Stomach problems are a drag. They make it difficult to function and can cause a host of side effects that prevent you from tackling the day ahead. Fortunately, most minor digestive issues are easy to treat in a tasty way. Tea is backed by extensive research as an effective digestive aid.
Whether you're suffering from cramps and bloating or simply want to streamline digestion, this guide is for you. Discover the best teas for digestion and start living a healthier life today. We've broken the list down by ailment so you can easily find what you need to feel better fast. Looking to get your hands on digestive teas today? Try our collection of the best teas for digestion right here.
Green tea contains catechins such as EGCG that may help to boost the digestive system. Theses catechins offer anti-inflammatory properties that help decrease inflammation in the stomach, reducing stomach cramps. Catechins such as EGCG may also help to treat cases of colitis—a disorder caused by inflammation that affects normal digestion (1).
Green tea is also known as a popular weight loss aid. It can be found in diet drinks and is also sold as a dietary supplement. The catechins and antioxidants in green tea help boost metabolism to break down fast more effectively. Drink a few cups of green tea to boost overall digestion.
Ginger root tea has long been used to treat digestive ailments including nausea. The spicy taste of ginger stimulates the production of gastric juices and digestive enzymes that help break down food. As a result, ginger tea may help to speed up metabolism and ease digestive symptoms such as bloating and stomach cramps (2).
Ginger's most powerful digestion health benefit is its ability to minimize symptoms of nausea. Dozens of studies have shown that ginger helps to inhibit feelings of nausea within one to six hours. The studies have been conducted on pregnant women with morning sickness, chemo patients, and in conditions where people get seasick and motion sickness (3).
Peppermint tea is a popular ingredient in herbal remedies for pain treatment. The tingly, fresh aroma and taste can help soothe stomach pain by decreasing inflammation. This tea is particularly effective at treating stomach pains caused by upset stomach, bloating, and excess gas. That's because it contains menthol and menthone, which help to reduce inflammation and soothe the lining of the stomach and intestines (4). Peppermint tea also boasts antibacterial properties, which help to fight off bad bacteria that can make you sick.
Peppermint tea may also help alleviate the painful symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A study from the University of Adelaide found that peppermint works directly on pain channels in the colon and gastrointestinal tract. Peppermint tea works directly to reduce inflammation and deactivates pain-sensing fibers (5).
Chinese research has shown the potential benefits of black tea for gut health. One study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that drinking black tea can help alter gut health. The tea contains polyphenols, which help to boost populations of healthy gut bacteria. These healthy bacteria are vital not only for digestive health but also for the immune system (6). Drinking black tea can help minimize digestive upsets and streamline gut function. For added benefits, try Earl Grey black tea, which contains dried orange peel and helps boost immunity.
Licorice root tea is famous for treating a cough. It has also been used for centuries to treat digestive issues in traditional medicine in Asia. Licorice root may help to prevent and treat ulcers by increasing the production of mucin, a compound that lines the stomach and protects the stomach from excess stomach acid. The tea also contains flavonoids that may fight off H. pylori bacteria that cause ulcers (7).
These same compounds may help fight off canker sores. This tea boasts a bitter flavor—similar to black licorice—and is often blended with other teas including lemon verbena, black cohosh, and lemon balm. These tea blends have been shown to fight colic thanks to carminative effects that reduce spasms in the intestines (7).
Oolong tea is a true tea along with black tea, white tea, green tea, and pu-erh tea. It is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant but is only semi-oxidized. The tea boasts antiseptic qualities that help to fight off bacteria that can cause stomach upset. The tea also has a basic pH level, helping to reduce symptoms of acid reflux.
Oolong tea is also a well-known weight loss booster. Drinking this tea helps to speed up metabolism and boost fat burning. This digestive tea can help the stomach and intestines break down fatty foods after a heavy meal (8).
Chamomile tea is beloved as a bedtime tea. It offers natural sedative and calming effects that help to improve sleep and relax the senses. Chamomile tea also works to soothe the digestive tract and alleviate symptoms of pain. Chamomile inhibits the production of pepsin—a digestive enzyme linked to acid reflux. The problem arises when too much pepsin is produced and reaches the esophagus. Chamomile helps to tame this digestive enzyme to reduce symptoms (9).
Chamomile tea can also help to reduce inflammation and stop diarrhea. The chamomile tea works directly on irritated muscles and the lining in the intestines and stomach. It works as a relaxant, thus reducing symptoms of diarrhea (10).
Chai is a tea that derives its roots from traditional Indian medicine known as Ayurveda. It has been used for thousands of years to treat a host of ailments including digestive disorders. Chai is made using a variety of spices including ginger, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and pepper. It's usually blended with Indian black teas and a dash of whole milk. For a caffeine-free version, the black tea can be substituted with herbal teas such as rooibos.
The black pepper in chai tea helps to produce hydrochloric acid—a substance that aids the digestion of proteins. Cinnamon has been shown to reduce nausea and prevent diarrhea by soothing the stomach lining (11).
Pu-erh tea is another true tea that offers assistance to the digestive tract. The tea is post-oxidized, meaning it undergoes a process of oxidation after the leaves have been dried. Ripe pu-erh tea is oxidized using a special method that involves soaking the dried leaves in wet cloths in a warm environment.
This promotes the production of healthy micro bacteria that ferment the leaves. These healthy bacteria produce tea that can reduce inflammation to decrease stomach pain. It also boasts antibacterial properties that help fend off disease that can cause stomach problems (12).
Dandelion tea has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce blood pressure and reduce stomach cramps. The tea increases the production of gastric juices such as bile, helping the body break down food more efficiently. Studies also show that it helps the body digest complex carbohydrates more efficiently and improves insulin acceptance (13).
Dandelion root tea also helps boost the immune system to prevent bacteria from causing digestive issues. This tea has been shown to fight E. coli and other harmful gut bacteria while boosting white blood cell counts to improve the body's defenses (14).
Senna tea is made from the senna plant known by the botanical name Cassia angustifolia. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an over-the-counter laxative. Drinking tea can also help reduce constipation and bloating. The tea contains sennosides—compounds that boost contractions in the intestines and stimulate bowel movements (15).
With a little help for a cup of tea, you can soothe a host of digestive ailments. Whether you have stomach pains, ulcers, or nausea, there is a tea out there to help you feel better fast. Try a few of these teas to aid digestion and keep your system running at peak performance. Not only does tea work, it's delicious to boot.