herbs and spices

Using natural herbs and spices can aid in nutritional absorption, assist digestion, and efficient intestinal food breakdown. Various therapeutic herbs have been used to improve gastrointestinal health concerns, from India to Peru to the Mediterranean and Middle East as well as beyond. Each of these herbs for digestion possesses a distinctive bioactive quality that can relax, comfort, and provide relief for your entire body, including your digestive system.

You can have enhanced energy levels, immunity resilience, toxin elimination, mental clarity, temperament, mood, and more when your digestive system operates at its optimum level. For this reason, it's crucial to include a well-balanced nutritious diet, drink ample amounts of water, engage in an active lifestyle, and use herbal medicinal supplements in your daily wellness routine.

Herbs and Spices: Natural Treatments for Better Digestion

Here are the natural herbs and spices good for digestion, including some favourites you undoubtedly already possess in your kitchen cabinet, like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and peppermint. Other lesser-known but well-proven formulations support overall gastrointestinal health and wellness, such as psyllium, trikatu, and triphala.



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For a long time, cinnamon has been utilised for its numerous digestive properties. Even the Romans used cinnamon as medicine, mainly to aid the digestive system. 

Southern Indian native Ceylon cinnamon, generally known as "true cinnamon," has long been a long-time favourite in Ayurvedic medicine for soothing and supporting the digestive process. Compared to cassia cinnamon, another supermarket counterpart, Ceylon cinnamon, is considered of superior quality and more appropriate for regular use.

How to Use

To add a therapeutic medicinal flavour to tea, smoothies, lattes, or porridge, add Ceylon cinnamon. Alternatively, you can find vitamins online and in your neighbourhood health food store.


Amongst the best herbs to improve digestion is psyllium. Psyllium fibre is a fantastic way to quickly and easily increase daily fibre consumption. Fibre is believed to assist regularity, healthy excretion, and gastrointestinal health. 

Traditional Indian and Chinese medicine has historically used this plant extensively, a member of the plantain family. Psyllium is used in Ayurveda to detoxify and clear the big intestine. Furthermore, advanced medical research claims that psyllium may aid the intestine's ability to absorb fluids for assisted waste disposal.

How to Use 

Psyllium is available as a supplement and powder, which is simple to incorporate into smoothies, juice, porridge, baked products like pancakes and other baked goods.


Trikatu is an ancient concoction of three medicinal spices believed to improve gastric and digestive function. In Ayurveda, ginger, long pepper, and black pepper are used to energise Agni or the digestive fire. Long pepper has a balancing and purifying impact, while black pepper is known to enhance nutrient absorption and digestive function. 

Ginger is renowned for its protective immune response to the gastrointestinal system. Together, they aid the stomach and intestines in the breakdown of food for the body. The name trikatu, which refers to its potent flavour that moves and awakens the body, translates as "three pungent."

How to Use 

Trikatu is generally taken as a capsule, but it is also readily available in a powder form that can be dissolved with warm water and honey.



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Another well-known herbal mixture, one of the earliest in the book, is triphala. To strengthen the gastrointestinal tract and digestive system, it combines three fruits. Amla, bibhitaki, and haritaki are the fruits that are emphasised. 

Haritaki, which means "fearless of sickness," is known to assist healthy bowel movements and intestinal health; bibhitaki, which has a mild laxative effect; and amla, which is brimming with minerals that rejuvenate the human body. 

According to alternative and complementary medicine journals, the human gut flora is modulated by the polyphenols in Triphala. This well-balanced recipe is excellent for digestion and regularity, and colon detoxification.

How to Use

Triphala is a fruit powder that may be added to water, smoothies, and other beverages.

Bael Leaf 

Bael Leaf is the herb for you if you're looking for a mild herbal laxative that works and is safe for daily and long-term use as and when needed. This herb aids in loosening the stool, acting as a moderate laxative to help in consistency and healthy disposal while preventing occasional constipation. 

This is in contrast to senna, a herb often used to induce bowel movements but has several adverse health consequences, including abdominal pain, intense laxative activity, and addiction-forming potential. The preferred herbal medicine to increase gastrointestinal motility is the bael leaf.

How to Use

Bael Leaf supplements are the best and most convenient way to experience its health benefits, especially when paired with other medicinal herbs that assist digestion and nurture the gut, such as psyllium and garden cress.



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Over the past thousand years, turmeric has dominated the field of herbal medicinal therapy. Turmeric, which has a reputation as a "pharmacy in one herb," has long been an essential component of Indian Vedic cultural society. 

While it offers a wide range of positive health effects, its capacity to promote a healthy inflammatory response and its favourable impact on gastrointestinal health and function makes it so widely known. The potential of this golden root to promote digestion, respiratory function, liver and pancreas processes, joint health, and other activities has considerably impacted modern medicine.

How to Use

Turmeric has a striking yellow hue and is typically available in dry powder form to be used in curries. Additionally, the powder may be used in baked goods, lattes, and smoothies. For optimum absorption, natural herbal supplements work well for a therapeutic dose, particularly when paired with trikatu.



