5 Easy Ways To Soothe A Sensitive Stomach

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5 Easy Ways To Soothe A Sensitive Stomach Title Card, in the background a woman holds hands hands in a heart shape over her stomach

Hello Lovelies:

“We’re all gonna lie, we’re all gonna cry, and we’re all gonna take painful sh*ts. ” – Dane Cook

It might not be pretty, but it’s so true. You know it. I know it. Tummy trouble finds us all! And it super sucks when it happens. Tell me you get me?

Whether you have a sensitive stomach or are experiencing an unfortunate surprise, the discomfort and pain caused by indigestion is nothing to shake a stick at. And it can leave you feeling awful and totally helpless.

Is there anything at all that we can do to help soothe painful digestive upset?

Of course there is! And it goes way further simply reaching for the Pepto Bismol and praying that it acts super fast!

When you don’t feel well you deserve all the pain relieving options available so you can feel better asap. So let’s dive in together and see what we can do to help.

Are you ready to feel better? Me too! Let’s go!

5 Easy Ways To Soothe A Sensitive Stomach

A woman lays in bed, covering her head with her pillow and holding her glasses in her right hand.

You know how people say that they cast-iron stomach? Yea, well, mine’s more like… a paper bag. She can be pretty sensitive. And it’s been that way since I was little.

I’ve had A LOT of sensitive tummy experience. And man does it ever suck when you’re stuck with an unhappy digestive system.

While we’re not all overly sensitive, we do all have our bad bathroom moments. Indigestion, bloating, diarrhea, cramps, nausea, general malaise… none of which are fun to deal with.

Back in the day I used to chug Pepto Bismol and hope for the best… And hey! If that helps you, totally go for it. But, personally, Pepto didn’t always work as quickly or strongly as I hoped.

So I’ve learned a few other tricks that work awesome on their own or combine well with Pepto and other general options, depending on what you need. And I’m so happy to share. Because no one deserve to feel that icky! So whatever helps to make it go away faster is golden. Wouldn’t you agree?

1. Peppermint Oil Salve

A close up of mint leaves - mint can help soothe a sensitive stomach

Peppermint is wonderful! Like serious, real life magic. And a lot of that wonderfulness is thanks to a compound called menthol.

Menthol is what creates the cool sensation we feel when we inhale, eat or apply mint to our skin. You know how inhaling mint makes your nostrils feel cool and so clear? Give thanks to menthol for that goodness!

And menthol does some pretty cool things! Like ease pain. Including pain caused by a sensitive stomach moment.

How does menthol ease pain? Essentially it can block pain detection and has a really neat anaesthetic effect (source).

Menthol binds to sensory nerve cell receptors. That’s why you feel that cold sensation when you put peppermint oil on your skin.

You’re not actually experiencing a change in temperature at all, but when menthol binds to those receptors, it convinces your nerves that the temperature changes. And since they believe it, you feel it. Boom, cold! (source 1, source 2)

These sensory nerves play a role in pain sensation too. So peppermint oils ability to bind to them starts to ease feelings pain.

But it gets even cooler!

A cup of hot chocolate with mint leaves and chocolate pieces

Menthol also weakly activates certain opioid receptors, which can alter your perception of pain (source). How incredible is that?!

Plus it also inhibits certain channels in other pain-sensitive nerves, which can hinder your body’s ability to transmit pain signals (source). That means less pain for you! Yay!

We can take advantage of this by making a peppermint oil salve.

This is one of my go to fixes when indigestion finds me. For me, it really eases the pain caused by those unwelcomed stomach cramps.

An Important Note On Safety

Someone holds an essential oil bottle with a white label. In the background you can see a milk bath full of flowers

Remember, everyone is different! Some people (including my mama – sorry mama) may have a hypersensity to the cold sensation created by menthol… which could actually cause them to feel pain (kind of counter-intuitive, right?) And everyone has different skin sensitivities.

That’s why it’s so important to do a patch test before putting something new on your skin. 

Before applying peppermint oil to a large area of your skin topically, test a drop or two on your inner wrist and wait 5-10 minutes to make sure that you don’t experience any irritation. If your skin is happy with the cool sensation, that’s awesome. But if not, it’s best to steer clear.

Here’s how to create a Peppermint Oil Salve:

Someone tests a drop of essential oil on their wrist. It's so important to do a patch test before using a peppermint essential oil salve topically on your sensitive stomach.

1 Tbsp of Sweet Almond Oil (or carrier oil of choice)

5-8 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil (Add more or less depending on your desired level of coolness)

Massage onto your abdomen and enjoy the cool sensation and pain relief. Avoid sensitive areas (trust me, it’s no fun!)

Related: 4 Things You Need To Know About Peppermint Essential Oil

2. Pain Butters

A woman holds a salve in her left hand and uses her right hand to massage it into her shoulder

This goodness still relies on menthol. But it’s already made! So if putting something together isn’t your thing, menthol salves are here to save the day! I always have some in my purse.

