If you are like millions of Americans who suffer from gastrointestinal problems like indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn and upset stomach you may have been lead to believe that products like Tums, Maalox, and Rolaids are quite possibly your only salvation. It’s simply not the case.
Tums and Rolaids – both well-known popular products are made from a base of calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide (which is not for upset stomach but to treat constipation). Tums also admits to containing trace amounts of lead (which even in small amounts can cause harmful effects).
Maalox is made with magnesium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide (which has side effects ranging from tarry stool, to coughing up blood, pain during urination to muscle weakness) and simethicone (which has several drug interaction warnings along with possible side effects of swelling of the lips, tongue or throat).
Additional to these active ingredients all of these over the counter medications also contain artificial flavors, saccharine (which has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals), Sorbitol (which has an array of side effects including nausea, gas, diarrhea and cramps).
Aren’t all of these things the very ailments you were trying to heal yourself from in the first place by consuming these products?
We, as a society have been taught to trust the Food and Drug Administration. We assume that because a product has been approved, that it is not only safe, but also actually good for us. Sadly this is not always the case.
In most cases nature has provided us with everything that we need to heal our bodies organically, only in this day and age we have gotten so far away from our roots that a lot of us have forgotten or never even had the advantage of being taught what plants, herbs and supplements have a healing effect on our physiology.
First of all, if you have these conditions it is recommended to avoid aggravating them by staying away from spicy foods and alcohol and of course, hardest of all, stress. But should you experience symptoms such as listed above here are a few things to try.
Papaya Lozenges are soothing to the stomach lining and reduce irritations such as bloating, gas and indigestion. Papaya contains natural enzymes that break down the proteins, fats & carbohydrates encouraging proper absorption of the nutrients in the food you eat.
Ginger is another incredibly powerful herb that supports healthy digestion when taken as a daily supplement. Ginger can also be taken in emergency situations where you don’t feel at all well due to upset stomach. It helps support the body’s response to nausea by settling the stomach. Ginger’s active ingredients are called proteolytic. This is a digestive enzyme similar to those found in papaya and pineapple. Ginger works three ways to nutritionally support the gastrointestinal function. First, it acts to provide relief for the stomach absorbing acids and toxins that cause nausea. Second, Ginger nutritionally supports the body’s own ability to control the inflammatory response function.
Third, Ginger nutritionally supports the digestive process to assist the body in controlling nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Users of ginger swear by it for the comforting and soothing effects it offers.
Peppermint is also very useful in aiding in the digestive process. It helps to relieve gas and nausea due to indigestion, soothes the stomach lining and can relieve cramps; it calms nerves and invigorates the digestive tract. We suggest that everyone who drinks coffee should at least on occasion, replace it with a cup of peppermint tea. Coffee harms the body by weakening the heart and making it hard for food to digest. And if that isn’t your “cup of tea” it can also be taken in capsule form.
Next time you are having gastrointestinal distress before you reach for that pack of antacids, I hope you think of this article and give something a little more gentle and natural a try.
Author: Sarah Barendse
Originally Published at HCBL.com