A simple cup of tea can be a natural remedy for digestive issues and good gut health. Some types of tea soothe an upset stomach, whereas others support good bowel health or healthy digestion. The key is to select the tea that gives you the best results to relieve your digestive ailments.
Best Teas For Digestion
You can buy dried or fresh herbs, tea bags, or loose leaf tea, depending on your preference. Also, consider trying tea blends and mixtures of different types of tea that work together to soothe particular digestion issues.
Below is a list of the best teas for digestion based on scientific evidence. These teas are in no particular order because the best tea for you will depend on your digestive symptoms.
21 Best Teas for Digestion
1. Ginger Root Tea
USE FOR: Acid reflux, gas, morning sickness, stomach cramps, nausea, anti-inflammatory properties
Arguably one of the best teas for digestion, ginger root is a popular treatment for digestive issues in Chinese traditional medicine, although too much can give you an upset stomach.
Inflammation of the digestive system is associated with acid reflux and other digestive ailments. In small doses, the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger root help relieve irritation caused by stomach acid (1).
Ginger root tea stimulates the production of digestive enzymes, which increases gastric contractions, speeding up digestive motility and bowel movements, which helps reduce gas and bloating (1, 2, 3).
Ginger root contains antioxidant polyphenols gingerol and shogaol, easing nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, abdominal pain, and stomach cramps (4).
2. Chamomile Tea
USE FOR: Irritable bowel syndrome, antacid, sore throat, stomach ulcers, acid reflux, upset stomach, colitis, stomach pain, anti-inflammatory properties
Drinking a cup of chamomile tea or two every day provides digestive relief for many gastrointestinal disorders.
Chamomile is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and helps treat digestive ailments, including acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, and cases of colitis.
Chamomile relaxes muscles and reduces stress, which helps soothe an upset stomach. When you’re stressed, muscles in your digestive tract spasm, causing diarrhea or constipation. Tensing your muscles is also a stress response, putting pressure on your stomach and causing bloating and gas. Recent research suggests chamomile can relieve these effects (5).
There is scientific evidence that chamomile is a good treatment for peptic ulcers and stomach pain as it is an effective treatment in animal studies, but human trials are needed (6). Chamomile extract reduces pepsin secretion (a stomach acid), helping stomach ulcers to heal, and is as effective as antacids.
3. Green Tea
USE FOR: Bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, good gut health, anti-inflammatory properties, stomach cramps, gastritis
Green tea is another true tea with a plethora of antioxidants that promote healthy digestion. The consumption of green tea can help with gastritis, H. pylori bacteria, abdominal pain, stomach cramps, and inflammation commonly associated with acid reflux and other digestive issues (7).
Green tea help boost metabolism and aids in weight loss which may indirectly help better digestion. Green tea may also help diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases (8).
You may be able to tolerate green tea if you have mild acid reflux symptoms. However, green tea contains some caffeine which increases stomach acid production and may worsen symptoms of acid reflux.
You can buy caffeine-free green tea; however, the health benefits won’t be as significant.
4. Licorice Root Tea
USE FOR: Protecting digestive tract lining, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, bloating, nausea, stomach pain, sore throat
Licorice root is a popular Chinese traditional medicine. It increases mucus production, protecting your gastrointestinal tract lining from acid reflux and allowing stomach ulcers to heal.
5. Black Tea
USE FOR: Good gut health, anti-inflammatory properties
Drinking black tea can help minimize digestive ailments. Tea polyphenols in black tea boost healthy bacteria needed for good gut health resulting in normal digestion and a healthy immune system.
Powerful antioxidants and other compounds in black tea decrease inflammation, reducing the risk of chronic conditions such as acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (11).
The caffeine content and tannins in black lea leaves may set off acid reflux; however, this is unlikely to happen if symptoms are mild.
Caffeine and tannins both increase stomach acid. And caffeine will also loosen your lower esophageal sphincter muscle, allowing stomach acid to reflux into your food pipe, giving you a nasty burning sensation in your chest.
Black tea has many other health benefits, including reducing blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure, and has a role in weight loss and cancer cell growth (12).
Decaffeinated black tea does not have the same potency of health benefits found in the caffeinated version.