Look for salves with menthol or peppermint oil. My favourites are Bear Balm by Soulflower Herbals and Pain Relief Butter by Lemon Balm Lane, two awesome goodies made locally in New Brunswick.

While I haven’t tried Tiger Balm, the ingredient structure is similar and it would likely be another great option for my non-New Brunswicker friends.

3. Tea

A cup of tea sits on a table with flowers, a book and a flowery table cloth. Tea can be a huge help to a sensitive stomach.

There are plenty of tea options that can help to calm an upset tummy. If you feel like your stomach can handle something other than water (remember that hydration is so important if you’re having diarrhea), these are my top sensitive stomach tea suggestions.

Peppermint Tea

Someone poors tea out of a lovely white teapot into a mug. Pink flowers can be seen in the background. Tea can be a huge help to a sensitive stomach.

At this point you may notice that I’m having a peppermint love affair. What can I say, peppermint’s awesome! Even in tea form.

This study showed that peppermint may help to relax your intestinal muscles and relieve discomfort.

Plus, it’s possible that peppermint can reduce the severity of your pain and have you feeling better faster than you would without it. Give me that peppermint tea baby! (source)

Oh, and there’s even some evidence that you can prevent nausea and vomiting by just smelling that sweet, sweet peppermint smell. That’s a pretty big bonus in my books. (source 1, source 2)

Peppermint tea is easy to find. If you aren’t feeling your best, make yourself a cup and sip away. Breathe in that delicious peppermint aroma. And feel better soon!

Ginger Tea

A teapot and 2 cups of tea sit on a wooden platter. Beside it, a wooden container full of herbs lays open, spilling them onto the table. Tea can be a huge help to a sensitive stomach.

If your stomach pain has decided to gift you with the most wonderful of feelings, nausea, ginger may very well be your best friend.

Ginger can help to soothe and reduce indigestion, gas, cramps and bloating. But reducing nausea is it’s specialty. In fact, it’s so awesome at it that it even helps to prevent morning sickness in pregnant ladies. Go ginger! (source 1, source 2)

And if you don’t have ginger tea on hand, you can easily make your own with ginger root. Grate a little ginger, boil for 10 to 20 minutes and, bam, you have ginger tea!

Chamomile Tea

A clear glass mug with herbs and hot water. Tea can be a huge help to a sensitive stomach.

Dealing with gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea or other sensitive stomach ickies? Chamomile’s got your back! (source)

It may even help to prevent diarrhea, so if you’re starting to feel icky and think something not-so-fun might be on it’s way, get that tea ready. (source)

Chamomile can also be really soothing, which is a wonderful and welcomed thing when you aren’t feeling your best. Don’t you agree? If you find chamomile comforting, there’s no better time to make a cup than when your stomach isn’t feeling so great.

4. Hot Bath

A woman lays in the tub, smile on her face and leg kicking in the air.

A good bath is kind of like a giant heating pad that envelopes and soothes your whole body. That’s a wonderful superpower!

Soaking in warm water relaxes aching muscles and even blocks pain. And since our abdominal muscles tend to get pretty sad when indigestion finds us, a bath can be a wonderful help. (source 1, source 2)

Just make sure to hydrate. Soaking in hot water can dehydrate you all by itself. And if you’ve recently experienced diarrhea you definitely need extra water.

We don’t want to make things worse while we try to make them better. So bring a cup of water in there with you.

Related: 6 Easy Recipes for an Amazingly Relaxing Bath

5. Gentle Exercise

A woman takes a slow, joyful walk in a field.

While you may not be in the mood to move around too vigorously, exercise can *ahem* help get things moving.

If you’re feeling bloated or constipated, try lying on your back and doing the bicycle or walking around. This can sometimes stimulate your abdominal muscles enough to help move things along. (source)

This all depends on the cause of your sensitive stomach pain, so be sure to listen to your body. If moving around is not a good options, don’t push yourself. Make sure to be gentle with your body and ease back into the happy, relaxed place that you deserve to be.

Related: 8 Super Benefits of Exercise and How to Make it Fun

Final Thoughts

When you aren’t feeling well you deserve to tap into whatever will help you feel better. If these ideas help on their own, awesome! If you need to combine a few and even add some pain killers or Pepto into the mix, that’s great too.

What matters most is that you have tools to help you feel better. There’s no perfect answer, just whatever works for you.

And remember, the pain caused by a sensitive stomach should be a rare occurrence. Your daily trips to the bathroom shouldn’t be unpleasant. If indigestion, stomach pain, nausea and all the ickies are a common occurrence, talk to your doctor.

Someone sits on their couch with a blanket, pillows, tea and a book. All great things to have on hand when a sensitive stomach has you down.

Personally, I had to work with my family doctor and even food and symptom journal to really figure things out. Blood tests were also involved! And now I know what works and what doesn’t. It was all so incredibly worth it!

That doesn’t mean that I never experience tummy troubles. But it’s not a common occurrence. Which is awesome! Because who has time for this kind of ickiness on a regular basis? No freaking thank you! You deserve to feel good too, and asking for medical help can sometimes be a big part of that.

