Everyone has experienced gas-related bloating at one time or another. It’s a normal part of the digestive process — and even if it’s embarrassing, it’s usually only temporary. But why does this problem occur? And what are the best gas remedies that you can find at home?
Let’s explore this issue and find some real (and simple) solutions:
Why Gas-Related Bloating Occurs
There are a lot of symptoms that accompany bloating. These may include a swelling feeling in the abdomen, as well as burping, discomfort, and a rumbling in the stomach. Bloating occurs when your digestive tract doesn’t properly process carbohydrates — foods that are high in fiber can increase the risk.1 These include vegetables such as peas and beans, carbonated soft drinks, and fiber supplements.
Another common culprit that can lead to a bloated feeling is swallowing too much air. This usually happens when you’re eating or drinking, but it can also occur when you’re anxious. Air can enter the lower portion of the digestive tract and cause bloating.
If you have an intolerance to a certain type of food, such as a dairy product, then you might be more prone to the problem. Gluten, a type of protein found in many different grains, such as wheat, can also lead to a buildup of gas.
In some instances, though, an abundance of gas can be a sign of a serious health condition, such as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) or irritable bowel syndrome. If you experience bloating on a regular basis, you should see your doctor to pinpoint the exact cause..
Remedies to Help You Find Relief
Thankfully, you can probably find fast bloating relief from items that you might already have at home. If you don’t have them on hand, you should be able to find them at your nearest grocery store or health food store.
· Peppermint – Peppermint helps to relax your stomach muscles and improve the flow of bile, a substance your body uses to digest fats. Studies have shown that peppermint is effective in reducing diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and flatulence.2 You can eat peppermint, or even inhale extracts, and receive benefits, but a lot of people like making a peppermint tea.
· Anise – Anise is typically used to help enhance the flavor of food, but it can also aid in reducing spasms in your digestive tract, which can lead to bloating as well as cramping. It also works to eliminate gas.3 That is why many European after-dinner liqueurs — such as Italy’s sambuca or France’s absinthe — are made from anise. As with peppermint, you can easily make a soothing tea using just a teaspoon of ground anise and a cup of boiling water. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes and enjoy. Another option is black licorice lozenges.
· Chamomile – Chamomile is another herb known to help soothe the stomach. It not only relieves bloating and gas, it can also relieve symptoms associated with nausea, upset stomach, loss of appetite, and stomach cramps.4 Pour some hot water over a chamomile tea bag, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then add a little lemon juice or honey.
Other Remedies for Gas-Related Bloating
While peppermint, anise and chamomile are three of the most popular home remedies to combat gas-related bloating, there are several others that will work just as effectively. Here are just a few.
· Caraway – Caraway seeds have long been thought to help release gas that is trapped in the digestive tract. Get some from a health food store and chew a few seeds to find relief.
· Turmeric – Research shows that turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight bloating. In one particular study, nearly 90 percent of participants suffering from bloating used turmeric and reported that their symptoms had substantially subsided after a week.5
· Ginger – This is one of the most effective medicinal herbs, well known as a remedy for a variety of problems such as flatulence, abdominal discomfort and nausea. Patients suffering from dyspepsia (a feeling of bloating in the upper portion of the abdomen) participating in a study reported that using the spice helped relieve their symptoms. 6 Researchers believe this is because ginger stimulates emptying of the digestive tract, which can reduce bloating.
· Charcoal – No, we’re not suggesting that you grab a charcoal briquette and munch on it. Charcoal is available in supplement form, and can be a major help in preventing the formation of gas in the intestines.
· Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar contains enzymes that help improve the efficiency of the digestive system.7 If you’re suffering from bloating, take a teaspoon, dilute it in a glass of warm water, and drink it before your next meal. It will increase the amount of acid in your stomach, which will break down food faster and hopefully reduce the accumulation of gas.
· Cinnamon – Cinnamon is another spice that has long been known to provide medicinal benefits. It contains a lot of antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation and help alleviate bloating. Cinnamon also helps the body eliminate gas, which is another common source of abdominal pressure. 8
When to See a Doctor
Again, most of the time gas-related bloating is temporary and not a sign of any sort of serious medical problem. It can be uncomfortable and somewhat embarrassing, but it’s usually just a normal part of the digestive process.
However, there are times it can be an indication that something’s wrong. In some rare instances, gas-related bloating can be a sign of appendicitis. But this problem usually leads to other symptoms as well, such as stiffness and tenderness in the abdomen.
If you have persistent, severe bloating that results in a great deal of pain, you should see a doctor to find out what’s causing the issue. This is especially true if your bloating is accompanied by constipation, blood in your stool, vomiting, diarrhea, or unexpected weight loss.
Pass on Gas Issues
Otherwise, if you have a lot of gas, but there are no other symptoms — try out a few of these remedies. They can really help. Whether it’s a cup of peppermint tea after dinner or eating a daily dose of probiotic-rich plain yogurt, gas remedies are simple, affordable, and easy to implement in your daily life.
For more health tips, keep reading:
1. “Gas”. Cleveland Clinic. N.p., 2017. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.
2. “Peppermint”. University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., 2017. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.
3. “The Benefits Of Anise Herbs”. Healthyeating.sfgate.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 14 Apr. 2017.
4. Gupta,. “Chamomile: A Herbal Medicine Of The Past With A Bright Future (Review)”. N.p., 2017. Print.
5. Thavorn, Kednapa, Muhammad M Mamdani, and Sharon E Straus. “Efficacy Of Turmeric In The Treatment Of Digestive Disorders: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis Protocol”. N.p., 2017. Print.
6. Hu, Ming-Luen. “Effect Of Ginger On Gastric Motility And Symptoms Of Functional Dyspepsia”. N.p., 2017. Print.
7. “Tagteam :: Raw Apple Cider Vinegar- The Elixir Of Life. – Scienceq Publishing Group – Scienceq Publishing Group”. Tagteam.harvard.edu. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
8. Rao, Pasupuleti Visweswara, and Siew Hua Gan. “Cinnamon: A Multifaceted Medicinal Plant”. N.p., 2017. Print.