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Bloating refers to the sensation of a larger abdomen, but this does not imply that the abdomen is distended. The entrapment of gas in the intestines is the most common cause of a bloated stomach.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Gas and Bloating Naturally
Here are few home remedies to get relief from gas and bloating.
1. Ginger helps the body expel intestinal gas
Ginger is recognized as a medicinal herb with multiple therapeutic virtues, including the ability to relieve excessive gas and bloating.
Ginger mainly targets the stomach, and its beneficial effects can be enhanced by consuming it with artichoke, which also acts on the small bowel. These two ingredients are present in the commercially available digestive product called Prodigest.
How to use: Add ginger to various dishes as a flavor enhancer. Alternatively, chew on a few slices of ginger, or steep them in hot water to make ginger tea and consume it.
Note: The gastroprotective properties of ginger need to be substantiated by more studies. Moreover, further clinical trials are needed to address the correct dosage and preparation.
The pungent compounds gingerol and shogaol in ginger stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes, enabling smoother and easier digestion with lesser gas production.
2. Probiotics balance the gut flora
Digestive trouble arises when the balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria is disturbed, such that one type of bacteria overpowers the others.
Probiotics are essentially live cultures of friendly bacteria that are similar to the “good bacteria” found in the human gut. Hence, they can help restore the normal microbial equilibrium in the intestine and thereby improve its function. (3)
How to use: Several foods contain a heavy dose of probiotics that can be added to your daily diet to restore well-balanced gut flora. You can take probiotic supplements, but preferably after consulting your doctor.
Probiotics help balance out the gut microflora, thus aiding in digestion and, consequentially, preventing indigestion and bloating.
3. Turmeric improves digestion
Curcumin-containing turmeric is recognized as an effective digestive aid as it alleviates a number of gastrointestinal problems, both functional and organic, including irritable bowel syndrome, when consumed in appropriate dosage. (5)(6)
How to use: An easy way to derive the maximum digestive benefits from turmeric is to mix it in almond/coconut milk with a dash of cinnamon and honey and consume this health tonic, which is referred to as “golden milk.”
Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to release bile, and it may work as a detoxifying agent. Thus, by facilitating the smooth functioning of the digestive system, turmeric can help prevent indigestion, bloating, and gas.
4. Cumin seeds relieve gas
Cumin is considered to be a wholesome digestive aid that can stimulate a lax digestive system.
The carminative properties of cumin find special use in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders such as chronic flatulence, bloating, and other symptoms of IBS. (7)
How to use: This cheap and readily available spice can be used in a variety of culinary preparations, making it easier for you to include it in your daily diet.
Cumin exhibits gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that can help provide digestive relief from increased flatulence, bloating, and other gas-related problems.
ALSO READ: How to Use Cumin Safely for Better Health
5. Peppermint eases IBS pain
Peppermint might prove especially helpful for people with IBS who suffer from abdominal cramps and bloating. Peppermint contains menthol oil, which can help relax the intestinal muscles and prevent them from spasming.
How to use: Inhaling the fumes of this herbal oil can induce a calming effect on the gastrointestinal tract, which can improve its motility and function. (8)
Note: The antispasmodic effect of peppermint can be used to reduce the severity and frequency of IBS symptoms, but it is to be used only as an adjunctive therapy and not as a replacement for the standard treatment.
6. Fennel seeds aid digestion
How to use: Fennel seeds can either be chewed on or consumed by mixing them in hot water and steeping for 1–15 minutes to make fennel tea.
ALSO READ: The Health Benefits of Fennel Seeds
7. Gentian promotes enzyme production
Gentian is a herb that helps stimulate the production of saliva, stomach acid, and digestive enzymes, thus enabling better digestion. (10)
How to use: It is recommended to consume gentian tea made by boiling 1–2 grams of dried gentian root in a cup of water for 10 minutes.
8. Chamomile tea helps relieve indigestion
Chamomile has been popularly used for the treatment of abdominal problems such as constipation, indigestion, bloating, and gas. (11)
How to use: Make chamomile tea by mixing 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile in a cup of hot water and consume it for relief.
9. Clove oil reduces bloating
Clove oil may help reduce bloating and gas by producing digestive enzymes. (12)
How to use: Dilute around 5 drops of clove oil in a glass of water and drink this mixture post-meals.
10. Carom seeds reduce gas
Ajwain (carom seed) water is a great natural remedy to curb gas. The seeds contain essential oils that stimulate the salivary glands, which helps in the better digestion of food and prevents the formation of excess gas. (13)
How to use: Add 1 teaspoon of carrom seeds to a cup of water and allow it to soak overnight. Strain the tea and consume it in the morning.
11. Asafoetida prevents gas formation
Heeng (asafoetida) acts as an antiflatulent that prevents the growth of the gut bacteria that may be producing excess gas in your stomach. (14)
How to use: Mix ½ teaspoon of heeng in a glass of warm water and consume.
12. Apple cider vinegar helps curb gas
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help stimulate the production of digestive enzymes and stomach acid. It also aids in alleviating gas problems.