Rest, indulge in the self-care that helps and feel better soon sweet friend. I hope all of this goodness helps you tons!

What do you do when you aren’t feeling well? I’d love to hear your tips! Share your go to sensitive tummy soothing secrets in the comments below!

Health and love,

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Thought of the day: When your not feeling well you’re allow to slow down and give yourself the extra love and care you need.

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Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

Sara Flanagan is a wellness writer and the creator of www.mshealthesteem.com, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join the Health-Esteem Family today and share in the journey.

32 Comments

  1. Reply

    The JOYOUS Living (@thejoyousliving)

    September 27, 2019

    good list. i definitely reach for my tea when I have an upset stomach. Camomile, Peppermint and Lemon + Ginger + Honey tea are the best!

    Joy at The Joyous Living

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I’m so glad you have a go-to that works Joy! Makes all the difference 🙂

  2. Reply

    emmandamian

    September 27, 2019

    I usually do a warm bath and use peppermint oil to soothe my sensitive stomach. I also drink a lot of water.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      Isn’t peppermint oil amazing? I swear, it’s magical! I’m glad you have some helpful self-care to go to when you aren’t feeling well <3

  3. Reply

    Valerie Gray (@valmg)

    September 28, 2019

    I’ve never heard of pain butter before, that sounds interesting. I know a few people that find tea helpful when their belly is causing issues.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I hadn’t heard of them pre-autoimmunity, but they have been such a big help! If you ever try them out I hope they help you too. Tea can be a true saviour as well. I hope you have go-tos that help you when you aren’t feeling well too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Valerie 🙂

  4. Reply

    Frederique

    September 28, 2019

    My daughter has a sensitive tummy and the doctor just told her to try the peppermint oil! I didn’t know the tea worked as well, will get that too!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I hope it helps a ton Frederique! I’ve always had a sensitive tummy and peppermint has been a true lifesaver in it’s many forms. Anything that helps is golden. Wishing you well as you find out what self-care helps her the most 🙂

  5. Reply

    surekha-dreamingloud

    September 28, 2019

    Thanks for sharing, I don’t have a sensitive stomach but this would be helpful for those who does. Definitely worth sharing.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I’m so glad you don’t have to deal with any sensitive tummy issues Surekha! That’s awesome 🙂

  6. Reply

    Kelly Martin

    September 28, 2019

    These are great tips for soothing a sensitive stomach. I find peppermint tea works well.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      Peppermint tea is magnificent! I’m so glad it helps you Kelly. That’s awesome 🙂

  7. Reply

    Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    September 28, 2019

    I highly recommend all these! Apparently, I have tried them out before and they work.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I’m glad that it’s helped you Ntensibe! That’s awesome :). Anything that soothes a sad tummy is a godsend!

  8. Reply

    shophub (@shophub1)

    September 28, 2019

    My stomach becomes sensitive.I love ginger tea but want to try peppermint tea.It sounds good for sensitive stomach.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I’m so glad ginger helps! It’s good to have a go-to that works for you when you aren’t feeling well. I hope peppermint is a good second option <3.

  9. Reply

    Angelica Sereda

    September 28, 2019

    I feel your pain. Chamomile and mint tea works wonders.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I’m so glad they help you too Angelica! That’s awesome. Anything that makes you feel better is a total lifesaver 🙂

  10. Reply

    TheSuperMomLife

    September 28, 2019

    The only one I’ve heard of is ginger. I’ll have to try the others next time we have tummy issues.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I hope they help you hun! It’s also good to have a few self-care activities that help you feel better. Let me know how it goes if you try them out 🙂

  11. Reply

    Caitlin

    September 28, 2019

    I have a very sensitive stomach and these tips are great! Peppermint is one of my go to remedies!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I’m so glad peppermint helps you so much too! I swear that stuff is magical. Holy goodness, I never leave the house without it! <3

  12. Reply

    Emily Zielinski

    September 28, 2019

    These are all really good tips. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I’m so glad you appreciated them Emily! Thank you 🙂

  13. Reply

    megforitcom

    October 2, 2019

    Beautiful tips! I love how you are ready to talk about the touchy difficult subjects!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      Thank you Meg! Tummy trouble happens to the best of us. It’s always good to have options on hand that help to soothe the pain. We all deserve that :). I’m really happy you found this helpful <3

  14. Reply

    Deborah Hunter Kells

    October 2, 2019

    Lovely lot of tips… I’m a gentle exercise, fresh air or warm bath dependent on weather. Shared!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      Fresh air is such a good addition to the list! Thank you Deborah. That can help so much. I’m really glad you have some go-tos that help <3

  15. Reply

    Hip Mama's Place (@HipMamasPlace)

    October 2, 2019

    I love these tips to soothe your tummy! I love teas whenever I feel crampy – especially chamomile and peppermint!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      October 4, 2019

      I’m really glad you have some self-care options that help when you don’t feel well! It makes a world of difference. Thank you tons for sharing <3

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