Stabbing, throbbing, pulsing, or burning abdominal pains may be the sign of either minor or serious health conditions.
In most cases, relief can be found with all-natural home remedies for stomach pain.
The powerful yet nontoxic properties of many common kitchen products may help to alleviate the pain and other symptoms caused by gas, constipation, irritating foods, indigestion, food allergies, or viral infections. Identifying the cause is the first step in knowing how to get relief from stomach pain.
What Causes Stomach Pain?
Just as stomach pain has multiple names (abdominal pain, tummy ache, etc.) it can have a wide variety of causes. The following is a list of some of the more common causes for stomach pain:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Food poisoning or allergies
- Lactose intolerance
- Kidney stones
- Stomach virus
- Menstrual cramps
- Gastric reflux
Natural Treatments for Stomach Pain
Assuming your pain is not being caused by a serious condition, there is no harm in taking care of the matter yourself. Many over-the-counter medicines are available for relieving stomach pain, but numerous non-medical methods can be employed as well to cure or ease your stomach pain at home.
This tea is known to work as an anti-inflammatory along the digestive tract. If your stomach pain is caused by gastritis or indigestion, a cup of chamomile can offer relief. It does this by relaxing muscles along the stomach and the esophagus, easing the contractions that push food along, and lessens any cramps or spasms you are experiencing.
- Place one teaspoon of dried chamomile in one cup of boiled water.
- Cover and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain tea and add lemon or honey for taste.
- Drink up to three cups daily
2. Ginger Tea
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of ginger neutralize excess acids that cause stomach pain. Drinking ginger tea may help to stimulate proper digestion by promoting the production of digestive juices while fighting harmful free radicals that cause disease.
Drink two to three cups of ginger tea daily.
- Cut one medium-sized ginger root into thin slices.
- Add the ginger to one cup of boiling water and boil for three minutes.
- Lower heat and simmer for five minutes.
- Strain and add honey for flavor.
Plain, unsweetened yogurt containing probiotics, or active cultures, may help with stomach pains as it promotes proper digestion. These work to increase the good bacteria needed to relieve indigestion, bloating, and painful discomfort in the gut.
Consuming plain, unsweetened yogurt throughout the day may reduce stomach pain episodes. Use the following recipe to create a drinkable form of this remedy.
- Combine two tablespoons of plain unsweetened yogurt, 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt.
- Add three teaspoons of fresh coriander juice.
- Mix in one-half teaspoon of cardamom powder.
- Mix well and drink one hour after each meal.
4. Hot Water Bottles
Hot compresses can help soothe stomach pain. The word “hot” is used loosely here, since the desired level of heat will depend on both the level of pain and personal preference. Fill the bottle or similar object with warm or hot water, place a cloth between it and your skin, and find a comfortable place to lie down.
- Place the hot water bottle, or a cloth soaked in hot water, on stomach for a five- to 10-minute treatment throughout the day.
- Take a warm shower or bath twice a day for 15- to 20-minute intervals.
5. Prune Juice
Stomach pain from constipation tends to radiate from the lower part of your abdomen and sometimes features a periodic “shifting” or “gurgling” feeling accompanied by a temporary spike in pain. When constipation is your cause, consider a glass of prune juice or another type of laxative. If effective, you can expect to experience sudden relief.
6. Fennel Seeds
The phrase “volatile oil” is not normally associated with relieving stomach pain, but that’s just what anethole, found in fennel seeds, can do. Anethole will stimulate the production of digestive juices, which, if you have indigestion, can be just the thing to provide natural pain relief for inflammation of the stomach. Pregnant women, however, should not use fennel seeds.
- Chew on one-half to one teaspoon of fennel seeds after each meal.
- Or, add one teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds to one cup of boiled water. Steep for eight to 10 minutes before straining tea. Add a dab of honey for taste. Drink tea after each meal.
7. Warm Lemon Water
Since pregnant women should avoid fennel, they can try warm lemon water instead. The high acidity of the lemon will trigger extra production of your stomach’s hydrochloric acid to further break down food and keep things moving smoothly.
- Squeeze the juice from one-half of a lemon into one cup of warm water.
- Mix well and drink while warm.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another paradoxical-sounding treatment is using acidic drinks to relieve pain from gastric reflux. Since gastric reflux can result in stomach acid leaking out into places it’s not wanted, your stomach’s acidity can end up lower than is optimal for digesting food. Drinking apple cider vinegar can help improve the levels and ease an upset stomach. This assumes that you’re able to, well, stomach the drink in the first place. While apple cider vinegar does its work best if taken raw, you may find mixing it with water, a teaspoon of honey, and sipping slowly to be the more tolerable option.
- Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one cup of warm water.
- Mix in one tablespoon of honey.
- Drink this remedy every three hours until pain is gone.
For more generalized pain relief, try peppermint tea, or even sucking on a candy cane if you’re feeling festive. Peppermint leaves contain menthol, a natural analgesic known to help nausea and upset stomachs. Whether you get it from a candy, tea, chewing on the leaves, or sniffing some extract, peppermint can alleviate stomach pain and any accompanying nausea.
- Add one teaspoon of dried peppermint to one cup of boiling water.
- Steep for five to 10 minutes before straining.
- Add a dab of honey for taste.
- Or, chew on one fresh peppermint leaf throughout the day.
10. Rice Water
Last but not least, look to rice; more specifically, look to the leftover water after you cook rice. Rice water is capable of forming a coating over certain membranes like, for instance, the lining of your stomach. This barrier can be a soothing lining to help ease inflammation and offer relief from stomach pain.
For a simple rice water remedy, first wash one-half cup of white rice.
- Add rice to six cups of boiled water, cover, and allow to sit until rice is tender.
- Strain the water into a cup to cool.
- Add one-half teaspoon of honey.
- Sip on two cups daily.
11. Alcoholic Bitters
You may raise an eyebrow, but did you know that alcoholic bitters can naturally relieve stomach pain? Many common brands of bitters contain a mix of mint, ginger, cinnamon, and fennel, all of which are known to help ease stomach pain in one form or another. Five to six drops in a glass of club soda or ginger ale might surprise you.
12. Bland foods
Even when your stomach hurts, you still have to eat. To avoid aggravating an already upset stomach, look for bland foods without salt or spices. Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are good options that can provide a bit of nutrition without over-stimulating your digestion.
Home Remedies for Stomach Pain May Work for You
Stomach pain is a common complaint that can range from mild stabs of pain to debilitating painful cramps. Causes of stomach pain may be linked to an underlying health condition such as appendicitis or kidney stones, or it may be a reaction to a food product that irritates the stomach lining.
Many cases of discomfort are mild and may be alleviated by home remedies for stomach pain. Using natural and widely available products like herbal teas and probiotic yogurt may offer fast relief without causing the additional pain sometimes triggered by the irritants in shelf medications.
Sudden and severe stomach pain may indicate a serious health condition. If it is accompanied by a fever, breathing difficulty, or bloody vomit, seek immediate medical attention.
“Home Remedies for a Stomach Ache,” Top 10 Home Remedies; http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-stomach-ache.html, last accessed September 20, 2017.
“8 Home Remedies for Stomach Aches & Cramps,” Everyday Roots web site, November 14, 2013; http://everydayroots.com/stomach-ache-remedies.
“Abdominal Pain Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments,” WebMD web site, http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/abdominal-pain-causes-treatments, last accessed July 23, 2015.