The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

Translate:

Indigestion

Definition

Failure of proper digestion and absorption of food in the alimentary tract, and the consequences thereof.
Back to Top


Causes

May be caused by lack of Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) in the stomach, needed to digest food, or may be caused by emotional factors. May be caused by disorders of the stomach or of the small and/or large intestine, but can be a disorder in itself. Chewing with the mouth open, talking while chewing, swallowing too much air by gulping down food, and washing down needed enzymes for digestion by drinking liquids during a meal result in indigestion. They cause a fermentation of food in the colon that produces hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Carbohydrates are the main food source responsible for gas because of the bacteria they contain. It is important to find out which foods your body cannot digest and stay away from foods that cause this reaction. Stress and a lack of digestive enzymes can also cause intestinal problems. Of the estimated 30 million people in the United States who suffer from chronic digestive disturbances, most will have one or more of the following causes: wrong food combinations, not chewing food properly, overeating, anxiety and/or nervousness, swallowing air while eating, an intolerance toward sugars, fats, or starches.
Back to Top


Symptoms

Abdominal pain or discomfort, gas, heartburn, a bad taste in the mouth, foul breath, coated tongue, headache, sometimes difficult breathing and/or palpitations, a bloated feeling, sour belching, nausea, vomiting, a heavy uneasy feeling in the stomach after eating, and a burning sensation after eating.

Stomach Acid Self-Test: Determine if hydrochloric acid is needed by taking a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. If this makes your heartburn go away, then you need more stomach acid. Sip apple cider vinegar mixed with water with meals. If it makes your symptoms worse, then you have too much HCL and shouldn’t take enzymes that contain HCL.

Indigestion sufferers gobble up antacid tablets by the ton every day in the United States. An occasional antacid tablet to relieve stomach upset is harmless, but to take antacid tablets constantly, week after week, is asking for trouble. Doctors have found that phosphorus depletion can result from frequent antacids not of a dietary nature. These cannot be absorbed. Bones are the “storehouse” for phosphorus, but when this mineral is inadequately supplied, the bones are in danger of becoming soft or brittle. Many over-the-counter antacids, liquid or tablet, contain either or both, magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide. Neither can be digested by human stomachs. The fully absorbable magnesium mineral which occurs naturally in various foods and plants is so valuable to human nutrition. These 2 hydroxides can bind gastrointestinal absorption of phosphorus resulting in a state of debility characterized by weakness, anorexia or loss of appetite, and a feeling of being ill (malaise). Mother Nature, the true alchemist, can provide the treasures of her plant kingdom to neutralize acidity gently, safely, and effectively.
Back to Top


Nutrients

Aloe vera juice, 1/4 cup on an empty stomach in the morning and at night, will relieve heartburn and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Proteolytic enzymes, 2 tablets with meals and 1 tablet with snacks, is important to relieve gas and bloating. Acidophilus, 1/2 hr. before meals, is necessary for normal digestion. Garlic capsules, 2 capsules with meals, aids in digestion and destroys unwanted bacteria in the bowel.

Vitamin B complex, 100 mg. with meals, the B-vitamins are essential for normal digestion.

Alfalfa (tablets or liquid), taken as directed on the label, supplies needed vitamin K and trace minerals.

