Roots and Herbs
When to use them: If your stomach hurts or you feel bloated; use daily if you have chronic digestive issues.
What they do: The wonder botanicals ginger, peppermint, and fennel are natural remedies. Ginger—freshly grated, dried, or candied—“improves the ease with which food moves through your system as it digests,” says Weiss. (Good old ginger ale contains little, if any, ginger; its curative values are largely anecdotal.) Peppermint can aid digestion and settle the stomach because it contains properties that dispel gas and relieve cramping. Fennel seeds (nibbled on or drunk in a tea) can relieve bloating and minimize gas. Drink ginger, peppermint, or fennel tea after a rich or spicy meal to avoid indigestion. If you regularly suffer from stomach upset, Slayton suggests you consult a doctor and take a peppermint-oil capsule (like Heather’s Tummy Tamers; $11, amazon.com) daily to help line and soothe your intestines.