Naturopath Charmaine West shares her tips on how to cope with those stressed out tummy symptoms.
So many people I know experience digestive symptoms when they’re stressed. I’ve heard of everything from diarrhoea to constipation, ‘butterflies’ to stomach cramps, nausea to vomiting and plenty of other symptoms in between.;
I have to admit – when I’m stressed I feel it my gut too. I often get the ‘butterflies’ or a nauseous feeling in the stomach, and I either want to eat nothing – or binge on creamy, carb-loaded foods (think spaghetti carbonara or ice-cream – or maybe both!) So – here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful to cope with those stressed out tummy symptoms.
1. Skip the caffeine
I know a coffee looks super tempting when you’re trying to cope with no sleep, and a never-ending ‘to do’ list, but trust me – it won’t help that burning, churning stressed out digestive system.
2. Try some herbal teas
I’d recommend using herbs that are traditionally used to help soothe the nervous system and relieve stress. My absolute favourite in this type of situation is a beautiful herb called Melissa officinalis, or better known by its common name - Lemon Balm.
Lemon balm has been used traditionally as a mild sedative & as an antispasmodic – two actions that may be very beneficial to help reduce stress, and calm a stressed, over-tight tummy.
Some of my other favourite herbal teas are:
3. Eat some porridge
Oats have been used traditionally in herbal medicine as a tonic for the nervous system. Eating a bowl of porridge may still provide some of those tonifying benefits to the nervous system.
4. Try a nice slow-cooked casserole
Meals that are slow-cooked are often easily digested and very nourishing. Consider a slow-cooked beef casserole with veggies, or beans and sweet potato if you’re avoiding meat.
There’s one other remedy that comes to mind for stress and upset tummies - I haven’t tried it myself for many years, but my grandmother used to swear by it – a warm mug of milk with some Milo mixed in. I’m not sure about the tonifying benefits one – but it might be worth a try!