If you’re often plagued by digestive issues like constipation or upset stomach, you may be relying too heavily on laxatives and other OTC medicines to find relief.
But have you ever tried using tea for digestion?
A simple cup of tea has been used across centuries and cultures as the ultimate natural way to aid digestion and improve your gut health.
Certain teas support regular bowel movements, while others support a healthy immune system to help your body eliminate gunk that could upset your tummy.
A daily cup of these teas may be just as essential to your wellness routine as your daily probiotic. And they could be your best option for natural relief of your most troublesome digestive symptoms.
We’ll show you how that’s possible by diving into the best teas for digestion — and the research supporting them — in this guide.
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s answer this question first:
How Does Drinking Tea Support Digestion?
There are two significant ways drinking tea supports better digestive functioning.
First, drinking tea keeps your body hydrated. A well-hydrated body lessens the chances of constipation and helps your system maintain regularity.
As the water from the tea passes through your system, it bulks up your stools while also keeping them soft . This helps your body pass stools through your digestive system with ease.
Second, specific teas contribute to better digestive health in their own unique ways due to what they’re made of.
Tea leaves boast a plethora of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other herbal compounds to help your digestive enzymes work smarter.
Tea polyphenols act as prebiotics, which feed the healthy bacteria living in your digestive tract. With the right balance, good gut health could lead to improved digestion, better weight management, and immune support.
But these two types of tea aren’t the only ones to show potential health benefits for better digestive health.
The Top 7 Best Teas for Digestion
When it comes to improving digestive health, these seven teas have the most research behind them:
1. Ginger Tea
You’re probably not surprised to see ginger tea on our list of the best teas for digestion.
As mentioned in our guide on ginger tea benefits, this powerful root may be helpful for soothing upset stomachs, indigestion, bloating, and gas.
Some of those benefits are because ginger root stimulates the muscles in your intestines, which improves digestive motility. This encourages your body to break down food and move it through your digestive tract.
2. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is another herbal tea that may support a healthy digestive system.
Studies in humans show that peppermint oil, which is found in peppermint tea leaves, has analgesic effects. This can combat pain in the gastrointestinal tract . It may also help support good bowel health .
Peppermint tea was also useful for decreasing gas, diarrhea, and stomach pain in IBS patients .
3. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea may provide soothing relief in times of need.
Since chamomile is a relaxant, it may be able to help calm tense muscles in the digestive tract and help you feel more at ease .
4. Cinnamon Tea
Similar to chamomile tea, cinnamon offers anti-inflammatory benefits that may help with stomach cramps and intestinal spasms. It fights indigestion, nausea, gas, and diarrhea .
Cinnamon tea doesn’t usually contain caffeine. So you can try chai tea if you need a caffeine boost. This black tea carries spices such as ginger (#1 on this list), cardamom, cloves, coriander, and cinnamon.
5. Black Tea
Research on black tea suggests it may help you get closer to reaching your weight loss goals. Not only do studies show black tea supports optimal digestion, it also has incredible weight management perks too.
Researchers say it may help prevent fat and complex sugar digestion and absorption, which naturally lowers calorie intake .
Black tea may also help with metabolizing fat and decreasing fat accumulation .
These incredible health benefits are possible thanks to the high amount of theaflavins — a type of antioxidant polyphenol — found in black tea. Theaflavins are prebiotic compounds that may help support regularity as well.
6. Green Teas
If black tea is good for digestive health, does that mean green tea is too? Yes!
Experts in one study learned that drinking four cups of green tea per day helped promote a healthy weight in their participants .
You probably already have green tea and black tea in your lineup. But what about oolong?
Oolong tea is partially oxidized, so it’s part black and part green tea. Add an oolong tea to your rotation and score the best of both worlds.
7. Pu’er Teas
As we mentioned in our pu’er tea guide, this fermented tea has been used for thousands of years by Chinese herbalists to “warm the stomach” and support digestion.
Pu’er tea (also called pu-erh tea) does this by helping your gut maintain a healthy balance of bacteria and digestive enzymes.
Tea vs. Coffee: Is There a Clear Winner for Digestive Health?
Many people consider coffee their go-to when it comes to keeping their bowels on a tight and regular schedule.
But, as we discussed in this guide comparing tea vs. coffee, the latter may be too acidic for some people to handle and can lead to digestive upsets and discomfort. Coffee can also make heartburn and acid reflux worse.
On the other hand, the seven teas on this list may help support gut health without any of the tummy-troubling downsides. They all boast health benefits that help your body in unique ways.
Plus, coffee is dehydrating, whereas tea can hydrate your body. Dehydration is the last thing you need if you struggle with constipation.
Additionally, pregnant women experiencing morning sickness or nausea can sip multiple cups of caffeine-free herbal tea for relief. The same cannot be said about coffee.
In our opinion, there’s a clear winner here. Tea provides excellent health benefits like coffee but with much fewer side effects.
Historical Uses of Tea Supporting Digestion
People all over the globe have been harnessing the power of natural tea leaves for better digestion for centuries.
Traditional Iranian medicine used green tea to combat gastrointestinal disorders .
In both China and Egypt, cinnamon tea was commonly called upon to combat inflammation and nausea.
Chamomile and peppermint tea also have their roots in traditional medicine.
And traditional Chinese herbalists have been sharing the legendary pu’er tea for better gut health for hundreds of years.
Use this Tea Schedule to Maximize Digestive Benefits
Try incorporating a few of these teas throughout your day to maximize digestive support. Here’s a sample schedule you can work with:
- Start your day with 1-2 cups of black or pu’er tea, which contain caffeine.
- Transition to 1-2 cups of green tea post-lunch to help stimulate digestion.
- Wind down your day with 1-2 cups of caffeine-free herbal tea in the evening, such as peppermint, chamomile, or ginger.
This tea schedule gives you digestive support around the clock without much effort.
Final Thoughts on Teas for Digestion
Now you know the best teas for digestion, and why coffee probably shouldn’t be your go-to when it comes to improving regularity.
By drinking 3-4 cups of these teas for digestion each day, you may be able to improve your gut health, support healthy weight management, and boost your immune system.
And that should all make your tummy smile.
So which tea will you try first today? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!