Nobody likes the feeling of a bloated stomach! Unfortunately, most people, especially women experiencing severe PMS, are familiar with the unpleasant feeling of having a bloated belly. It feels like you have a balloon in your stomach that’s weighing you down, making you feel heavy, and not sexy at all! Bloating doesn’t help with the romantic part of your life either.
What Causes Gas and Bloating?
Intestinal gas is made up of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. The composition varies depending on the type of intestinal gas. Gas is caused by various factors, the most common of which are eating behaviors and the bacterial fermentation of certain foods.
Our colons are filled with bacteria, yeasts and fungi, which break down the foods not digested by the small intestine, mostly different forms of carbohydrates. These bacteria particularly enjoy undigested carbohydrates and the fermentation leads to gas production, hydrogen and methane which are expelled as flatulence.
Stomach gas can also be caused by gulping in air when you eat. So, if the excess air doesn’t come up as a burp, it will come out the other end.
Stress can also cause gas (as well as green poop) because it can interfere with how the digestive system works. There are nerves up and down the gastrointestinal tract and people who have a tendency to be nervous can develop gas. When dietary changes aren’t effective, other treatments, such as relaxation therapy, may help.
Gas and bloating can also be caused by certain food intolerances. For example, some people may be intolerant to wheat or lactose, so eating any products that contain these could result in bloating and stomach pain.
A good way to relieve gas and bloating is of course, to encourage passing gas and a bowel movement. But if you are not in a position to do this, then try some simple home remedies.
There are many wonderful home remedies to treat gas and bloating. These remedies will help you feel better in general because these can also help alleviate indigestion and other digestive problems. Here are some of the best natural remedies for gas and bloating
1. Fennel Seeds
Fennel is a digestive tract savior. The seeds have a compound that relaxes GI spasms, which allows gas to pass and relieve bloating. You can find fennel and fennel seeds in breads, sausages, and other meat dishes. You can enjoy sipping on a fennel tea at the end of a meal. They have carmative, diuretic, pain-reducing and anti-microbial properties.
Chew on a few fennel seeds after eating a big meal. Add one teaspoon of fennel seeds to 1 cup of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Have this tea two or three times a day.
Mint is a very easy herb to grow in a garden as well as providing a valuable addition to our health. Peppermint is a great option for settling your stomach because it contains the active ingredients menthol and menthone, which have antispasmodic and digestive properties.
Peppermint also stimulates the secretion of gastric juices and bile to help expel gas, making it a perfect method to beat the bloat fast. One study in the British Medical Journal even found that peppermint oil was more effective in treating bloating than both antispasmodic medications and a fiber-rich diet. Next time you’re feeling bloated, try a cup of peppermint tea.
Ginger is a carmative which means it relieves the pressure of bloating by helping gas pass through the digestive system. It contains gingerols and shogaols, act as pain relievers which soothe and relax the intestinal muscles. It restricts the bad bacteria production in the colon.
Peel and slice a piece of fresh ginger root. In a cup, mix the slices with lemon juice and honey. Pour some hot water into it. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
Consume ginger tea 3 times in a day for effective results.
Alternatively: You can add 5-6 drops of ginger essential oil in 3-4 tablespoons of any carrier oil such as coconut oil. Massage this mixture on the stomach. Or you can chew on a piece of raw ginger and let the juices go to work in your stomach to soothe gas pain.
You can also get a relief from gas and abdominal cramps by using turmeric. This can work especially well for gas if you combine it with ginger.
Turmeric contains curcumin which is an anti-inflammatory. It can also be an effective remedy for treating dyspepsia (indigestion).
To make an herbal tea from turmeric and ginger to cure gas problems, you should take 1 teaspoon of fresh grated turmeric root and 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger root. Put in a cup of boiling water, cover and let it infuse for 10 minutes. Add a little raw honey once the infusion has cooled down and a slice of lemon. Then add a teaspoon of coconut oil or a pinch of black pepper as this helps your body absorb the turmeric.
5. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has many health benefits and can also help to provide relief from gas and bloating. Chamomile has many anti-inflammatory properties and can help calm both the mind and the stomach.
To use chamomile to relieve gas you can make an infusion of chamomile tea, using 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile in a cup of water (if you use fresh herbs, triple the amount to three teaspoons). Put the herb mixture in a cup of boiling water, cover and let it infuse for 10 minutes. Strain and drink one cup 3 times a day to help relieve a gassy stomach and prevent bloating.
6. Caraway Seeds
Caraway has anti-spasmodic effects as well as antimicrobial and carminative properties. Two chemicals present in caraway seeds, carvol and carvene, help soothe the smooth muscle tissues of the digestive tract and promote expulsion of gas to give you instant relief from stomach bloating.
If you suffer from frequent bloating, chew a pinch of caraway seeds several times throughout the day. If the taste of raw caraway seeds is too strong for you, try some caraway crackers. Alternatively, you can brew crushed caraway seeds to make a tea.
Other Things You Can Do
Certain yoga positions can also help relieve bloating. An easy exercise to try if you suffer from gas and bloating is to lie on your back and extend both legs out in front of you. Bend one leg at the knee and hug it to your chest while keeping the other leg on the floor. Then switch legs and alternate at least five times on each side till you feel some relief.
Fizzy drinks especially the ‘diet’ varieties with artificial sweetener can play havoc with a sensitive digestive system and lead to excessive gas, flatulence and bloating. Try and substitute carbonated drinks with fresh juices, iced teas or best of all – water.
Gulping your food down and not chewing food properly can lead to air being swallowed while you eat and subsequently bloating. If your mealtimes last less than twenty minutes, experts say that you are eating too fast and need to slow down. Slowing down you’re eating also allows you to enjoy your food better and ultimately eat less resulting in a healthy weight loss.
Heavy meals, full of fatty, starchy and sugary foods can overload the digestive system and take a long time to be broken down in the stomach. This causes distension of the stomach, possible stomach cramps, gas, and bloating. It is better to eat several smaller meals over the day than three large meals that render you immobile.
Foods such as cabbages, melons, radishes, and onions can cause a build up of gas in the stomach and lead to bloating. In case it is not possible to altogether avoid such foods, try eating small portions and introduce them into your diet slowly. Chewing gum constantly can also cause extra air to collect in the stomach and should be avoided as well.
This list is long and might seem overwhelming but some things work better for different people. Try a few of these natural remedies for gas and bloating, then listen to your body’s feedback. Soon you will be able to find a few anti-bloating tricks that work for your unique body.
Let me know if any of these work for you and what other effective tips have worked for you in the past.