, and although there are ways to prevent it, once you have it all you want to do is make it go away. You could reach for various over-the-counter drugs such as Mylanta or a similar antacid and risk experiencing side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, or stomach cramps. An option is to choose natural remedies.

What is indigestion?
Indigestion, also referred to as dyspepsia, is a condition characterized by a feeling of discomfort or fullness while eating or after the meal. Typical symptoms of indigestion are bloating, burping, a burning or gnawing feeling in your stomach, nausea, and vomiting. Sometimes indigestion is accompanied by heartburn and acid reflux.

Indigestion may be an indication of an underlying condition such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or a problem with your gallbladder. For many people, indigestion is the result of overeating, indulging in high-fat and/or spice foods, drinking alcohol, smoking, or a combination of these factors.

Stress is a significant factor as well. So-called functional or nonulcer indigestion can occur when food does not move properly through the digestive tract, and this type of indigestion is often related to stress.

Treating indigestion naturally
Several natural treatment alternatives are available for people who want to avoid the use of medications and try a holistic approach. After trying conventional antacids, I personally have found a natural approach that works for me.

Here are five alternatives to Mylanta. If one of them works best for you or you have another natural choice, be sure to write and share your experience.

Apple cider vinegar. Use of apple cider vinegar is one of the oldest remedies for indigestion, heartburn, and several other common ailments. The typical treatment is 2 to 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar stirred into 8 ounces of water taken three times a day. You can add a little honey, agave syrup, or molasses to sweeten.

Artichoke leaf extract. This supplement can relieve symptoms of indigestion by increasing the flow of bile, which is a substance necessary to digest fats. A study published in Phytomedicine reported that otherwise healthy individuals with indigestion who took either 320 mg or 640 mg daily of artichoke leaf extract experienced a significant reduction in symptoms.

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Both dosages produced similar results, although individuals in the higher dose group experienced more relief from anxiety than those in the lower dose group. Look for extracts standardized for caffeoylguinic acids.

Ginger. Another recent review noted that ginger (Zingiber officinale) is “of immense value” in the treatment of gastric conditions such as dyspepsia, belching, bloating, and similar gastrointestinal problems. One gram per day in divided doses is a typical amount to take for indigestion, but consult your healthcare provider.

Probiotics. These beneficial bacteria can help restore bacterial balance to the gut. A probiotic supplement should contain at least two or more different species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, and the suggested dose is 2 to 4 billion colony forming units after meals until your symptoms disappear.

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Turmeric. This spice has a delightful flavor and is the ingredient in curry powder. Isn’t it interesting that treating indigestion can taste good too? A recent article from the University of North Carolina noted that the active ingredients in turmeric are curcuminoids (mainly curcumin), and that human clinical trials indicate that the spice offers benefits for those with indigestion, peptic ulcer, and inflammatory bowel disease, among other conditions.

The suggested dosages for indigestion are 400 to 600 mg, three times a day, of standardized powder (curcumin) or 30 to 90 drops daily of fluid extract.

How to prevent indigestion
Do you want to prevent indigestion? Here are a few tips.

  • Chew your food thoroughly. It also can help to practice mindful eating
  • Avoid or limit your consumption of foods you know can trigger indigestion, such as high-fat foods, soft drinks, chocolate, alcohol, tomatoes, and caffeine
  • Do not lie down after eating
  • Eat 4 or 5 small meals rather than 2 or 3 large ones
  • Practice stress management, such as deep breathing, yoga, and stretching
  • Avoid or limit your use of ibuprofen, naproxen and similar drugs

By the way, the natural treatment that seems to help me is probiotics. However, every person is different and suffers dyspepsia for different reasons, so find the natural remedy for indigestion that works for you.

SOURCES:
Asher GN, Spelman K. Clinical utility of curcumin extract. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 2013 Mar-Apr; 19(2): 20-22
Haniadka R et al. A review of the gastroprotective effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe). Food and Function 2013 Jun; 4(6): 845-55
Marakis G et al. Artichoke leaf extract reduces mild dyspepsia in an open study. Phytomedicine 2002 Dec; 9(8): 694-99
University of Maryland Medical School

Image: joyosity/FLickr

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