Last Modified on Feb 14, 2014
What Is Indigestion?
Indigestion is not actually a disease or disorder but rather symptoms associated with digestive functioning. Also called dyspepsia or upset stomach, indigestion is a general term that is used to describe discomfort located in the upper abdomen. Indigestion is a common complaint for many individuals; however, the actual experience of indigestion varies from individual to individual.
Symptoms of indigestion may be felt occasionally or even daily and often range in intensity. Many individuals who experience indigestion describe the feeling as an early fullness during a meal, an uncomfortable fullness after a meal or mild to severe pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Additional symptoms include burning in the upper abdomen, bloating or nausea. More intense cases of indigestion may involve vomiting or belching; however, these symptoms are not common. Additionally, severe indigestion that involves unintentional weight loss or loss of appetite, repeated vomiting, vomiting with blood, black or tarry stools, trouble swallowing and fatigue or weakness requires express medical treatment.
The causes of indigestion vary greatly and may be a result of lifestyle choices or even underlying health issues. Common factors that may cause indigestion include overeating, eating too quickly, consuming fatty, greasy or spicy foods, smoking, anxiety, excessive caffeine, alcohol, chocolate or carbonated beverages and certain antibiotics. Additionally, other digestive conditions may cause indigestion including gastritis, peptic ulcers, celiac disease, gallstones, constipation, pancreatitis or pancreas inflammation, stomach cancer, intestinal blockage and reduced blood flow to the intestine.
Indigestion can often be effectively treated with minimal lifestyle changes; however, additional treatment is sometimes required. Effective indigestion treatment often centers on eating slowing, chewing completely and selecting non-irritating or even anti-inflammatory foods. Additional indigestion remedies include apple cider vinegar, mustard, onion juice, kalunji juice and oregano oil. Monitoring and even recording one’s diet and gastric health or responses may also help regulate and treat indigestion.
[YEA] 05/15/2011: Barbra from Vancouver, Bc Canada: "I started taking 2 Tbsp. ACV in 1 cup of warm water first thing in A.M. before breakfast, hoping it wd help my diabetes. I have been taking this for 4 days now and my abdomen has shrunk remarkably! This may sound gross, but from the start I began belching up gas all day long. Obviously my stomach has been swollen for a few years due to trapped gas that just swelled my belly. Otherwise, I was not overweight. No amount of exersize helped. I am just elated and now hope that it will help my diabetes as well."
08/12/2009: Toni from Montana, Mt: "WOW....OMG.....AFTER 7 DAYS OF OF FEELING LIKE I WAS GOING TO DIGEST MY GUTS!!! I FINALLY FOUND THIS WEBSITE I TOOK 2 TABLESPOONS OF ACV IN 8 OZ OF WATER AND WITHIN AN HALF HOUR I FEEL MUCH BETTER. SO FAR VERY GOOD.
EMPTY IN MONTANA"
Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
09/13/2011: Andoy from Boise, Id: "I tried a teaspoon of ACV and tsp. of good honey in a cup of water, and it cured my indigestion. Drink it slowly (sip for 2 hours)."
[YEA] 04/30/2013: Stea from Albany, Ny: "Betaine HCl for indigestion/upset stomach/steatorrhea [loose stools that left greasy tracks in the toilet:( ]
Mustard (plain yellow prepared) for heartburn.
Both wonderful, thank you God."
07/30/2009: Sara C. from Park City, IL: "I occasionally have acid indigestion from not eating enough high-fiber fruits and vegetables, which really do more good than those over the counter fiber powders. I have found that eating a couple of bananas a day when I get this not only puts an end to the excessive acid, because it keeps my stomach busy. I also feel better physically because bananas contain potassium, which is a vital trace element that is easily washed out of the body by drinking commercial soft drinks. The pectin in apples and other fruit will reduce your cholesterol count, especially the bad cholesterol, and using extra virgin olive oil in a salad dressing, instead of a bottled dressing, will do the same thing.
Here is my salad dressing for a salad of mixed greens and cut up vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery (I'm getting hungry!!)
Sprinkle freeze-dried mixed Italian herbs (you can mix them yourself) on the salad after all the vegetables and lettuce are in the bowl. This includes marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano and basil. There is also the popular salt-free brand which has been around for decades, and I use that a lot in cooking. Add some fresh or freeze-dried dill. Add garlic salt to taste and coarsely ground black pepper. Drizzle the juice of half to one full lemon - stick to your taste level on this -- over the salad and herbs, then drizzle about one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over that, and toss the whole salad thoroughly, to coat all the lettuce and vegetables. Taste it before you finish it. Be conservative with the lemon juice, it can be bitter if too much is used.
My mother showed me how to make salad this way many long years ago, and it is the best thing you can eat. It is filling and will keep your digestive system regular if you eat this kind of salad every day."
10/18/2011: Shweta Ghagare from Mumbai, India: "Hi this is Shweta from Mumbai. I have been suffering from problem of acidity and indigestion from last 2 months due to which I used to feel nauseatic entire day, also had bad breathing problem, loss in appetite. First I did allopathy treatment but no results were seen. Now I have started Ayurvedic treatment. Now I don't feel like vomiting also I feel like having food, the only problem is that breathing problem is getting worse. After every 2-3 breaths I feel like taking bigger breath. All my doctors told it's very normal. All my reports are normal. Please let me know if it is due to indigestion. Also please suggest some remedies.."Replies
10/18/2011: Candy from Fort Madison, Iowa replies: "I would suggest you check out cayenne pepper. A very good website is: cayennepepper.info/"
10/19/2011: Carly from Seattle, Wa - Usa replies: "Hello Shweta,
You might want to have your iron levels checked. Being anemic can cause feeling breathless.
