These are my favorite Quick Fixes for GI upsets, when your normal is just off.
Herbal bitters engage the entire digestive system. They increase digestive function- both mechanical and chemical- in the stomach, liver, pancreas, intestines, and everywhere else. This includes secretion of things like saliva, bile, stomach acids, and pancreatic enzymes.The bitter taste cools and draws down too, so an upset system that's hot and burpy can feel better.
Take bitters after you eat if there's discomfort, or even before if you anticipate it.
These are usually chewables or capsules. Often they contain papain from papaya and bromelain from pineapple.
Apple Cider Vinegar
9 out of 10 people with "reflux" actually don't have ENOUGH acid
Food stays in your stomach until the food's pH is low, or acidic, enough to open the valve into the intestines. If your stomach isn't making enough acid to get the pH that low, the slightly-acidic food ball remains indefinitely... or until the esophagus can't hold it down anymore, like when you're sleeping. That's the burn of reflux- food that's acidic gets into the esophagus because it's not acidic enough to get into the intestines.
Adding vinegar to the mix can lower the food's pH enough to continue digestion. Alternatively, antacids work by neutralizing ALL the food, which may relieve discomfort but doesn't help digestion.
Try 1-2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar in a splash of water and see how you feel. Bonus points for using raw vinegar, it has probiotics. Speaking of which...
Food sources of probiotcs are naturally fermented foods. Think raw sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, kvass, and more. Notice how all those are strange sounding words from different languages? All traditional cuisines (SAD, the Standard American Diet, does NOT count!) have fermented foods as condiments. And that's how these are best- a dab of yogurt sauce, a forkful of sauerkraut, a fermented pickle. Adding a probiotic food to each meal helps digestion for that meal.
- Chamomile is super for cramping
- Fennel dispels gas
- Peppermint relaxes, so use with tense or full intestines. Full stomachs may experience reflux as the Peppermint relaxes the esphagus along with everything else
- Aloe soothes all the way down
- Ginger warms things up if you feel you're lacking digestive fire
One final note:
Good luck! Tell me what works best for you, too.