Warm, soothing and gentle on the senses – it’s no wonder we associate a good cup of tea with soothing an upset stomach. After all, it’s usually the first thing many of us reach for when we’re feeling worried or under the weather.
Tea is woven throughout our history. No matter where in the world you are from, all our ancestors used herbs and plants as medicine to treat problems like an upset stomach. Infusing these ingredients with hot water to be consumed is an ancient practice and one that can still help you today!
Benefits of Drinking Tea for Your Upset Stomach
A nice calming cup of tea is just what you need. Besides the psychological effect of having a cup of tea when you’re feeling down after years and years of drinking tea to relax, tea can be very helpful with settling your stomach.
To start with, traditional tea made from the camellia Sinensis plant contains l-theanine. This amino acid promotes feelings of calm and focus, blocking stress. So, if your upset stomach is due to nerves, anxiety or stress, a cup of tea can work a bit like an anti-anxiety medication.
Herbal teas can also have great stomach-settling effects. From ginger, a known remedy for nausea, to fennel, green tea, and chamomile. When the thought of food makes your stomach turn, a cup of herbal tisane could provide you with energy and nourishment instead.
All the teas listed below are easy to make and the ingredients can be found at any supermarket.
8 Best Tea for Your Upset Stomach
All these herbs and teas have properties that could soothe your stomach. Whether you’re feeling nervous butterflies, are recovering from a stomach bug, or have something a little more worrisome like a stomach ulcer. Before you reach for pain medication, you could try an herbal remedy instead. While none of these teas should be substituted in for medicine that your doctor has prescribed (always listen to your doctor!) they can be of some use for mild stomach upset cases when over-the-counter medication seems a bit excessive.
1. Green Tea for Upset Stomach
We’re starting with green tea, a tea that some people find to be too astringent and strong for an empty stomach in the morning. But some gentle green teas can actually soothe an upset stomach rather than cause one.
The trick is to drink the green tea with or after food. Even if all you can manage is a slice of toast or a few crackers.
Green tea is a fresh, invigorating tea. The leaves are unoxidized, keeping them fresh and grass-like. Japanese green teas are steamed, creating grassy and bright notes, while Chinese green teas are fired, creating warmer, golden and nutty notes. We prefer Chinese green tea when we have an upset stomach as it’s calmer and gentler in flavor!
The EGCG catechin in green tea relieves inflammation and can alleviate symptoms of pain. This helps your stomach feel a bit better and reduce any inflammation in your digestive system that could be causing uncomfortable feelings.
- To brew green tea, heat water to 80°C or boil water and wait for it to cool to 80°C.
- Pour this water over the tea leaves and let it infuse for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Use 1 tea bag or 1 teaspoon of loose green tea per mug.
2. Black Tea for Upset Stomach
Black tea is one of the most popular and widely consumed tea types in the West. You probably already have a box of black tea bags somewhere in the cupboard! Unlike green tea, black tea has been oxidized to turn it black. This also changes the flavor of the tea, making it richer, warmer and red in appearance. It can be quite soothing for an upset stomach, especially when sweetened with a drop of honey.
Like green tea, black tea can reduce inflammation in your digestive system. Black tea contains more tannins than green tea, which has a constrictive effect on your stomach and intestines – if you’re feeling bloated it can help to ease the feeling away.
Caffeine can make an upset stomach feel worse, so don’t drink a large amount of black tea. It’s best to brew loose leaf black tea lightly, rather than over brew a quick-infusing black tea bag. Limit yourself to 1 caffeinated tea per day, just to be safe. There are plenty of herbal teas that can do the job with caffeine!
3. Chamomile Tea for Upset Stomach
Chamomile is known for its calming, anti-anxiety properties. When you’re having trouble sleeping it should be the first herbal tea your reach for. But it can also be used to settle an upset stomach.
Cramps, irritable bowels, excessive gas and, of course, an upset stomach, can all be soothed away with chamomile. Extract from chamomile is even used in many pharmaceuticals. It has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and anti-nausea effects. It can be used to prevent stomach ulcers too.
- Brew 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flower or several teaspoons of fresh flowers in water for up to 5 minutes.
- Strain them out and sip slowly.
- Use boiling water for speed or 80°C water for a more delicate, gentle flavor.
More: Chamomile Tea Benefits
4. Ginger Tea for Upset Stomach
Ginger is a classic stomach-soothing ingredient. It’s actually recommended to pregnant women to help ease morning sickness. It can be just as effective as taking tablets or medication. The ginger root is fiery, warming and perfect for drinking on an empty stomach if you can’t handle food. Sip it slowly and you’ll find all feelings of nausea slide away.
