No one thinks about their digestive tract until it becomes troublesome. Bloating, cramping, heartburn, constipation, and indigestion can make you miserable, especially when it seems like you experience these issues every meal.
As we age, we talk more about the weather and our regularity. Digestive health is essential, and supporting it can help you experience fewer digestive issues and free up your conversations for more important topics.
Before you reach for that bubble gum pink liquid or pop another chalky tablet, let’s talk about some natural herbs that have been used for centuries for their digestive health benefits. We’ll also discuss how making a few lifestyle changes can support your digestive wellness and help you feel better.
What Are the Best Herbs for Digestion?
If you’ve never heard of Ayurveda, we’ll introduce you. Ayurvedic medicine is based on the belief that illness stems from imbalances in the body. To correct these imbalances, traditional Ayurvedic practices involve the use of natural herbs.
For digestion, there are many digestive herbs available to help naturally rebalance your digestive system and give your relief. And don’t worry; the herbs we’ll cover have been researched for their gastrointestinal benefits. We’ll explain how they work and help to promote healthy digestion.
Sometimes you eat a meal and immediately know you went a little too hard. Whether you ate too much, ate it too fast, or both, your stomach is in knots. Peppermint could give you the relief you need from the twisting and churning you’re feeling.
How does it work? The muscles inside your digestive tract push your food along through the stomach and intestines. These muscles may be working overtime if you’ve eaten too much or eaten too quickly.
Peppermint contains compounds that work as antispasmodics. This means that using peppermint can help soothe your stomach and calm your muscles, giving you relief. You can find peppermint in teas or peppermint oil tinctures.
Used most frequently for dressing up a roasted chicken, rosemary also has benefits for helping reduce feelings of gas and bloating. Known as a carminative (an herb that helps reduce flatulence), rosemary is also used for its anti-inflammatory effects and is thought to help support gastrointestinal health.
Rosemary contains plant compounds called polyphenols and flavonoids which provide antioxidant protection. It also has antimicrobial properties, which can help support gut health. When we refer to the gut, we’re referring to gut flora.
Your gut flora is the microbiome of living organisms inside your digestive tract that support digestion and numerous biological functions. Your gut flora even contributes to your skin health and immune system function.
3. Fennel Seed
Another antispasmodic and antimicrobial herb is fennel seed. Fennel is another herb that has traditionally been used to help alleviate feelings of gas and bloating, especially if you have painful cramping along with these feelings.
Fennel is packed with fiber, which helps support healthy intestinal and colon health, and has prebiotic properties. Prebiotics feed the healthy levels of good bacteria in your GI tract, which can translate into better digestion and increased regularity.
Yes, it’s a food and an herb. The leaves of the artichoke plant can be used to support digestive health. Artichoke is considered a digestive bitter and helps encourage bile production in the liver. Bile is necessary to properly break down your food in the small intestine.
Artichoke is also used to support the regularity of your bowel movements. A great source of fiber, it can help stimulate digestive function and bring back regularity if you frequently find irregularity an issue.
5. Dandelion Root
Both the liver and the gallbladder play roles in your digestion. Dandelion root supports both of these organs, which can help you experience a smoother digestive process. Dandelion has mild laxative properties, so only take it if you are experiencing issues with constipation.
6. Licorice Root
Many of us remember our grandparents having licorice candy after dinner. That glass bowl full of bitter candy was there to support healthy digestion. Licorice root extract works by helping calm feelings of discomfort from acid reflux and heartburn. In some studies, patients with GERD experienced relief from certain symptoms by adding licorice root to support digestion.
7. Marshmallow Root
The digestive enzymes and acids in your stomach can cause discomfort if you have an ulcer or if you experience heartburn. Instead of those chalky tablets, try a more natural solution, like marshmallow root.
Marshmallow root helps coat the lining of the stomach, helping soothe discomfort from stomach acids and calm your digestive tract.
8. Ginger Root
Speaking of nausea, if you have it, you just want immediate relief. Ginger root is your go-to solution. Ginger has been used by herbalists and medical doctors to help alleviate feelings of nausea and indigestion.
Ginger contains a compound that helps encourage quick digestion. Faster digestion of what’s inside your stomach can help reduce the feeling like what’s inside might just come back up.
Turmeric contains a compound known as curcumin. Curcuminoids have anti-inflammatory properties that offer soothing relief on upset tummies. For digestion, you’ll want to add turmeric as a daily supplement. Turmeric offers long-term benefits for digestion as opposed to immediate relief.
Another herb that is popular for aiding in nausea relief is cardamom. It is often regularly used alongside ginger to provide immediate benefits that range from easing nausea to settling an upset stomach.
You can take cardamom if you suffer from stomach ulcers, as it can also provide the same type of soothing relief offered by marshmallow root.