You could try taking unsulphered blackstrap molasses for a couple of weeks and see if that helps your symptoms. BSM is full of minerals. There is a section on Earth Clinic with a lot of info on using BSM.
Good luck, Carly"
[YEA] 12/17/2008: Sheri from Laughlin, Nevada: "I just turned 41 and started getting horrible indigestion, as painful as the worst freezer brain ever, but in the center of my chest. After trying Prilosec for a month, what a joke. I called my nurse after an 8 agonizing hour bout of indigestion, she prescribed Prevacid @ $178 for a 30 day supply, this was also crap! I was laying on my floor in agony and could hardly breathe it hurt so bad after taking 2 doses. 3-4 hours later I felt no improvement. I don't know why, but I got up and decided out of desparation to try drinking a few drops of regular bathroom peroxide, 4-5 looking drops worth from the cap, into a half full water bottle, less than 1 minute later, no exagerration, try for yourself, there wasn't even the faintest bit of pain! I went to bed and laid there waiting for it to return, it never came back, I was asleep within minutes! Everybody should give this a try, its amazing! This stuff is some kind of miracle concoction, I don't know what else to say, just try it!"
[YEA] 09/24/2008: Niloofar from London, United Kingdom: "my cure for all ailments basically is the blackseed its called kalaunji seeds.1tsp of kalunji seeds with honey in the morning and afternoon is the best idea. if the seeds are big grind them in a powder form as it eases digestion. try it and tell me any comments can be posted to my address. thankyou."
"The name of the seeds in most languages has a reference to the word 'black'. For instance,
Latin: nigella (niger)
Hindi: kalonji (kala)
Italian: grano nero (nero)
Arabic: kamun aswad (as"wad)
[YEA] 02/20/2012: Simon from Bath, England: "Whenever I feel that something hasn't gone down properly, or that I've tried to stuff too much down (I do tend to over-eat sometimes... ) I just have a mint or two. They are strong laxatives, so they basically flush everything through the system. I don't think chewing gum works quite the same (even if it is strongly minty), so there must be something in the extra strong mints...
Maybe it is for this reason that restaurants often give a free mint after a meal?"
[YEA] 01/26/2010: Britt1001 from Little Rock, Ar: "I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago soon after I had my daughter. My doctor informed me since my body would no longer be able to process fat that I will have indigestion. At the time I had no clue what indigestion was and never took what the doctor said seriously. One day I was in excruciating pain and could barely move with no idea of what it could be. After a few calls, I found out that this pain was indigestion. The last call I made was to my cousin and she informed me to take 5 tbsp of yellow mustard. I took the mustard (squirting it down my throat) and instantly my indigestion was completely gone. For instant relief of indigestion take mustard. ACV works also but mustard is alot easier to swallow."Replies
[YEA] 09/01/2012: Heather from Yelm, Washington replies: "Tried this tonight, was having terrible indigestion-- bloating, burping, lots of discomfort in my stomach. Had between 1/2-1 tsp of regular yellow mustard, and almost instantly it reduced the indigestion by a good 80%.. It's stayed that way and has been probably 10 minutes since I took it. Not perfect, but close to it! Definitely would recommend to others in the future!"
[YEA] 02/14/2014: Tana from Glen Innes replies: "Thank you so much for this advise. I have been suffering for days now with indigestion, relentless burping, I've been taking ACV regularly for a few years now, but does not seem to settle this condition. all I had in the cupboard was mustard seeds, so in desperation, I chomped on about 2 teaspoons & swallowed. IT WORKED! 90% relief in about 10 min. YEAH!"
[YEA] 04/24/2009: Gabriela from Pahoa, Hawaii: "Onion juice therapy for indigestion
Onion Juice Therapy made me aware what's going on in my body. You are supposed to drink one turkish tea glass of pure onion juice from pungent organically grown onions frist thing in the morning. After a 40 day vegetable and fruit juice fast, my digestion was still not fine. So I tried this remedy.
After the first sip I felt very sick and immediately threw up undigested food. I could drink only one sip that morning. I also spit up a lot of foam. Don't ask me what kind this was. It also burnt slightly in some specific areas of my stomach. I drank the rest of the juice then during the day which was easier as there was food in my system. Next day I could down 2 sips and felt slight burning sensations in different areas of stomach. I read that if you have strong reactions to this medicine you need it the most. So I continued and today I can drink the whole glass without problem. I have to explain that I used onion juice before mixed in fresh orange juice to cure a flu and developing bronchitis. After 2 days of drinking one large onion daily mixed in 32 oz orange juice I was fine. Since then I have great trust in the healing power of onions. I think that drinking the onion juice mixed in orange juice would be a good start for people who simply cannot put up with the pure juice. Then they can gradually decrease the amount of orange juice needed till the pure juice is tolerated. I know there is other remedies out there less difficult. I had problems with indigestion and smelly gases for so long that I really want to eliminate this problem. Undigested food might be the starting point for so many illnesses that it is to me of utmost importance to clean up this mess. I just drank one glass and it feels good when this juice cleans you up from the inside. After only 5 days in which I increased my intake every day by one sip more, I am now feeling really good with it.
I include here now the article with more detailed explanation of this remedy:
[YEA] 08/19/2008: Andrew from Seattle, WA: "I've been taking Oregano Oil when indigestion kicks in and it does seem to help greatly. I bought the ones in pill form and take two in between meals twice a day. There's also a droplet variation, but it seems you get more oil for your money through the pills. And you can just split the pills open if you do need the oil. Just make sure the oregano the oil is made from comes from the Mediterranean and is wild. Not locally grown/farmed. This is very important."