The digestive system is highly innervated. It’s constantly sending and receiving signals from the brain, interpreting and making adjustments as needed. Sometimes there are messages that don’t give us the best results. When we’re sending emotional stress signals, the body takes that as an order to slow down in order to send resources to the areas that will need it in an emergency. Feelings of stress and anxiety greatly impact the body’s ability to breakdown food and absorb nutrients. Stress inhibits stomach acid formation, which decreases bile excretion, leading to slowed intestinal activity. Our stomach should never be in pain, feel bloated, feel heavy or feel like we have butterflies for long periods of time. So besides learning and using stress reducing techniques such as mindfulness meditation, forest bathing and yoga, you can try adding some herbal support.
Two of my favorite herbs for decreasing stomach upset caused by stress are chamomile and ginger:
- Ginger is a very well known herb for the digestive system whether you’re dealing with nausea, indigestion, spasms, gas, bloating, etc. Ginger tea is a wonderful after-dinner beverage. You can also create other ginger preparations and take them after meals or whenever your stomach is irritated. Check out our Facebook page for the ginger preparations we made last month (ginger bug, ginger ale, ginger fermented root beer and a ginger-inspired cocktail!)
- Chamomile is such a well-known sleep herb that it’s frequently overlooked for its other benefits. If you steep it longer and use a little extra herb, you will find that chamomile is quite bitter, which stimulates HCL and bile while calming the nervous system. It’s very effective in cases of indigestion – especially if it’s caused by stress and/or anxiety (so many of our digestive problems are!) It will not cause you to go to sleep, so don’t feel you can only drink chamomile after dinner.
We’d love to hear how you’re incorporating herbs into your life for better health and vitality! Join the discussion in our community!
This is not medical advice, it is for educational purposes only. Consult a healthcare professional before starting any new regimen especially if you are on prescription or OTC medication, other supplements, or pregnant.