Ginger can also help with indigestion and motion sickness. It won’t eradicate the cause of your upset stomach, but it will curb that sick feeling for a while, giving you a chance to recover or eat some food without feeling nauseated.
- Use fresh ginger for the best remedy.
- Infuse 1cm cube of ginger root, peeled, in freshly boiled water (or simmer it on the stove) for at least 5 minutes.
- Sweetening with honey may make it more palatable if you don’t like the flavor of ginger but avoid adding lemon as the acidity won’t do your stomach any good.
More: Ginger Tea Benefits
5. Peppermint Tea for Upset Stomach
Peppermint tea can relieve cramps, nausea and abdominal pain, as well as soothing your mouth and throat with menthol coolness. Just be aware that peppermint tea can have the opposite effect if you have trouble with stomach acidity and acid reflux. Otherwise, it is very soothing for your stomach and digestive system as a whole.
Besides soothing your stomach, peppermint can also be used to treat diarrhea, making it a great choice for people suffering from a stomach bug.
- To brew a cup of peppermint tea, use 2 or 3 teaspoons of chopped fresh peppermint leaves.
- Infuse these with boiling water for a few minutes, then strain out.
- For dry herbs, use just 1 teaspoon as the flavor is more intense.
- Peppermint tea bags are very easy to find at the supermarket, for a more convenient way to make this stomach-soothing tea.
6. Oregano Tea for Upset Stomach
You probably associate oregano more with Italian food and tomato pasta sauces than tea, but this herb can be great for an upset stomach. Just be careful not to have too much, as large amounts of oregano can have the opposite effect on your stomach.
Much like the other herbal tisanes on this list, oregano can ease stomach cramps, inflammation and soothe the entire digestive system. When you’re shopping for oregano, it’s best to use the fresh herb to make the tea. Make sure you pick up true oregano not “sweet oregano”, which is another name for the marjoram herb which is similar but not the same.
- Use a few teaspoons of fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano to make 1 mug of tea.
- Infuse the leaves in freshly boiled water for up to 5 minutes or to taste.
- Only have 1 cup of this tea to avoid making your stomach feel worse.
7. Turmeric Tea for Upset Stomach
Unlike lemon, peppermint and other acid reflux aggravating teas, turmeric can actually soothe stomach pain caused by acid reflux or heartburn. Besides being anti-inflammatory, this spice can help with nausea, indigestion and excess gas. Curcumin, a component of the turmeric spice, could help to reduce the pain in your stomach and intestines, especially if you are feeling cramps with your stomach upset.
We like drinking it as a tea – usually with matcha and milk to create a green tea turmeric latte. However, when your stomach is feeling unwell, it’s best to avoid dairy and highly grassy/bitter green teas like Japanese matcha.
Instead, use several discs of fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric and boiling water to create an herbal tea. Let the spices infuse for several minutes or to taste, then strain out the turmeric. You can boil it on the stove or brew it directly into your mug. Honey can be added to taste.
8. Fennel Tea for Upset Stomach
Fennel bulb and fennel seeds are common cooking ingredients, particularly from Mediterranean cuisines… but it also makes an excellent tea with stomach-soothing properties. Like liquorice and star anise, fennel as an aniseed type flavor that some people love and some people hate. It’s also naturally sweet, so if you’re trying to avoid honey and sugar with your upset stomach this is a good choice.
Fennel is anti-inflammatory and aids healthy digestion, from your stomach to your intestines. Fennel tea can be used to curb excess gas, treat stomach cramps and reduce bloating. You can have as many cups as you need of fennel tea each day to treat your stomach upset problems.
- The easiest way to brew fennel tea is to use 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds and 1 mug of boiling water.
- Infuse the seeds in the water for up to 5 minutes.
- For a quicker or stronger infusion, try slightly crushing the seeds and infusing them for longer.
- Fennel tea bags typically contain fennel seeds, just finely crushed. It’s often cheaper to just buy fennel seeds from the herb aisle and make your own tea bags with filter paper.
Finally, a Calmed Stomach!
All manner of herbal and traditional tea types can soothe your stomach. The key is to choose one of the teas we’ve mentioned above, brew it gently, sip it slowly and at a not-too-hot temperature. Avoiding solid foods, highly acidic teas (like lemon), and milk in your tea will also make sure you keep it down to absorb the healing goodness. Try drinking 2 or 3 small cups a day if needed, with plenty of water and some dry, bland food when you can. Tea and toast are a great combination! Enjoy one of our recommended teas for an upset stomach and feel better soon.