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Fennel seed, a native of the southern Mediterranean region, has been used throughout ancient, mediaeval, and modern times for both culinary and medicinal application purposes. Because they believed that it would make them stronger, Roman troops would consume fennel. 

Fennel has a longstanding history of using traditional Iranian and Ayurvedic medicine to help maintain a healthy digestive system. According to recent findings, phytochemicals, which aid in the breakdown of food so that it can be digested and absorbed, are most likely responsible for gastrointestinal benefits.

How to Use

Fennel seeds can be added to hot dishes or eaten as a supplement, crushed into hot water, or brewed into tea. A reasonably common habit in India and Italy is chewing whole seeds after meals to aid digestion and maintain fresh breath.



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Ginger is another widely used herb for stimulating the digestive system. The cure of sipping ginger ale to settle your stomach has a long history. For over a thousand years, ginger root has been used as a remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is also widely used in Japanese and Indian medicine. 

Shunthi churna uses have been found to have a protective effect on the gastrointestinal tract and a stimulating effect on the digestive system. For a generally energised and vibrant life, this encourages facilitating healthy excretion while calming and soothing the body.

How to Use

You can conveniently find shunthi churna in any grocery store. It can be used as a daily supplement capsule, brewed into tea, powdered into smoothies, juiced into concentrates, cooked into curries, or eaten raw when minced with honey.



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The use of licorice root dates back to ancient Assyrian, Egyptian, Chinese, and Indian cultures. Licorice root is a native of Eurasia. Licorice root, best known as a flavouring ingredient component, has also been used medicinally for various ailments. 

Licorice is a common dietary supplement utilised worldwide to assist digestion and calm the stomach. This is because licorice includes a substance known as glycyrrhizin, which helps maintain a healthy inflammatory response and keeps the stomach's acidity levels regulated for comfort and relief. Those grandmothers who kept licorice on their fingertips at all times were well-versed in digestive herbs and how to improve digestion naturally at home.

How to Use

Due to its similar licorice flavour, most of the licorice offered in stores contain anise oil. It is ideal to find pure licorice root in a tea, powder, or supplement for its vast therapeutic benefits.



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Rosemary is an aromatic herb which is quite famous in Italian cuisine. The leaves include therapeutic oils known to assist normal gastrointestinal function and a healthy inflammatory response. The Mediterranean region used this woody herb in traditional medicine. 

According to the academic journals of evidence-based complementary alternative medicine, rosemary's pharmacologically established medical benefits comprise anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cognitive support.

How to Use

Rosemary can be used in cooking, brewed into tea, blended into olive oil, and consumed as a herbal supplement.



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Native to Europe and the Middle East, peppermint has been used as a folk medicine for indigestion by the ancient Egyptians for a long time. Additionally, it was noted for its medicinal properties and benefits in the Bible, Roman philosophy, and Greek mythology. 

Even now, peppermint is used for all purposes relating to digestive support in eastern and western medicine. Studies indicate that the oils have calming effects that support gastrointestinal function. Peppermint is utilised in Ayurvedic medicine because of its capacity to assist in stimulating and detoxifying the human body.

How to Use

Use fresh or dried peppermint leaves in teas and dishes to improve digestion daily. Additionally, peppermint oil and leaves are available in soft gels and capsules for quick, convenient intake at various dosages.


The Andes Mountains' highlands are home to Muna, commonly known as Andean mint. Since prehistoric times, the Andean people have employed this Peruvian medicinal plant. It was primarily utilised as a carminative in Andean traditional medicine to relieve discomfort and support normal gastrointestinal function. 

The oils in the leaves are thought to assist in cleansing the entire body and relaxing the stomach. In Peru, muna is widely sipped as a tea to aid digestion, especially after a hefty meal. It is renowned for its vibrant minty flavour and is utilised in various traditional cuisines.

How to Use

Muna is most frequently brewed into tea and drunk to aid digestion. Additionally, it is available as a supplement or powder and can be used for mint in recipes.

For more than a thousand years, eating a balanced diet and using these natural herbal supplements have been seen as essential to digestive health. Your worries about how to improve the digestive system in Ayurvedic medicine can be overcome with all these potent natural herbs and spices that bring long-term health and conscious living.

Final Thoughts

You will probably experience greater regularity and comfort if you cook with digestive aids like turmeric and rosemary, make delectable medicinal smoothies with Ceylon cinnamon or psyllium, or brew a calming cup of peppermint tea and licorice.


Zandu Ayurvedic Team

Zandu Ayurvedic Team has a panel of over 10 BAMS (Ayurvedacharya), boasting a collective experience of over 50 years. With a deep-rooted understanding of Ayurveda, they are committed to sharing their expertise & knowledge through our blogs.
We use all kinds of Ayurvedic references in our content. Please use the contact form for any editorial queries.

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