Isvaiyah has been a licensed pharmacist at Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia) for nine years. She earned her M.Sc. from the same university.
How to Relieve Bloating Fast
Many of us suffer from bloating on occasion. It can be very uncomfortable, so it is a good idea to consider the possible or potential causes and how you can get rid of the annoying condition.
What Causes Bloating?
- Bloating is often due to the build-up of intestinal gas. We all have bacteria in our intestines, which will always produce gas. Too much gas can lead to bloating and excessive flatulence.
- Overeating is the other main cause of bloating. Eat small meals regularly. Don’t be tempted to skip breakfast and lunch and then eat a huge meal in the evening.
- Fizzy drinks are another common cause of bloating. Excess gas ends up in the stomach.
- Swallowing too much air can cause bloating. Don’t talk and eat at the same time. Eat your food slowly, as wolfing it down encourages wind. Chewing gum a lot can also lead to you swallowing too much air.
- Bloating is sometimes due to constipation, in which case a laxative may help.
- Women can suffer from increased bloating during menopause.
- Food allergies or intolerances can lead to bloating. If you suspect a particular food is a problem, try eliminating it from your diet. Beans, onions, cabbages, dairy, and wheat products are likely culprits. Take out one suspect food at a time; see if your symptoms disappear.
- Various other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can also cause bloating. If you suspect you have IBS, consult a qualified physician to get the diagnosis confirmed and a treatment plan put in place.
What Should You Take for Gas and Bloating?
There are many effective natural remedies for bloating problems, so there is likely to be one that works for you. If symptoms persist, consult a qualified doctor since long-term bloating is occasionally a sign of a much more serious condition. The following table provides some useful natural home remedies for bloating.
Home Remedies for Bloating
Take after a meal.
Avoid use if you are taking any medication.
Chew some fennel seeds after a meal or if you feel bloated.
Avoid use if you are a pregnant woman.
Eat some finely grated ginger roots with a meal, or drink a cup of warm ginger tea after a meal.
Avoid eating ginger cookies or crystallized ginger.
Eat some aniseeds after a meal.
Avoid use if you have high blood pressure (hypertension).
Drink one or two cups of peppermint tea a day. Capsules are also commercially available.
Not recommended for those with acid reflux or heartburn.
Drink a cup of chamomile tea after a meal.
Avoid use if you are allergic to ragweed family.
Take some caraway seeds or drink a cup of caraway tea after a meal.
Avoid use if you are allergic to Apiaceae/Carrot and Compositae family.
1. Activated Charcoal
This has long been used as a remedy for bloating and gas. It’s a type of charcoal that contains many pores, so it has a very high surface area. Tablets or capsules can be readily purchased from a number of suppliers.
You can take it after a meal as directed on the packaging. Activated charcoal passes unchanged through the digestive system, but it can absorb various unwanted toxins on the way. It tends to reduce the smell of intestinal gas, so it’s worth taking a tablet before that long important meeting at work.
Charcoal should never be taken with other medications, since it may absorb some of the dose, thus making the other medication less effective.
2. Fennel Seeds
The seeds of common fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, are a popular traditional remedy for bloating and flatulence. Nicolas Culpeper, the 17th-century herbalist, wrote that fennel “is good to break wind.”
Chew some fennel seeds after a meal or whenever you feel bloated. Alternatively, take a cup of fennel tea (you can buy fennel tea bags at local herb shops). This herb has a strong aniseed taste, so not everybody likes it.
Fennel should not be grown in the United States since it’s classed as an invasive weed (its native home is Europe).
3. Ginger Root
The root of ginger (Zingiber officinale) works by calming the digestive system. The herb, according to a good article published in the Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. can also be used to relieve nausea.
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Eat some finely grated ginger roots with a meal, or take some ginger tea after eating. Lemon juice and ginger tea is a tasty blend that many people like. You can buy tea bags from a number of suppliers.
It is highly recommended to avoid eating ginger cookies or crystallized ginger regularly: they may help prevent bloating problems, but all the sugar in them doesn’t do you any good.
Anise (Pimpinella anisum) is another useful home remedy for bloating problems, with similar effects to fennel. It helps your digestive tract to relax and is useful in relieving trapped gas. You can eat some seeds after a meal or if you feel bloated.
Peppermint acts naturally to calm the digestive system. You can buy peppermint capsules or tea bags. Take the capsules as directed, or drink one or two cups of tea a day.
You can easily grow peppermint plants. They like a moist, fairly shady position and fertile soil. The plant spreads by underground runners, making it hard to confine it to one spot. Try growing in a deep container, or put boards underground to stop the runners. Peppermint dies down when hit by winter frosts but will grow up again in the spring. You can dry this herb so that you have some available all year round.
Don’t use peppermint if you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, since it can make these conditions worse.
The German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is normally taken in the form of tea, which is made from flowers.
Take a cup of chamomile tea after each meal. Chamomile is a soothing herb that relaxes the digestive system.
It is relatively easy enough to grow German chamomile yourself from seed. Sow the seed indoors, planting out the seedlings when the danger of frost is past. The plant likes a sunny situation. Harvest the flowers once they appear. They can be dried for later use. The plant is annual (grows for one year, then dies), so save some seeds for next year.
Never take any chamomile preparation if you are allergic to ragweed family.
You can use caraway (Carum carvi) to relieve bloating caused by gas. It relaxes the digestive tract and tends to relieve trapped wind.
Eat some caraway seeds when you feel bloated, or try some caraway crackers. You can also make tea from caraway seeds. Try adding honey or lemon to improve the flavor. Have a cup after each meal.
It is possible to grow caraway. Sow the seeds in spring in a sunny spot. The plant is a biennial, meaning that it will normally only produce flowers and seeds in its second year. It will die back during its first winter in colder districts, then grow up again the next spring. After flowering and producing seed, the plant dies completely.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2017 Isvaiyah