Worried about experiencing bloating, nausea or indigestion after a feast?
Don’t worry its common! Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician Neo Min Jun – who works at Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic and divides her time among the branches in Chinatown, Tiong Bahru and Simei – offers some remedies for digestive issues for your tummy. These herbal teas can be easily prepared in your Singapore home, so sip away and enjoy!
1. Hawthorn oolong tea
If you have had too much oily foods, consider sipping on some Hawthorn Oolong Tea. How would it help? Well, Hawthorn aids in the digestion of meat and oily food. Its sour and sweet taste makes it work well in the stomach, spleen and liver meridians or channels through which qi travels. If you are pregnant, please do not consume this. For those with gastric problems should seek TCM advice before consuming.
How to make: Brew 15g of oolong tea in 200ml of water. Boil 3 to 5g of hawthorn in water for 15 minutes. Mix both and consume warm.
2. Malt tea
In TCM, bloating due to over-eating is often caused by undigested food and stagnant qi in the stomach. To relieve bloatedness, try drinking some Malt Tea! Malt helps to break down carbohydrates and regulate the stagnant qi in the stomach which helps with bloatedness. The natural saltiness of malt works well in the stomach and spleen meridians.
How to make: Brew a pot of malt tea with one or two malt tea teabags. Do not add additional sugar or sweetener. Consume warm.
3. Ginger and orange peel tea
Ginger and orange peel does seem like a weird combination of ingredients to be used to brew tea. But, trust me, it works wonders! If you have been vomiting, drink the tea and be relieved instantly. When the qi in the stomach flows upwards, regurgitation and vomiting occurs. Ginger and orange peel can help the qi in the stomach flow in the right direction – downwards. The orange peel also boosts the qi of the spleen, which helps digestion.
How to make: Put two or three slices of fresh ginger with 10g of orange peel in 200ml of hot water. Consume warm.
4. Kudzu flower tea
If you are someone who drinks frequently, this tea can help with hangovers. The pueraria flower has a sweet taste and works well in the spleen and stomach meridians. It helps to increase the vigour of the stomach, relieve hangover symptoms and quench the thirst caused by excessive alcohol intake.
How to make: Place 15g of kudzu flower in 200ml of hot water. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Consume warm.
5. Chamomile tea
Chamomile is another herb that is known to help treat digestive problems, mostly because of its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties it contains. This tea is also famous for being a calming drink, being able to reduce the stress carried by the body and help refresh the drinker, usually during periods of high anxiety.
How to make: Place 15g of loose leaf chamomile tea in 200ml water. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Perfect on its own or with a drizzle of honey.
6. Fennel seed tea
Feeling nauseous? This tea will help! The essential oils found in crushed fennel contains estrogen, which inhibits muscles spasms, allowing you to digest more easily. Fennel seed has also traditionally been used in Ayurvedic treatment to relieve nausea. It’s also anti-flatulence, gets rid of stomach cramps, helps indigestion and bloating.
How to make: Place 15g of loose leaf chamomile tea in 200ml water. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Peppermint tea
Peppermint is one of the best solutions for gas related problems in the stomach, as it helps in expelling gas formed in the stomach while also calming the digestive system, reducing indigestion. So, if you are having problems with releasing gas, let this tea work its wonders.
How to make: If you can find fresh peppermint, steep 10 to 15 leaves in 200ml of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. This tea is also readily available in most supermarkets and speciality tea stores.
8. Senna tea
When you need a full body detox, on top of a massage, you should probably also drink a cup of Senna tea. The stimulant effect of senna tea will help clear out your digestive system and loosen up congestion. That’s because senna contains compounds called anthraquinones, which are powerful laxatives. A word of caution when drinking this tea, the longer you steep it the stronger the drink becomes, and excess amounts of senna in the body can be unhealthy and even cause cramps.
How to make: Two grams of dried senna leaves are all that’s needed to feel its effect. Allow your tea to steep for 10 minutes and then strain before drinking.
9. Burdock root tea
Burdock root contains powerful antioxidants, such as phenolic acids, quercetin and luteolin, which aids digestion and acts as a diuretic. While burdock is a digestive treatment, it does so by increasing intestinal secretions and digestive acid, so it isn’t recommended if you suffer from excess stomach acid, or have ulcers or an irritable bowel. You should also avoid it when you have heartburn or diarrhoea, which burdock can even cause, in rare cases. Finally, you shouldn’t take burdock when pregnant.
How to make: Place 15g of loose burdock root in 200ml of boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes before drinking. Best to consume about 15 to 30 minutes before a meal.
First published by The Singapore Women’s Weekly / Last updated by Jasia Shamdasani