Pancreatin, 3 after meals, is a helpful digestive enzyme.
Back to Top


Herbs
  • Agrimony
  • Alder
  • Angelica
  • Anise
  • Arrowhead, broad-leaved
  • Asafoetida
  • Ash, American mountain
  • Avens, water or purple
  • Balm, lemon
  • Balmony
  • Basil
  • Bayberry bark
  • Bay leaves
  • Beech
  • Betony, wood
  • Birch
  • Bitterroot
  • Blackroot
  • Blessed thistle
  • Bloodroot
  • Boneset
  • Buckbean
  • Burnet
  • Calamus
  • Capsicum
  • Caraway
  • Cardamom
  • Carrot, wild
  • Cascara amarga
  • Cascara sagrada
  • Catnip
  • Cayenne
  • Celandine
  • Celery
  • Centaury
  • Chamomile
  • Cherry, wild or black
  • Chickory, root
  • Chives
  • Cinquefoil
  • Cohosh, black
  • Coltsfoot
  • Comfrey (do not use over long periods of time)
  • Costmary
  • Cow-parsnip
  • Cranesbill
  • Dandelion
  • Dill
  • Dogwood, flowering
  • Echinacea
  • Elecampane
  • Elm slippery
  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek
  • Feverfew
  • Flag, sweet (calamus)
  • Flaxseed
  • Fringe tree
  • Garlic
  • Gentian, blue, root
  • Ginger, wild
  • Ginseng, dwarf
  • Goldenrod
  • Goldenseal root
  • Gold thread
  • Gravel root
  • Gum plant
  • Hops
  • Horehound
  • Horsemint
  • Horseradish
  • Hyssop
  • Indian hemp, black
  • Ironweed
  • Juniper berries
  • Labrador tea
  • Leverwood
  • Licorice
  • Linden (American basswood)
  • Liverleaf (sharp-lobed hepatica)
  • Lobelia
  • Magnolia, cucumber
  • Mallow, high
  • Marjoram
  • Meadowsweet
  • Milkweed
  • Mint teas
  • Mint, wild
  • Nutmeg
  • Oat fiber
  • Onion
  • Orange, bitter
  • Orange, mandarin peel
  • Oregano
  • Origanum
  • Osha
  • Papaya
  • Parsley
  • Pau d’arco
  • Pennyroyal, American
  • Persimmon
  • Peruvian bark
  • Peppermint
  • Pineapple-weed
  • Pleurisy root
  • Poplar
  • Prickly-ash, northern
  • Primrose, evening
  • Ragwort
  • Red root
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Salify
  • Sanicle
  • Sarsaparilla
  • Savory
  • Skullcap
  • Solomon’s seal
  • Sourweed (sorrel-tree)
  • Soybean
  • Spearmint
  • Star grass
  • Stillingia
  • Stonecrop, ditch
  • Strawberry, common or Virginia
  • Tamarack (black larch)
  • Tansy
  • Tarragon, wild or Russian
  • Thistle, milk
  • Thyme
  • Tuliptree
  • Valerian
  • Vervain, blue
  • Virginia snakeroot
  • Wafer ash
  • Walnut, black
  • Watercress
  • Willow
  • Yam, wild
  • Yarrow sweet
  • Yellow dock
  • Yerba buena

Back to Top


Recommendations

If upper gastrointestinal gas pancreatin or lower gastrointestinal gas trace minerals are needed, antacids are useless. When having problems with excess gas, use the juice of one fresh lemon in one quart of lukewarm water as an enema to balance the pH of the body. Acidophilus is good because a shortage of “friendly” bacteria is often the problem.

Consume balanced meals with fibrous foods, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grain foods.

Avoid refined carbohydrates (sugar), such as bakery products, macaroni, dairy products, caffeine, citrus juice, tomatoes, pepper, carbonated beverages, potato chips, junk foods, fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, red meat, beans, and snacks. Decrease salt intake. Processed food, junk food, and all dairy products cause excess of mucus formation, which results in inadequate digestion of protein. Limit intake of peanuts, lentils, and soybeans. They contain an enzyme inhibitor.

Food combinations are important. Protein and starches are a poor combination, as are vegetables and fruits. Do not drink milk with meals. Sugars should never be consumed with proteins and starches. Sip one tbsp. pure apple cider vinegar in a glass of water with meals to aid digestion.

Charcoal tablets are excellent for absorbing gas, but they interfere with other medication and nutrients. Do not take over long periods of time.

Back to Top


Suggestions

Drink the juice of a lemon in a cup of water first thing in the morning. This is a good healer and blood purifier. Hypoglycemics (low blood sugar) and people who have had abdominal surgery should take pancreatin to help digest foods. After meals, use pancreatin if a stuffed feeling or a rumbling and gurgling from bloating and gas occurs.

Rice and barley broth relieve gas, bloating, and heartburn. Use 5 parts water to one part grain, and boil for 10 minutes. Put the lid on and simmer for 55 minutes more. Strain, cool, and sip throughout the day.

Exercise, such as brisk walking and stretching enhance the digestive process.

The elderly typically lack HCL and pancreatin.

Chew food thoroughly; do not gulp it down in a hurry.
Back to Top


Bibliography

LiveStrong.com: Garlic and Stomach Problems

LiveStrong.com: Ginger Extract & Acid Reflux

LiveStrong.com: Papaya Enzymes for an Upset Stomach

LiveStrong.com: Peppermint and Heartburn

LiveStrong.com: Benefit of Papaya Enzyme

Live Strong.com: Papain for Indigestion

LiveStrong.com: Garlic & Heartburn

LiveStrong.com: Papaya & Heartburn

LiveStrong.com: Fenugreek for Digestion

LiveStrong.com: Ginger Juice for Acid Reflux

LiveStrong.com: How do I Take Ginger for Seasickness?

Buy It! Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Old Herb Doctor, by Joseph E. Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1984, sixth printing 1994.

Buy It! Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1987.

Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Back to Top

Share