How to get rid of gas and bloating?
Gas. Flatulence. Bloating. Everyone gets it. Men and women produce nearly 4-5 pints of gas per day and most people are known to pass gas as many as 12 times per day! Abdominal gas can be embarrassing and, while it is completely natural, it can be problematic if it is produced in excess. The pain of passing gas is more social than physical.
In this guide, we will cover effective remedies to get rid of gas or bloating quickly and naturally without relying on conventional medicines.
What causes gas?
There are two main factors that produce gas in the intestine:
- The air that we swallow with food and beverages..
- The bacteria in the intestine that produce gas while the food is being digested.
Gas is a natural byproduct of the digestion process. Our GI tract (the gastro-intestinal tract) already consists of gases like oxygen and nitrogen which mix with pancreatic juices and bile to produce carbon dioxide. In some cases, people have difficulty digesting certain foods which are then passed to the large intestine where the bacteria try to ‘eat it’ resulting in excess gas as byproduct. Thus, our eating habits and genetic makeup can all affect the amount of gas we produce.
Ironically some of the healthiest foods are also known to be the most gas producing: eggs, broccoli, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, garlic and radishes are known to be some of the gassiest foods. If you are prone to gas, it is best that you minimize your intake of such foods.
Also, people who are lactose intolerant find it hard to digest dairy products which produce excess gas. This pressure builds up in the stomach and comes out of the body in the form of belching or smelly farts.
Here are some other reasons for flatulence:
Smoking invariably causes the smoker to swallow air which can cause bloating and flatulence.
Gassy foods and beverages
A list of gassy foods includes, as already stated above, broccoli, beans, certain vegetables, dairy products, eggs etc. Many foods rich in fiber are often hard to digest and can lead to gas. Carbonated beverages and alcoholic drinks like beer can also cause flatulence.
Improper eating habits
People who eat hurriedly, or do not take the time to chew their food can also suffer from gas. Also sipping liquids through straws can lead to excess gas. In babies who are bottle fed, colic is a common issue owing to the excess air that gets inside.
Stress and anxiety play an important role in your digestion. Excess stress increases certain hormones that could, in turn, impact the digestive processes and lead to bloating and flatulence. Stress also affects your eating habits.
Certain underlying health issues
Certain diseases, gastrointestinal infections, blockages in the GI tracts or lactose intolerance can all cause excess farting and belching. Many times, the drugs given to treat these issues can also cause gas. Irritable bowel syndrome is accompanied by gas. Celiac disease is another major cause of gas where the patient is unable to digest or absorb certain components of food such as gluten.
15 Effective Ways To Get Rid of Gas and Bloating Fast
Many conventional medicines are available for treating symptoms of gas and flatulence. However; if you have a chronic problem, taking medication can lead to side effects. On the contrary, home remedies are a lot safer and can put a stop to the ‘sputtering’. Here is how you can prevent gas:
1. Keep a food journal and eliminate certain foods
Note down the foods you eat each day. Observe if there is a trend. The day you feel bloated and gassy, what did you eat? Now try and reduce the intake of those foods. Does it make a difference in your symptoms? Eliminating foods you are allergic to can reduce gas and bloating without the need for conventional medicines that have side effects.
2. Use activated charcoal
Many people swear by this home remedy. Activated charcoal absorbs excess gas from the intestine and also detoxifies your body to prevent bloating and flatulence. Charcoal also traps the undigested food bits that turn to gas and eliminates them from the body.
3. Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds contain many gas eliminating compounds that can relieve gas, flatulence in adults and coli symptoms in babies. Chewing on fennel seeds after meals can get the digestive juices flowing which can reduce gases. In case of younger children, boil a few teaspoons of fennel seeds in water and give the strained liquid to the child to drink several times a day. Adults may chew on fennel seeds as is; they taste sweet and you could even enhance the taste by roasting them with some salt.
4. Use Beano® in cooking
Liquid enzymes like Beano® help eliminate gas causing compounds in foods like beans. So sprinkle some when cooking beans to prevent getting gassy after eating them. Beano® is readily available in drugstores.
There are many Yoga poses that help reduce gas in the stomach.
- Lie down on a mat and pull up your knees up to the chest. Hold both knees with each hand and lift your upper body so that your chin touches the knees. Now rock slowly from side to side and back and forth. Perform this exercise each morning to relieve gas and constipation.
You can also go for simple exercises like walking, cycling, running, swimming etc to reduce gassiness. Regular exercise can also reduce stress and anxiety to stop bloating.
6. Dandelion tea
This is one of the best natural remedies for bloating, gas and flatulence. It is particularly recommended to women who suffer from bloating during their periods or just before the menstrual period due to PMS. Sipping on dandelion tea three to four times a day can stimulate digestion and reduce gas. To make dandelion tea, boil the root or one teaspoon of dandelion herb powder to a cup of water. Let the mixture steep for a few minutes.
7. Other herbal teas for gas
Let us now study powerful herbal teas used by native Indians to curb farting and belching:
Herbal Gas Remedy#1
- 1 tsp dried angelica root
- 2 tsp peppermint leaves
- 1 tsp bee balm leaves
- 1 cup boiling water
Mix all the dried herbs in a container. Take one teaspoon of the mixture and put it in a cup. Pour boiling water from top. Steep for up to 30 minutes. Strain the mixture and drink when needed.
