10 Herbs for Gut Health

The best herbs for strong digestion and a healthy gut

Herbal remedies can be very effective for healing the gut and reducing inflammation, stomach cramps, gas and bloating.

In this article I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best herbs for gut health.

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Herbs for gut health

BENEFITS OF HERBS FOR GUT HEALTH

Digestive herbs can help to:

  • Improve the secretion of digestive juices
  • Assist with breaking down foods and nutrient absorption
  • Reduce nausea, cramping, bloating and gas
  • Soothe and repair the intestinal lining
  • Reduce inflammation in the gut
  • Improve liver and gallbladder function

1. Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva)

Slippery elm is one of my favorite gut healing herbs. It soothes the gut and helps to protect and heal the gut lining.

It’s also helpful for constipation, diarrhea, heartburn and reducing inflammation in the gut.

I used slippery elm powder mixed in water 15 minutes before meals when I was overcoming intestinal permeability (leaky gut). You can also mix it with a probiotic powder for extra benefits.

The trick is to drink it fast because it becomes thick if you leave it for too long.

Slippery elm is also available in capsules.

2. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is probably best known for its ability to relieve nausea but it also has some great benefits for gut health.

It helps to stimulate the secretion of saliva, bile and enzymes to improve digestion and it speeds up gastric motility, which is the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine.  

Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties so it’s a great herb for anyone suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Ginger can also help to reduce stomach cramps, gas and bloating.

Try drinking ginger tea or take ginger capsules.

Ginger for gut health

3. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Turmeric is another anti-inflammatory herb that is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for inflammatory conditions and improving gut health.

Studies have shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric may be helpful for reducing the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). [1]

Turmeric is also helpful for healing the gut lining and stimulating bile production.

Turmeric powder can be added to curries or sprinkled on food. You can also try curcumin supplements.

Turmeric

4. Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis)

Marshmallow root is an excellent gut healing herb because it forms a gel-like coating on the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract, which helps to soothe inflammation and assists the gut lining to heal.

It’s also helpful for relieving heartburn, constipation, inflammatory bowel conditions, gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) and ulcers.

Marshmallow root is available as a powder or capsules.

5. Chamomile (Chamomilla matricaria or Chamomilla recutita)

Chamomile is a popular herb for calming the nervous system and it’s helpful for digestive problems that are related to stress.

It’s also great for relieving indigestion, heartburn, ulcers, overacidity and inflammation in the gut. [2]

Try drinking chamomile tea between meals or before bed. Chamomile is also available in capsules.

Chamomile for gut health

6. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint is another popular herb for digestion and gut health.

It helps to relieve stomach pain, spasms, cramps, indigestion, constipation, and IBS.

Peppermint is also helpful for relieving bloating and gas, while also protecting and healing the gut.

Peppermint tea is a popular herbal tea to drink after meals. You can also find peppermint in capsules.

Peppermint tea

7. Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis)

Goldenseal is a bitter herb that helps to improve digestion by increasing gastric secretions.

It has antifungal and antibacterial properties so it’s great for restoring balance to the gut flora.

Studies have shown that Goldenseal is effective against E. coli, which is a common cause of gut infections.

Goldenseal can also help to reduce acid reflux, gas, bloating and stomach pain.

Goldenseal is available in a liquid extract or capsules.

8. Gentian (Gentiana lutea)

Gentian is another bitter herb that helps to improve digestion.

It increases saliva, bile and enzyme secretion, while also supporting liver and gallbladder function. [3]

Gentian is also helpful for relieving stomach aches, nausea, heartburn and diarrhea.

Gentian is available in a liquid extract or capsules.

9. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has antibacterial and antifungal properties so it’s helpful for reducing bacterial imbalance in the gut.

Cinnamon also stimulates digestion and helps to reduce indigestion, bloating, gas and stomach cramps.

Try adding cinnamon powder to foods or take cinnamon capsules.

10. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Fennel seeds are commonly eaten after meals in India to help with digestion.

They assist with breaking down and digesting foods and settling the stomach.

Fennel seeds are also helpful for relieving gas, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, nausea and diarrhea.

Fennel seeds are also available in capsules.

Gut health herbs

So there’s my list of 10 herbs for good gut health.

Adding some of these herbs to your food or taking some natural herbal supplements can make a big difference to your digestion and gut health.

It’s a good idea to discuss any herbal remedies for gut health with your healthcare provider because some herbs can interact with prescription medications.

Have you tried any digestive or gut healing herbs? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Gut Health and Health Tips that you may find helpful. You can also find me on Facebook.

Best herbs for gut health

Herbs to improve gut health and digestion

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Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a qualified Nutritionist and Herbal Medicine Practitioner. I have a passion for all things natural, healthy and holistic. I created this blog to share my knowledge and inspire women who are looking for natural health solutions. Read more

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. I’ve been reading a lot and hearing on podcasts how gut health can affect your overall health especially inflammation. Dr. Rhonda Patrick talks about Gut Flora all the time and it is fascinating. I have definitely heard of fennel and its funny you mention fennel seeds in India because as an Italian we used to have fennel (finocchio) after dinner during the holidays to help digest. Turmeric is a wonder herb as well. So many uses. Great stuff in here that I will apply for sure with what I’ve already learned. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Love learning about herbs and all their benefits!! My favorite herb is peppermint.

  3. Ginger and turmeric are such superstars! I try to include them a lot in my food – it’s easy with Indian cooking. Would definitely look into including the rest of these herbs as well.

  4. There is so much good advice here for sure. ginger is a good one for sure and love having a ginger tea xx

  5. This is really informative. I love using ginger whenever I have upset stomach or I drink chamomile tea and it really helps. 🙂

  6. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m all in for trying natural ways to remedy any physical discomfort I may have. It’s so much healthier!

  7. I remember when I was a child my mother making Peppermint tea all the time. This herbal tea made upset stomachs better and gave us warmth on cold nights. Thank you for all the extra herbs. I am going to try a few of these.

  8. Hi Kelly!
    Great post! I have never tried any kind of digestive herbs before but after learning more about them, maybe I should.
    What do you think I should try first?

    1. Thanks Mariana, Ginger and Peppermint are two of the most popular herbs for digestion, so they’re good to start with.

  9. Gosh, I’m so glad I’m following this blog because I love learning about all the natural and healthy ways to help your body. The thing is, it’s always hard to know which product is really good. You hear so much about certain products only containing a little bit of the item that you are wanting to take or not being pure or potent enough. You just don’t know and it can get quite expensive to make a mistake. I’m glad to be reading your posts. Thanks for spending time teaching us.

  10. Ginger and tumeric are my favorites. I use them for so many natural cures.

  11. I am always amazed how little things like herbs might greatly help to get a better life. Gut health is a key to a healthy life because without it your life is way too far from good.

  12. I’ve used chamomile tea before and it worked like a charm. There were some in your list I have never heard of and want to give a try. Thanks for the breakdown of each herb.

  13. I stopped taking herbs and really need to get back to it because they worked. I see some new ones in your list that I am going to try.

  14. I can definitely attest to the benefits of Turmeric and Ginger! I was surprised cinnamon helps with gut health as well, but I’ll definitely keep this list in mind next time there are stomach issues.

  15. I knew peppermint and ginger were good ones to use, but I wasn’t ware of the rest! Thanks for sharing this, I love learning new things.

  16. Oh I love this info! Pinned this so I can refer back to it too. Would you say all these herbs are safe during pregnancy?

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