9 natural plant remedies for digestive ailments

The use of herbs and other medicinal plants to heal and protect the human body has a long history.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Indian Ayurvedic Medicine share the longest and most sophisticated histories of healing with plants, herbs and spices.

But the Ancient Greeks and Romans, American Indians, and on down to colonial American healers, have used plants to relieve pain, protect from infection, nourish skin and hair, and ease tension and anxiety.

With the advent of modern medicine, many of these practices fell to the wayside, especially in the United Sates, where the FDA tends to come down on anything not produced by or profiting Big Pharma.

Well, if you’d prefer to get back to the natural ways and avoid the high costs, side effects and other potential dangers of prescribed medications (like stroke and kidney disease), I have a list for you…

Have you heard of these nine powerful plants that can spell relief of stomach problems and keep your gut healthy?

Peak Digestion

Gas, stomach upset, loose bowels, stomach cramps, headache and fatigue. These are all symptoms of a problem more common than you may think: Gluten intolerance. It’s often linked to autoimmune issues. Instead of the body digesting the protein, it treats gluten as an… MORE⟩⟩


Korean mint

Another name for this herb is hyssop, which comes from the Hebrew word for herb. In Biblical times, it was considered a holy herb, used for consecrating sacred spaces.

Hyssop oil increases the production of bile and digestive enzymes. For this reason, it is useful in relieving indigestion and easing gas.

It was traditionally used in teas, but today is available in capsules or tinctures.


The reason behind alfalfa’s digestive superpowers is its high fiber content. A 33-gram serving of alfalfa sprouts (a little more than half a pound) provides a full gram of dietary fiber, or three percent of our average recommended daily intake of fiber.

Alfalfa sprouts are crunchy and sweet, and easy to add atop a salad, or in sandwiches or stir fries. Look for crispy sprouts with buds. Avoid those that are soggy or have brown spots.


A member of the mint family, catnip is what herbalists call a “relaxing nervine.” This means that it helps calm you if you’re overstimulated, and can ease headache and motion sickness.

It’s also a carminative, which simply means that it relieves flatulence. Catnip tea can relieve gas, indigestion, and heartburn.


Many of sage’s digestive benefits come from its high content of rosmarinic acid, the same compound that makes rosemary so flavorful and healthful.

Rosmarinic acid has an anti-inflammatory effect on the stomach. It prevents gastric spasms, and can help control diarrhea. Adding a liberal amount of sage in your cooking can reduce inflammation throughout your gut and promote a healthy digestive system.


In a 2013 study, subjects experienced an 88 per cent reduction in stomach ulcers when given extracted ellagitannins from blackberries (ellagitannins are a type of antioxidant).

This was due to reduced inflammation in the mucosal lining of the stomach, as well as lowered levels of oxidative stress, which contributed to the formation of the ulcers.

However, blackberries have high levels of salicylates, a chemical similar to aspirin, commonly found in fruits and vegetables. If you have a sensitivity to aspirin, eating too many blackberries could actually trigger digestive problems, along with skin rashes and sinus inflammation.

Feverfew (wild quinine)

Feverfew gets its name from its feathery leaves, and has long been used to treat stomach ailments.

The Kallaway Indians of Peru use it to treat morning sickness and stomach ache, as well as kidney pain. In Costa Rica, feverfew is used in a medicinal treatment for indigestion, and as an enema for worms.

You can take feverfew in capsule, tablet, or liquid form. Feverfew leaves can leave a bitter taste and may irritate the mouth. For this reason, it’s best to buy capsules that contain freeze-dried leaves, rather than fresh.


Marshmallow has been around for centuries. Its healing properties were prized in ancient Greek and Indian cultures.

Marshmallow works as a mucilage, or thick, glue-like substance, that remains unchanged until it reaches the colon. It works especially well for soothing inflammatory digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

You can take marshmallow extract in capsule form, or as a soothing tea.

Chinese yam

This Asian plant is not related to our common yams or sweet potatoes. Ancient Chinese medicine uses it to treat disorders of the stomach, spleen, kidneys, and lungs.

Similar to marshmallow, Chinese yam contains fiber that works as a mucilage to soothe and protect the stomach lining. It can help with chronic diarrhea, and is thought to improve liver function.

In its natural form, Chinese yam can be eaten baked, boiled, mashed, in soup, or even raw. It is also available as a liquid, capsule, dried root or tea.

Sweet marjoram

Marjoram is a close cousin of oregano.  It can ease stomach cramps and spasms when taken orally, usually in capsule form. It is well-known for treating other simple gastrointestinal disorders, such as indigestion, nausea, and flatulence.

As an essential oil in aromatherapy, marjoram stimulates the digestive process. When blended with rosemary oil, it provides a rich aroma along with double the digestive benefits.

A few more natural stomach soothers

If you have been taking antibiotics a lot, you’ll want to know about these two healing compounds that are a lot better for your gut.

And, here’s one more you can get at the grocery store that can calm your cough, ease nausea, and even warm you up if you’re fighting a winter cold.

Editor’s note: Did you know that when you take your body from acid to alkaline you can boost your energy, lose weight, soothe digestion, avoid illness and achieve wellness? Click here to discover The Alkaline Secret to Ultimate Vitality and revive your life today!

Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.