“My tummy hurts!”
If you’re a parent or guardian, this might sound familiar.
Looking for a natural remedy instead of reaching for the Calpol? Look no further! Here are our top 5 suggestions to help ease tummy aches and pains in kids (and adults) –
For: constipation, indigestion, general gut health
Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria naturally found in fermented foods, such as kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut. When consumed, probiotics enhance the gut microbiome — the collection of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract that helps regulate inflammation, immune function, digestion, and heart health.1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290017/
Several studies show that probiotics may help relieve constipation in children. For example, a scientific review of 6 studies found that taking probiotics for 3–12 weeks increased stool frequency in children with constipation,2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5408016/ while a 4-week study linked probiotics to improved frequency and consistency of bowel movements.3https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24812563/
Chuckling Goat’s Probiotic Kefir is made with goat’s milk (known to be gentler on the tummy and easier to digest4https://www.webmd.com/diet/goat-milk-are-there-health-benefits), containing no artificial sweeteners, additives or flavourings.
Read more about how to encourage kids to drink kefir here.
Kefir can be safely given to children 6 months+. Always start slowly, with just a drop or two for babies, and 1 tsp daily for younger children, and work up to the full age-appropriate dosage over time.
2. Herbal Tea
For: nausea, diarrhoea, bloating, cramping
Chamomile: traditionally used for various gastrointestinal conditions, including flatulence, upset stomach, ulcers and digestive disorders.5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/#R53 It’s “especially helpful in dispelling gas, soothing the stomach, and relaxing the muscles that move food through the intestines”.6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
Peppermint: a popular choice for combating tummy troubles. Peppermint is known to relax the digestive system, reduce nausea and ease cramping.7https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16767798/ In a review of fourteen trials with 1927 children, peppermint was found to reduce the duration, frequency and severity of abdominal pain.8https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28562281/
Meadowsweet: soothes and protects the mucous membranes of the digestive tract and stomach lining.9https://draxe.com/nutrition/meadowsweet-herb/ It also has antimicrobial effects that support general gut health and may help prevent UTIs by killing harmful pathogens.10https://draxe.com/nutrition/meadowsweet-herb/
Marshmallow root: helps repair the gut lining11https://draxe.com/nutrition/marshmallow-root/ and prevents digestive issues such as heartburn, diarrhoea and constipation by coating the inside of the stomach.12https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6912529/
We’ve combined these soothing herbs into one, all-natural, loose-leaf tea – Chuckling Goat’s Tummy Tea can be found here.
For children under the age of 8, taking our herbal teas via bath is best. The skin is our largest organ and absorbs all the wonderful, beneficial and healing properties of the herbs. Make a pot of tea, and tip it into a warm bath, soak for at least ten minutes. Always patch test some of the tea on a clear area of skin first. if there is no redness or stinging, proceed with the bath.
3. Psyllium Husk
Psyllium is a form of soluble fibre, made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds, traditionally used in Indian and Asian medicine to help relieve a number of digestive ailments, including constipation.13https://www.healthline.com/health/psyllium-health-benefits Psyllium will soak up water in the gut, making bowel movements easier and more regular.14https://www.healthline.com/health/psyllium-health-benefits#laxative
In a 2019 study, psyllium husk was also found beneficial for the general gut health of constipated participants, increasing the abundance of butyrate-producing bacterias; a short-chain fatty acid, known to combat inflammation.15https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358997/
To encourage your child, you can sprinkle psyllium husk flakes into porridge, yogurts or fruit purees.
Consult your paediatrician/GP for use guidelines and dosage recommendations. Ensure plenty of fluids when increasing fibre intake.
For: constipation, gas
A wonderful calming, bonding experience for you and your child! Research shows that massage focused on gas/constipation relief can help increase bowel movements and relieve pain and discomfort.16https://www.bodyworkmovementtherapies.com/article/S1360-8592(10)00106-3/fulltext
You can use natural oils, such as coconut oil, gently massaged over your child’s abdomen and stomach to help get things moving.
There are plenty of ‘how-to’ guides you can refer to. Always follow your paediatrician/GP’s advice on a massage style that will best suit you and your little one.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Indigestion and heartburn are caused by high stomach acid levels, right? WRONG! Dr. Jonathan Wright explains in his book Why Stomach Acid Is Good for You, “What has come to be called––incorrectly––‘acid indigestion’ is almost always associated, not with too much stomach acid, but with too little.”. Decades of scientific research support this claim, especially studies showing the connection between ageing and low stomach acid.17https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15478847/
So, to increase acid levels and help prevent acid backflow, enter apple cider vinegar. A little mixed with water, taken before meals, can help ease symptoms of indigestion as well as boost overall gut health, regulate blood sugar and relieve symptoms of a cold.18https://draxe.com/nutrition/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/
Suggested dosage varies depending on the age of your child.
The following points may help prevent tummy upset from occurring in the first place!
- Increase fibre diversity to feed your good gut bugs, keep ‘regular’ and reduce inflammation.
- Stay hydrated. You can read more about this here.
- Reduce emotional stress.
- Drink Probiotic Kefir.
- Plenty of exercise – outdoors is best! Read more about this here.
Herbs offer great non-chemical options to help with a variety of symptoms. Watch our quick video to learn more about what CG teas can do for you. https://www.chucklinggoat.co.uk/cg-tea-guide/