6. Peppermint Tea
USE FOR: Stomach pain, bloating, gas, upset stomach, sore throat
Menthol and menthone are found in peppermint oil, within peppermint tea leaves and have anti-inflammatory properties to relax muscles in your digestive tract, relieving bloating and gas. The analgesic effects of peppermint oil also reduce stomach pain (13). An added benefit of peppermint tea is it’s good for treating a sore throat.
Peppermint tea is not suitable for acid reflux sufferers as it loosens your lower esophageal sphincter, making it more likely that stomach acid will reflux back up into your esophagus.
7. Marshmallow Root Tea
USE FOR: Protecting digestive tract lining, constipation, acid reflux, ulcers
Marshmallow root contains mucilage, a sap-like substance that protects the digestive tract by coating its lining, preventing pain or burning associated with acid reflux and ulcers (14). It has anti-inflammatory properties and has the potential to treat digestive ailments such as constipation and heartburn.
8. Dandelion Tea
USE FOR: Stomach cramps, anti-inflammatory properties, digestion, good gut bacteria, constipation, stomach pain
Yes, dandelion tea is made from those weeds in your lawn that won’t go away. The whole plant is edible and can be eaten cooked or raw. The root of the dandelion contains fiber that supports good gut health (15).
Dandelion tea is a traditional herbal medicine used for digestion issues. Drinking this digestive tea speeds up the movement of food through your digestive system, easing constipation (16).
Compounds in dandelion tea have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce abdominal pain and stomach cramps. And has a wide range of other benefits, including antioxidants, which may help weight loss, improve liver health, lower cholesterol, and manage blood glucose levels.
9. Oolong Tea
USE FOR: Anti-inflammatory properties, stomach cramps, abdominal pain, good gut health
Oolongtea’ss antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help combat H. pylori bacteria and inflammation in your digestive tract, commonly associated with acid reflux.
Oolong tea has antioxidants, protecting against heart disease, breast cancer, and alcoholic liver disease. It also aids in weight loss.
10. Pu-erh Tea
USE FOR: Good gut health, colon cancer, anti-inflammatory properties, stomach pain
Pu-erh tea has been used for centuries in Chinese traditional medicine to promote healthy digestion. As a fermented tea, it aids the growth of beneficial bacteria for good gut health, reducing inflammation in your digestive system and easing abdominal pain.
Pu-erh tea also regulates blood sugar levels, weight loss, and suppression of hunger (17).
Compounds in pu-erh tea also kill oral, breast, and colon cancer cells in test tubes, although more research is needed to conclusively prove the links (18, 19, 20). Pu-erh tea also improves cholesterol and may help treat fatty liver disease.
11. Slippery Elm Tea
USE FOR: Protects digestive tract lining, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, anti-inflammatory properties, diarrhea, sore throat
Slippery Elm tea protects your gastrointestinal tract lining to create a strong barrier against digestive acids. It also contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions such as IBS, cases of colitis, and Chrone’s disease. Slippery elm tea can treat a sore throat, cough, and diarrhea.
12. Cinnamon Tea
USE FOR: Ulcers, gastritis, stomach pain, stomach cramps, nausea, gas, diarrhea
Cinnamon water extract and essential oil have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon helps treat Helicobacter pylori bacteria which causes ulcers, gastritis, and stomach pain (21). It also treats sore throats, indigestion, stomach cramps, gastrointestinal tract spasms, nausea, gas, and diarrhea (22).
In moderation, drinking cinnamon tea gives you the best results, as too much may cause acid reflux.
13. Chai Tea
USE FOR: Good gut health, anti-inflammatory properties, stomach pain
Chai tea is made from black tea and spices that support healthy digestion. Drinking black tea promotes good gut health, and spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, and cloves all have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing stomach pain.
Although the amounts of spices in a single cup of chai tea are too small to provide much help, it’s thought that the combination of spices and their health benefits compound over time, so it’s worth drinking a cup of chai tea daily.
Some of the ingredients in chai tea may trigger acid reflux in some people, but there are changes you can make to the recipe if you want to try this delicious tea.
14. Lavender Tea
USE FOR: Anti-inflammatory properties, bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps
Lavender is well known for its calming effects, which can indirectly help relieve digestive ailments. Stress has a significant impact on your digestive system. Stress makes you tense your muscles causing bloating and gas. If you are stressed, the muscles in your digestive tract may spasm, which results in diarrhea or constipation.