How to use: Dilute ACV by mixing one tablespoon in a glass of water. Drink this mixture before meals. Make sure to rinse your mouth with water after consuming the drink, as prolonged exposure to the acidity of ACV can erode the tooth enamel.
Note: There is no scientific evidence of using ACV for gas. However, it is giving benefits to a lot of people in alleviating the symptoms of gas and bloating.
13. Lemon and baking soda ease digestion
Baking soda contains flavonoids that aid digestion by neutralizing the excess stomach acid. However, it is important to use it in moderation, as excessive baking soda can render the stomach acids ineffective.
How to use: Mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of lime juice in a cup of water and consume.
Note: This remedy is not scientifically proven but has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of gas.
Self-Care for Gas and Bloating
You can easily manage unwelcome, uncomfortable, and inconvenient flatulent tendencies by tweaking your problematic lifestyle and eating habits that may be contributing to everyday gas buildup.
1. Implement changes in your diet and eating habits
You have to keep a personal record of the foods that trigger increased burping, flatulence, and bloating and then cut them out of your diet.
- As a general rule of thumb, people who are prone to excessive bloating and flatulence are advised to limit their intake of the following gas-producing foods:
- Foods that are rich in fat, carbs, sugar, and salt
- Carbonated beverages
- Vegetables such as beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and onions
- Legumes such as peas, peanuts, and soybean
- Whole-wheat or bran products
- It may be wise to limit your consumption of foods that are heavy on sulfur-containing compounds to mitigate the intensity of foul-smelling flatulence.
- Not getting enough water daily can pave the way for constipation. The inability to empty your bowels may not contribute to increased gas formation, but it blocks the movement of gas through a choked-up intestinal passage.
- Do not rush through your meals. Instead, savor them slowly and calmly. Chewing your food well helps take the strain off your digestive system.
- Opt for smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day instead of the regular three-large-meals-a-day routine.
- Do not eat too close to your bedtime as your body needs to remain active and upright to process the ingested food properly.
2. Exercise regularly
Lightweight exercises, along with a bit of cardio, can help speed up your metabolism, stretch out your digestive system, and facilitate proper digestion.
Some yoga exercises can also help alleviate excessive bloating, flatulence, and other digestive discomforts.
3. Take over-the-counter gas and bloating remedies
These are remedies that may reduce gas and bloating:
- Taking an activated charcoal capsule may help relieve increased bloating and flatulence by absorbing the excessive intestinal gas.
- Lactase supplements and antifoaming agents contain digestive enzymes that help break down and absorb the complex carbohydrates found in gas-producing foods. These include Beano and simethicone (Gas-X)
- If your bloating is stemming from constipation, consider taking a laxative such as MiraLAX, which can loosen your hardened stools and make them easier to pass.
- You can also take supplements that help to break down hard-to-digest carbohydrates present in gas-producing foods such as beans.
Note: It is recommended to consult your doctor before using any remedy.
4. Reduce air swallowing
The air that you swallow while eating, mouth breathing, or talking also adds to the gas buildup in the digestive system, causing repeated belching. This condition is known as aerophagia.
Adopt the following measures to reduce the amount of air you swallow:
- Avoid chewing gums and hard candies as you gulp down air with every swallow of saliva.
- Eat slowly and chew your food properly instead of gulping it down.
- If you wear dentures, check with your dentist to ensure they are perfectly aligned with your teeth. Loose dentures can trap a lot of air.
- Avoid smoking as you tend to take in large amounts of air through the mouth while smoking.
- If you are prone to gas problems, avoid drinking through straws.
- Gulping down a drink can also make you swallow increased amounts of air, which is why you must always take small sips.
Most-Asked Questions About Gas and Bloating
What causes bloating on the keto diet?
People following a ketogenic diet often complain of gas retention and a stuffy stomach. This is because the keto diet includes eating a lot of vegetables, of which many are loaded with FODMAPs that are difficult to digest.
FODMAPs stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are a group of carbohydrates notorious for giving belly bloats and flatulence.
Does quitting smoking cause bloating?
Quitting smoking can leave you with a bloated stomach and constipation. Nicotine stimulates intestinal transit and aids bowel movements, and habitual smokers often develop nicotine dependency.
A distended abdomen can be a withdrawal symptom of quitting smoking, which can take a month or two to subside. In the meantime, increase your fluid intake and eat a fiber-rich diet to encourage better digestion.
Can gas and bloating be a symptom of ovarian cancer?
In some cases, bloating along with gas pain, pelvic pressure, diarrhea, constipation, and so on can be symptomatic of ovarian cancer. If these symptoms persist, seek medical help.
Can gas and bloating cause headaches?
It is possible that excessive gastrointestinal gas makes its way to your head and cause headaches.
Headaches provoked by abdominal bloating are mainly bought on by leguminous foods, such as beans, which are difficult to digest and are known to produce excessive gas that has nowhere to go.
If your headache is set off by flatulence, it will automatically subside when the stomach bloating comes down. (15)
The treatment or prevention for bloating depends on its underlying cause. Generally, a fiber-rich diet and proper intake of water, along with regular exercise, can help relieve bloating.
However, if the bloating is caused by chronic constipation, these methods will not work, and it becomes vital to consult a doctor.