How Else Can You Support Your Digestion?
While the above-mentioned herbs can help relieve digestive issues, supporting your overall digestion can help you experience a more balanced digestive system, which can alleviate some of your stomach troubles.
Here’s our how-to guide to supporting digestion. The good news is that most of these hacks can be gradually integrated into your lifestyle, bringing you more health benefits than just digestive wellness.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
The healthy gut flora in your digestive tract needs to stay balanced. To help support that balance, you need probiotics and prebiotics.
- Probiotics. These are living, healthy bacteria. Taking probiotics helps reinforce the troops by sending in more healthy bacteria to restore the existing community of gut flora.
- Prebiotics. The troops need food, and prebiotics feed them. Prebiotics is a type of insoluble fiber that helps nourish gut flora levels and keep them functioning properly.
You can get both probiotics and prebiotics by taking one single scoop of L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens powder per day. In every scoop, you’ll get over 1,000 mg of the good guys and food to feed them. It’s an easy way to support gut flora and digestion.
Digestion requires hydration. Water is needed to help your body properly absorb nutrients that are broken down from the food in your digestive tract. It’s also essential for keeping your stool soft enough to pass.
Aim for six to eight glasses of water per day, or roughly 11 to 15 cups of fluid. Remember, your water intake includes other drinks and fluid sources like fruit, coffee, and tea.
Limit Processed Foods
If you’re frequently experiencing digestive issues, it might be time to make some dietary changes. Processed foods are an integral part of the standard American diet. Full of trans fats and refined carbohydrates, they make it difficult for your body to function properly and also make it harder for proper digestion to take place.
Normally, these foods have been so highly processed that they are void of nutrients and important compounds like fiber, making it harder for your digestive tract to process them. Instead, opt for complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid added sugar and trans fats as much as possible, and swap out deep-fried foods for roasted or air-fried options.
Get Enough Fiber
Fiber is essential for gut health and digestion. When you don’t get enough fiber, your healthy gut microbiome starves. In addition, it becomes harder for your food to pass efficiently through your intestines.
Fiber is found primarily in fruits, vegetables, and in whole grain products. By simply switching from white bread to whole wheat bread, you can increase your fiber intake and support healthier, easier digestion.
Get Your Movement In
Exercise helps stimulate the digestive tract. Food moves along your digestive tract by contractions of muscles found in the stomach, intestines, and colon. Experiencing constipation can mean the contractions have slowed down.
Movement can help speed up the process. Aim for 150 minutes of heart-pumping cardiovascular activity per week, and throw in a few strength-training sessions to support your bones and muscles.
If you aren’t working out, start slowly. A 10-minute walk is a good segue into a healthier lifestyle that includes more movement.
Maintain a Healthy Sleep Schedule
Your body does its maintenance while you sleep. That means when you’re at rest, your body is restoring and repairing damaged tissues, including tissues in your digestive tract. When you miss sleep, you miss the opportunity for repair, which can lead to poor digestion.
Most people need between seven and nine hours of quality sleep each night. You may need more or less depending on your activity levels.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep, there are ways you can support a healthy sleep schedule:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages later in the day.
- Don’t take naps that last longer than 30 minutes.
- Disconnect from your phone, television, tablet, and laptop at least an hour before bed.
- Avoid eating a heavy meal within an hour before bedtime.
Getting better sleep can translate to better overall health and better digestion.
Incorporate a Greens Powder
There’s a hack for everything, and there’s even a hack for helping support your digestion. Incorporating a greens powder can help give your digestive system the ingredients it needs to thrive.
L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens contains nine greens and 30 superfoods in every scoop, giving you ample access to essential vitamins and nutrients you might not be getting in your diet. In addition, every scoop contains important health-supporting benefits like:
- Antioxidants. Antioxidants help support your cells during exposure to free radicals, a key component of premature aging.
- M-Charge Complex. Our proprietary blend of energy-boosting ingredients supports natural energy balance in the mitochondria of your cells.
- Probiotics and prebiotics. Digestive heroes that help you maintain your gut health and support your immunity.
- Mushroom blend. A blend of organic mushrooms that help support healthy cholesterol and sodium levels and boost your brain function and cognition.
Getting your digestive health (and your total wellness) back on track just got a whole lot easier. Using L’Evate You is like having an easy button for taking better care of yourself.
The Bottom Line
Poor digestion can happen to anyone, but it becomes especially problematic as we age. You can help support your digestive tract and encourage better, more regular digestion by taking herbs and making a few lifestyle changes.
While you’re at it, go ahead and boost your wellness routine with L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens. It’s the easiest and most convenient way to do something good for yourself and support better, more optimized health.