There are a few common things in life that can make a good day go bad very quickly. Missing your bus on the way to an important job interview comes to mind; getting flat tire in the middle of rush hour traffic, or having your phone die while looking for your date at a Bruce Springsteen concert and realizing you left your charger at home (hey, that's common enough).
One thing that definitely makes the list is finding yourself with a severe stomach ache. You can't move comfortably, you can't eat, you probably have to fight to keep whatever you have eaten down. A sour stomach can come from different things, usually something you're eaten that was a little past its expiration date. The good news is that there are home remedies you can employ to make the discomfort a little bit more manageable. Here are 5 tips to try out the next time you find yourself with a sour stomach.
1. Club Soda or Ginger Ale
One of the most common home remedies for a sour stomach, and something that you've probably tried before, is good old club soda (or any clear soda such as Sprite, 7-Up or Ginger Ale). It won't fix the more severe cases, but something about the carbonation of soda without a lot of excess syrup seems to ease mildly upset stomachs. For more serious cases, some people will throw a half dozen drops of bitters in a club soda. We don't suggest you try to drown a sore stomach in booze (that would definitely backfire) but the pungent herbs in bitters suffused into a clear soda has a soothing effect on a sour stomach that many people swear by.
2. Drink Tea
You'll want to be careful with this, because there are many different types of tea and not every one is necessarily going to be all that helpful in settling an unhappy tummy. Still, tea is wonderfully efficacious as a healing agent in general, and certain teas are known to help with upset stomachs. Try peppermint tea (in fact, peppermint has stomach soothing properties in many forms, including sucking on mint candy or just chewing on the leaves). Studies have also shown rice teas to be very effective. Keep a few different kinds handy for the next time your stomach needs soothing.
3. Apply Heat
Sometimes an upset stomach just doesn't want anything else going in it. If that's the way you feel, a heating or warm, moist towel can be a useful way to get your tummy to settle down. Particularly if your belly ache is a result of a flu like sickness you can find great relief by laying down under a heated pad, hot water bottle, or even snuggling up in an electric blanket. Let your body relax, keep warm, and take it easy until you start feeling better again.
4. Low Fiber, High-Binding Foods
If you're stomach is upset, you're probably not just worried about keeping your food down, you're probably also a little wary of its passing through you unpleasantly in the proper direction. Diarrhea is no fun, but you can help settle your stomach and mitigate those kinds of symptoms by eating low fiber, high-binding foods. These would include items like bananas, rice, applesauce, even toast (burnt toast is even better, as a matter of fact). The good thing about these foods is that they don't have any grease, little if any sodium, no spices – none of the kinds of things that would inflame your symptoms. At the last same, the low-fiber content and the binding quality of the foods ensures that they won't pass through you too quickly…you've suffered enough, after all.
5. Fiber Friendly Fruits
Of course, sometimes when it comes to passing food the problem is just the opposite, and your stomach hurts because constipation is stopping you up. If that's the case, you'll want to turn to delicious high fiber fruits like cherries, apricots, raisins, and of course prunes to get you going again. If you want to treat yourself a little in the process, eat them with some plain yogurt. Plain yogurt won't likely upset your stomach any further, and it is delicious with berries.
So don't fear; next time you have a stomach ache, or if you have one now, try some of these easy home remedies. Odds are you'll be on the road to recuperation sooner than you think.