Herbal Gas Remedy#2
- 2 tsp chamomile flowers
- 2 tsp bee balm leaves
- 2 tsp peppermint leaves
- 1 cup boiling water
Mix the herbs. Take one teaspoon of the herb in a cup and add boiling water on top. Let the mixture steep for 20-30 minutes. Strain and drink as needed.
Herbal Gas Remedy #3
Drink tea made from verbena leaves twice daily to restart sluggish metabolism and reduce gas.
Herbal Gas Remedy #4
Drink tea made from parsley leaves which is one of the best herbs for digestion.
Herbal Gas Remedy #5
Brew tea made from the leaves of passion fruit and peach to instantly relieve gas and flatulence.
8. Drink plenty of water
Bloating, flatulence and gas are all signs of excess sodium and water retention in the body. Just keep sipping on water so that you dilute the sodium and prevent gassiness.
One of the most powerful and effective home remedies for gas and flatulence is Ginger. Ginger is anti-inflammatory which helps settle upset stomachs.
- Ginger candy can prevent gas and motion sickness while traveling. Ginger can abate nausea and stop vomiting.
- Ginger also contains many enzymes that aid digestion. You can increase the intake of ginger if you suffer from chronic gas problem. Add it to your soups, stews, teas and broths. Also mix up some ginger juice with lemon juice and take a teaspoon of this mixture to stimulate the digestive juices.
- To make ginger tea, boil some water and add grated ginger to it. Let it steep for a few minutes. Sweeten it with some honey and add a dash of lemon juice and drink this 2-3 times daily to get instant relief from gas and bloating. Y
- Mix ginger juice or dried ginger powder with asafetida and rock salt with a cup of warm water to instantly relieve gas.
- Make a digestion stimulating drink with dried ginger powder, green cardamom and pepper in a cup of warm water. Drink this before each meal to stimulate digestion and relieve gas.
10. Green tea
Green tea is a powerful home remedy to aid digestion, fight constipation and prevent gas and bloating. Add cayenne pepper to green tea and sip on it. You can also add lemon juice and honey to relieve constipation and restart sluggish metabolism.
Buttermilk is one of the best remedies for settling nausea, gas and flatulence. It is probiotic and can relieve hard stools and constipation. To a glass of buttermilk, add a teaspoon of dried ginger powder and crushed mint leaves. Drink this after each meal to prevent constipation, and stimulate digestive juices. This remedy is very effective for preventing gas after you have had a heavy meal.
12. Dill and honey
To get instant relief from gas, mix some dill oil with a teaspoon of honey and drink it after meals. This remedy can prevent pain caused by abdominal gas and flatulence.
13. Bishop’s weed or carom seeds and garlic
This is an Ayurvedic natural remedy to curb gas and flatulence. Bishop’s weed or carom seeds are readily available in Indian stores or Asian markets. These days you can even buy these seeds online or in health food stores. Crush the carom seeds with garlic and apply the poultice to the stomach to instantly relieve pain and flatulence. You can also drink a teaspoon of carom seeds mixed with a cup of hot water to relieve gas quickly.
Suck on some peppermint leaves after a meal; this is one of the oldest remedies for treating gas and flatulence. The menthol in peppermint leaves relaxes the abdominal muscles to stop pain and gas immediately. You can also mix peppermint oil and caraway oil in water and drink this tea to relieve gas.
15. Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds are readily available in health food stores. You can chew a couple of teaspoons of fenugreek seeds and wash them down with a glass of hot water. This remedy relieves pain caused by abdominal gas and also relieves bloating. It also builds up pressure so you can pass stools and relieve constipation.
Tips to prevent gas in babies and infants
In babies, gas problems arise because of under developed digestive system. Bottle fed babies are also more likely to develop gas as they invariably swallow air with the milk. Here are some remedies to prevent gas in babies:
- Burp the baby after each feed.
- Bicycle the baby’s legs to keep air circulating. The pressure will help release the gas and also enable the baby to pass stools. Talk to the baby in a soothing voice. Sing to the baby and smile when you do this.
- Massage the baby’s tummy with mustard oil. Daily massage with mustard oil will relax the baby and also enable the gas to come out. This remedy can also strengthen the baby’s muscles and bones and help it sleep better.
- Hot compress-Dip a soft clean cloth in hot water. Wring out the excess and apply it on the baby’s tummy area. This remedy can even be used by adults to get the excess gas moving and relieve pain and flatulence.
There are many health conditions which may not be serious but can be extremely embarrassing. Gas or flatulence is one of them. Stomach gases can also cause discomfort and passing it can embarrass you and those around you. Many drug store medicines are available to reduce gas and bloating, but they often come with side effects. Your best bet is to rely on natural home remedies to cure gas permanently. You must also learn to observe what you eat and avoid those foods that give rise to excess gas. Do ensure avoiding carbonated beverages, sodas and beers as well as foods like beans and broccoli to prevent these unpleasant effects from happening.