Lavendertea’ss anti-inflammatory properties can reduce stomach pain. And the smell of lavender stimulates bile production, which helps digestive processes by breaking down food.
15. Hibiscus Tea
USE FOR: Stomach cramps, gas, diarrhea, constipation, sore throat
Scientific evidence from test tube studies shows hibiscus extract inhibits E. coli bacteria that cause stomach cramps, gas, and diarrhea (19). In large amounts, hibiscus tea is a mild laxative. Hibiscus tea is a well-known treatment for lowering blood pressure and may aid weight loss, reduce cholesterol, soothe coughs and sore throats, and fight cancer and liver disease (23).
16. Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil Tea)
USE FOR: Acid reflux, protects stomach lining, anti-inflammatory properties
Tulsi tea reduces the production of stomach acid and creates a mucosal barrier to protect your digestive system from digestive juices.
Holy basil also has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Tulsi tea helps reduce stress which can worsen acid reflux symptoms.
Holy basil is not the same as sweet basil that you might use in cooking.
17. Turmeric Tea
USE FOR: Acid reflux, abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, sore throat
If consumed regularly over a long time, turmeric can improve your overall health and protect the lining of your digestive tract from digestive juices that cause acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Turmeric’s health benefits mainly come from its active ingredient, curcumin, a polyphenol antioxidant with potent antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-cancer properties. Also, recent research found that curcumin was an effective treatment for gastrointestinal tract disorders, including H. pylori, Barrett’s esophagus, and reflux esophagitis (24).
In addition, curcumin can repair damage to the mucosal lining of intestinal walls caused by long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that include common over-the-counter medications used for pain relief and blood thinners.
18. Gentian Tea
USE FOR: stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, acid reflux, anti-inflammatory properties
Gentian root tea is a traditional medicine with anti-inflammatory properties and aids digestion problems such as stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, and heartburn. It is also used for fever and prevents muscle spasms (25).
19. Lemon Balm Tea
USE FOR: Bloating, gas
Lemon balm tea is traditionally used for treating mild digestive ailments like bloating and gas (26). It also aids sleep and calms anxiety.
20. Lemon Tea
USE FOR: Acid reflux, good gut health (if it contains black tea)
Some lemon tea recipes include black tea and honey, whereas others are strictly lemon and hot water.
Lemon juice is acidic, so you would think it wouldn’t be good for acid reflux. However, that’s not true.
The acidic part of lemon juice is ascorbic acid or Vitamin C. When exposed to heat, Vitamin C starts to degrade (27). When making a cup of lemon tea, the temperature of the water and how long it takes you to drink it will impact how much vitamin C is destroyed, and hence its acidity (28).
Black tea contains caffeine and tannins, which aggravates acid reflux symptoms; however, you can probably drink black tea without digestive problems if your symptoms are mild. Black tea also promotes gut health.
Honey, particularly manuka honey, is a great way to add a little sweetness and has antibacterial properties that soothe a sore throat and improve digestion.
21. Senna Tea
USE FOR: Constipation, bloating
Senna tea is made from the senna plant and is a traditional medicine known for its laxative effects, stimulating intestinal movement and relieving constipation and bloating (29).
FAQS About The Best Teas For Digestion
How does drinking tea support healthy digestion?
Drinking tea keeps you hydrated, which lessens your chances of constipation and helps with regular bowel movements. Different teas also help aid digestion in unique ways depending on the compounds in the tea. For best results, drink a tea that helps relieve the symptoms of your particular digestive issues.
What is true tea?
True teas are the types of tea made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. They are black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, and the lesser-known purple tea. Different harvesting and processing techniques give each type unique characteristics and health benefits.
What are tea polyphenols?
True teas are rich in tea polyphenols, plant chemicals that give teas their distinct flavor and aroma, and health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties, anti-cancer properties, and regulation of fat metabolism. Each tea contains a unique mix of tea polyphenols.
Summary: Best Tea For Digestion
Many teas could claim to be the best tea for digestion; however, the best tea for you is one that relieves your digestive ailments and doesn’t aggravate your symptoms. For most types of tea, moderation is key to preventing unwanted side effects. If your digestive issues don’t improve, please seek medical advice.