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9 Teas to Soothe an Upset Stomach

Health + Wellness
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By Rachael Link, MS, RD

When your stomach is upset, sipping on a hot cup of tea is a simple way to ease your symptoms.


Still, the type of tea may make a big difference.

In fact, certain varieties have been shown to treat issues like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Here are 9 teas to soothe an upset stomach.

1. Green Tea

Green tea has been heavily researched for its many potential health benefits (1Trusted Source).

It was historically used as a natural remedy for diarrhea and infection from Helicobacter pylori, a strain of bacteria that can cause stomach pain, nausea, and bloating (2Trusted Source).

It may relieve other stomach issues as well.

For example, one study in 42 people noted that green tea significantly reduced the frequency and severity of diarrhea caused by radiation therapy (3Trusted Source).

In animal studies, green tea and its components have also been shown to treat stomach ulcers, which can cause issues like pain, gas, and indigestion (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).

Keep in mind that it's best to stick to 1–2 cups (240–475 ml) per day, as — ironically — excessive intake is linked to side effects like nausea and stomach upset due to its high caffeine content (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

Summary

Green tea may help heal stomach ulcers and treat issues like diarrhea when consumed in moderation.

2. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is made by boiling ginger root in water.

This root may be incredibly beneficial for digestive issues like nausea and vomiting.

According to one review, ginger helped prevent morning sickness in pregnant women, as well as nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy (8Trusted Source).

Another review noted that ginger can reduce gas, bloating, cramps, and indigestion while also supporting bowel regularity (9Trusted Source).

Although most of these studies looked at high-dose ginger supplements, ginger tea may provide many of the same benefits.

To make it, grate a knob of peeled ginger and steep it in boiling water for 10–20 minutes. Strain and enjoy alone or with a bit of lemon, honey, or cayenne pepper.

Summary

Ginger tea can help prevent a variety of digestive issues, including nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, cramps, and indigestion.

3. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is a common choice when tummy troubles start to strike.

Animal studies reveal that peppermint can relax intestinal muscles and help relieve pain (10Trusted Source).

Furthermore, a review of 14 studies in 1,927 people suggested that peppermint oil reduced the duration, frequency, and severity of stomach pain in children (11Trusted Source).

This oil has even been shown to prevent chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting (12Trusted Source).

Some studies indicate that simply smelling peppermint oil helps prevent nausea and vomiting (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

Although these studies focus on the oil rather than the tea itself, peppermint tea may provide similar benefits.

You can buy this tea at grocery stores or make your own by steeping crushed peppermint leaves in hot water for 7–12 minutes.

Summary

Peppermint tea may help treat stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. Peppermint oil is also very soothing.

4. Black Tea

Black tea boasts a set of health benefits similar to that of green tea, especially for soothing an upset stomach.

It may be especially effective at treating diarrhea (15Trusted Source).

In fact, in a study in 120 children, taking a black tea tablet helped improve the volume, frequency, and consistency of bowel movements (16Trusted Source).

A 27-day study noted that giving black tea extract to piglets infected with E. coli reduced the prevalence of diarrhea by 20% (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).

While most research is on supplements, the tea itself may still help settle stomach problems. Yet, it's best to limit your intake to 1–2 cups (240–475 ml) per day, as excessive amounts of its caffeine may cause stomach upset (19Trusted Source).

Summary

Much like green tea, black tea may help reduce diarrhea when consumed in moderation.

5. Fennel Tea

Fennel is a plant in the carrot family with a burst of licorice-like flavor.

Tea from this flowering plant is commonly used to treat a variety of ailments, including stomachaches, constipation, gas, and diarrhea (20Trusted Source).

In a study in 80 women, taking a fennel supplement for several days before and during menstruation decreased symptoms like nausea (21Trusted Source).

A test-tube study also found that fennel extract blocked the growth of several strains of bacteria, such as harmful E. coli (22Trusted Source).

Another study in 159 people revealed that fennel tea promoted digestive regularity, as well as gut recovery after surgery (23Trusted Source).

