Every family has at least a few simple remedies that can help in managing everyday problems, from hangnails to heartburn. Which ones did you learn while you were growing up? One reader learned to make a drink similar to ginger ale and to use it for digestive upset.
Making Ginger Ale at Home:
Q. Decades ago, my father quite often made a glass of “ginger ale” after supper. It consisted of powdered ginger and baking soda mixed in a glass of water. I’m afraid I don’t know the proportions. It was to help with indigestion.
This drink would fizz up and he would ask us kids “Do you want the top or the bottom?” The top would tickle your nose because of the fizz. The bottom settled down and tasted pretty good. This was back before everyone kept soda pop in the house.
Ginger Ale for Heartburn:
A. Baking soda and ginger both have a long history as treatments for heartburn. The original formula Alka-Seltzer contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). This is responsible for the fizz that is characteristic of Alka-Seltzer.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years in China and India. It helps calm motion sickness, nausea and indigestion (Ling et al, American Journal of Chinese Medicine, online Aug. 4, 2015).
Your father’s homemade “ginger ale” would still be an effective remedy to calm an upset stomach. You’ll find other simple home remedies in our Guide to Digestive Disorders.