Living in Bangkok, Thailand, I’m no stranger to upset stomachs. Too spicy food, weird concoctions, extreme heat and even going without breakfast have given me upset stomachs. Luckily, using local Thai natural stomach ache cures that have been used for generations, I’ve managed to fix all of them without having to resort to medication or seeing a doctor. Having an upset stomach can make your life miserable, but these effective Thai home remedies can help.
Thai Ginger Tea (Galangal) – Thais swear by tea for many home remedies and ginger tea is one of their favorite natural stomach ache cures. In Thailand, you can buy Thai ginger root, or galangal, at market stalls, supermarkets and even on stalls at the side of the road for as cheap as 10 cents a piece. In the west, it’s available at health food stores and most good supermarkets.
To make Thai ginger tea as a remedy for an upset stomach, grate a ginger root into a cup until you have approximately two tablespoons of fresh ginger root. Pour boiling water over the root and leave to steep for 10 minutes. Once the ginger concoction has cooled, you can add a small amount of cane sugar or honey to sweeten, then drink. You’ll usually notice your stomach ache symptoms have disappeared in less than half an hour.
Boiled Rice Soup or Congee – Another natural Thai cure for a stomach ache is boiled rice soup, also known in Thailand as ‘congee’ or ‘yoke’. Originally from China, Thais like to eat it in the morning, particularly as a cure for an upset stomach as a result of drinking too much alcohol as it settles the stomach. It’s a wonderful plain food to keep down if you’re also vomiting, and it stops diarrhea.
Make a quick bowl of boiled rice soup by putting rice into a pan of hot water and boiling for one and a half to two hours, adding water as the water evaporates. Right before serving, add some salt and a cup of chicken broth to the mix and boil for a few more minutes. Eat hot. Also, if you don’t want to spend time cooking congee, you can buy packets of instant congee at Asian supermarkets. Just add hot water, mix and eat. Home made congee is better though as it doesn’t contain the MSG and preservatives of the packaged stuff.
Lemongrass – In Thailand, lemongrass is used in many foods so it’s no surprise that Thais know it’s healthy and also a great way to cure a common stomach ache. Lemongrass has antioxidants and is also thought to kill some bacterias, so no wonder it’s useful when your stomach hurts. For a stomach ache in Thailand, lemongrass is used to make either a tea (boil water with lemon grass in it for at least 15 minutes), or just cut into slices and eaten, although that’s a bit too strong of a taste for some people.
Thai Massage – Known as a way to de-stress the body, Thai massage is also used in Thailand as a natural cure for an upset stomach due to stress. Thirty minutes to an hour of a deep Thai massage relaxes anyone and you leave the massage therapists feeling like a new person. In Thailand, Thai massage is available on just about every block. In the west, you’ll find Thai massage therapists or those trained in Thai massage in all major cities. If you have an upset stomach and you think it’s stress-related, set up an appointment with a Thai massage therapist and connect to hundreds of years of Thai natural relaxation therapies.
Photo copyright – Liza Daly at Wikimedia Commons