Try making fennel tea at home by pouring 1 cup (240 ml) of hot water over 1 teaspoon (2 grams) of dried fennel seeds. You can otherwise steep the roots or leaves of the fennel plant in hot water for 5–10 minutes before straining.

Summary

Fennel tea has antibacterial properties and has been shown to decrease conditions like nausea. It may also relieve menstruation symptoms and promote bowel regularity.

6. Licorice Tea

Licorice is famous for its distinctly sweet, slightly bitter flavor.

Many forms of traditional medicine have utilized this legume to settle stomach upset (24Trusted Source).

Multiple studies indicate that licorice helps heal stomach ulcers, which can trigger symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, and indigestion — a condition that causes stomach discomfort and heartburn (25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).

Notably, a month-long study in 54 people showed that taking 75 mg of licorice extract twice daily significantly decreased indigestion (27Trusted Source).

Still, additional research is needed on licorice tea specifically.

This tea can be purchased at many supermarkets, as well as online. It's often combined with other ingredients in herbal tea blends.

Keep in mind that licorice root is linked to several side effects and can be dangerous in high amounts. Therefore, stick to 1 cup (240 ml) of licorice tea per day and consult your healthcare provider if you have any medical conditions (28Trusted Source).

Summary

Licorice tea may help heal stomach ulcers and decrease indigestion, though more research is needed. Make sure to consume no more than 1 cup (240 ml) per day.

7. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is light, flavorful, and often considered one of the most soothing types of tea.

It's often used to relax your digestive muscles and treat issues like gas, indigestion, motion sickness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (29Trusted Source).

In a study in 65 women, taking 500 mg of chamomile extract twice daily reduced the frequency of vomiting caused by chemotherapy, compared with a control group (30Trusted Source).

A study in rats also found that chamomile extract prevented diarrhea (31Trusted Source).

While these studies tested high amounts of chamomile extract, the tea made from these daisy-like flowers may also relieve stomach problems.

To make it, steep a premade tea bag or 1 tablespoon (2 grams) of dried chamomile leaves in 1 cup (237 ml) of hot water for 5 minutes.

Summary

Chamomile tea may help prevent vomiting and diarrhea, as well as several other digestive issues.

8. Holy Basil Tea

Also known as tulsi, holy basil is a powerful herb long revered for its medicinal properties.

Although not as common as other teas, it's a great option to soothe an upset stomach.

Multiple animal studies have determined that holy basil protects against stomach ulcers, which can cause a wide range of symptoms, including stomach pain, heartburn, and nausea (32Trusted Source).

In fact, in one animal study, holy basil reduced the incidence of stomach ulcers and completely healed existing ulcers within 20 days of treatment (33Trusted Source).

Still, more studies are needed.

Holy basil tea bags can be found at many health stores, as well as online. You can also use dried holy basil powder to brew a fresh cup yourself.

Summary

Animal studies show that holy basil can help protect against stomach ulcers, reducing symptoms like stomach pain, heartburn, and nausea.

9. Spearmint Tea

Like peppermint, spearmint may help relieve digestive distress.

It boasts a compound called carvone, which helps reduce muscle contractions in your digestive tract (34Trusted Source).

In an 8-week study, 32 people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were given a product containing spearmint, coriander, and lemon balm alongside diarrhea or constipation medication.

Those taking the spearmint product reported significantly less stomach pain, discomfort, and bloating than those in the control group (35Trusted Source).

However, the supplement contained multiple ingredients, not just spearmint.

Also, a test-tube study noted that this mint blocked the growth of several bacteria strains that may contribute to foodborne illness and tummy troubles (36Trusted Source).

Still, more human research is needed.

Spearmint tea is easy to make at home. Simply bring 1 cup (240 ml) of water to a boil, remove it from heat, and add a handful of spearmint leaves. Steep for 5 minutes, then strain and serve.

Summary

Spearmint tea may help reduce stomach pain and bloating. It may also kill certain strains of bacteria that are responsible for food poisoning.

The  Bottom Line

Research shows that tea provides many health-promoting properties.

In fact, many types of tea can help settle an upset stomach.

Whether you're experiencing nausea, indigestion, bloating, or cramps, brewing one of these delicious beverages is a simple way to get you back to feeling your best.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

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