I recently received this question from a Daily Dispatch reader who suffers from constipation and chronic indigestion. She wrote:
Q: I always have problems with my stomach. After food intake, it will get bloated. And recently, I am experiencing constipation, which is quite bad. I went for a colonoscopy recently and some polyps were removed. Other than that, no other major problems diagnosed so far.
Will Red Joe ® [branded red bush ingredient] help in my indigestion problem or are there any products that will be helpful for my gassy stomach & indigestion problem?
A: As you know, I began investigating the South African red bush plant more than 10 years ago. I learned that millions of people in South Africa have used this remarkable plant over the last 100 years for just about anything that ailed them. And it helped the Kalahari Bushmen of South Africa survive in one of the hottest and driest places on the planet.
You see, red bush helps your body stay hydrated on a cellular level. And its benefits, in turn, also aid with digestion. And yes, it even helps prevent or correct symptoms of indigestion and constipation.
Through my experience with doctors in South Africa and red bush drinkers, I discovered that red bush helps “keep things moving” so you don’t suffer from painful back-ups.
Mothers in South Africa also give red bush tea to their infants because it helps with colic, a form of indigestion. That routine was always particularly impressive to me, since mothers would not give them regular green or black tea. But natural tea made with red bush soothes tummies. And it’s safe enough for babies to drink.
Starting a few years ago, several colleagues and I developed a brand of red bush tea called Red Joe ®. Drinking this product daily will help with healthy digestion after meals as well as hydration between meals. And it will help get things moving so you don’t become constipated and bloated.
For a limited time, you can get Red Joe tea directly through this website.
Also, consider using peppermint (Mentha piperita). Peppermint calms the muscles of the stomach. And it improves the flow of bile, which the body uses to digest fats. As a result, food passes through the stomach more quickly with less bloating and gas. This effect may help explain all the brightly wrapped “after-dinner” mints. But I suggest skipping the candied mints. And try peppermint tea or peppermint oil supplements instead after a meal.
Several studies have shown that coated peppermint capsules can help reduce indigestion, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. (Coated capsules keep peppermint oil from releasing directly into the stomach, which can cause heartburn and indigestion.)
In one study, researchers recruited 57 people with bloating, gas, and stomach pain. They divided the patients into two groups. One group took two coated peppermint capsules twice a day for four weeks. The other group took a placebo. Of the people who took peppermint, 75 percent experienced a significant reduction in symptoms.
Or, you can simply drink a few cups of peppermint tea a day and see if that helps. Other teas for digestion are verbena and linden. My family has been using these teas for at least five generations–so I can personally vouch for their effectiveness.
1. “Peppermint oil (Mintoil) in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective double blind placebo-controlled randomized trial,” Dig Liver Dis. 2007 Jun;39(6):530-6