Abdominal bloating or intestinal gas is one of our most common complaints. It is a condition in which the stomach feels tight or full because of the trapped gas in the intestines. This can lead to discomfort and makes the stomach appear swollen. In some cases, bloating may be accompanied by other symptoms like lower back pain, cramps, diarrhea, belching and shortness of breath.
Causes of Bloating or Trapped Gas
There are many factors that lead to bloating. The first cause is the buildup of gas in the intestine. Other causes include overeating, premenstrual syndrome, constipation, smoking, menopause, peptic ulcers, anorexia, indigestion, and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Swallowing air when drinking, eating, sipping drinks using a straw or chewing gum can result to bloating. Flatulence can also occur from poor fitting dentures.
- Carbohydrates produce more gas. Eating foods rich in carbohydrates can result to bloating.
- Dairy products contain lactose, and if not digested properly, it result to trapped gas in the digestive tract.
- Foods that contain high levels of soluble fiber are harder to digest and lead to bloating, such as oats, beans and peas.
Here are some simple ways to alleviate this problem.
1. Drink Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is excellent for easing gas pains while calming churning stomachs. It contains antispasmodic properties that can smooth the track of digestive system. In addition, it can also calm the nerves and ease the stomach pain caused by stress and nervousness. You can reap all the benefits of peppermint tea if you prepare it properly. Letting the tea bag sit in the water for a few minutes is not enough. Here is the proper way to prepare your tea.
- Put peppermint tea bag in a cup of boiling water.
- Cover it with a plate or saucer.
- Let it sit for at least ten minutes before you take the tea bag out.
- Then, squeeze out the remaining liquid inside the bag to get all the healing and soothing properties of your peppermint tea.
Alternatively, you can chew few leaves of peppermint to alleviate the symptoms of bloating.
Ginger is a popular and most used herb for treating different types of health problems. This herb can also get rid of trapped gas or bloating. Ginger contains active ingredients that can alleviate the inflammation in the intestines while relaxing the muscles. To use ginger as your natural remedy:
- Put 5 thin slices of finger in a cup of boiling water. Cover it with a saucer or plate. Let it sit for at least ten minutes. You can also add lemon juice or honey and drink this healthy remedy 3 times a day.
- You can also eat 1 teaspoon of grated ginger before meals to reap its benefits. You can also sprinkle grated ginger on your foot if you do not like the taste of ginger alone.
3. Fennel Seeds
One of the best remedy for digestive problems like trapped gas is fennel seeds. It contains anti-microbial, diuretic, pain-reducing and carminative properties that can relieve bloating while relaxing the muscles of the digestive system.
- After eating heavy meals, you can chew few pieces of fennel seeds.
- Alternatively, you can add 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in 1 cup of hot water. Let it steep for at least 5 minutes and strain it. Drink this tea 2 times a day to get rid of trapped gas.
4. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is also an excellent natural remedy to alleviate bloating. It contains anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that can sooth your stomach. This tea is also helpful for treating heartburn. To prepare your chamomile tea:
- Put a chamomile tea bag in a cup of boiling water.
- Cover the cup with a plate or saucer. Let it steep for at least ten minutes.
- Squeeze the tea bag to get all its nutrients. You can also add honey or lemon juice for additional health benefits.
- Drink this tea two times a day between meals to get rid of trapped gas.
Another way to alleviate bloating is by eating pumpkin. It contains high amount of potassium, vitamin A, and fiber that aids your digestion. Since bloating or trapped gas is caused by improper digestion, eating foods that are rich in fiber, such as pumpkin, can help you digest better.
Simply include 1 cup of pumpkin in your meal to improve the process of your digestion and get rid of excess gas. There are many delicious recipes for pumpkin, but you can also simply steam or broil it.
6. Lemon Water
Drinking lemon water is good for your health in many ways, such as getting rid of bloating or trapped gas. In addition, it helps in flushing harmful toxins while improving your digestion process. Lemons are packed with vitamins B and C, magnesium, phosphorus, proteins, calcium and carbohydrates.
- Cut 3 slices of lemon and squeeze its juice into your warm water. Stir it well, and drink.
- If there is no fresh lemon available, you can also use 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and adjust the amount of water that you include. Stir it properly, and drink.
It is also recommended by many experts to drink this mixture in the morning, when your stomach is still empty. Lemon water can help you digest your meals faster. The acidic properties in lemons increase the production of hydrochloric acid, which breaks down the food efficiently. 10 – 15 minutes before you eat, have a glass of warm lemon water.
Banana is a good source of fiber, which can help you digest foods faster while getting rid of trapped gas or bloating. Aside from fiber, bananas are also rich in potassium, a mineral that aids in proper regulation of the bodily fluids and provides relief from intestinal gas.
Eat banana regularly to get rid of bloating. You can include it in fruit salads, desserts, or just have one as a snack.
8. Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds have antimicrobial, carminative and anti-spasmodic properties. The carvene and carvol, 2 chemicals in caraway, have soothing properties that can calm the muscles of your digestive tract. This is also effective in getting rid of trapped gas and provides relief immediately from bloating.
- Consume a pinch of caraway seeds whenever you feel bloated. This will give you relief right away. You can also brew the seeds to prepare a tea.
- Alternatively, you can eat caraway crackers if the taste of caraway seeds is strong for you.
9. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal has helped a lot of people with intestinal gas or bloating. Its porous and internal spaces are excellent for trapping chemicals, which is the reason why activated charcoals are used for treating drug overdoses. Aside from that, it is also used for eliminating excess gas from bacteria in the intestines.
Activated charcoal is available in capsule, powder, or tablet form. You should seek medical advice to determine the right dosage for you. Make sure that you also read the recommended dosage on the back of the package.
Anise has anti-spasmodic that can soothe the muscles of your digestive tract. It also contains carminative properties that aids in reducing bloating by getting rid of the trapped gas inside your intestines. The best way to get all the benefits is by consuming anise tea.
Warning: Giving anise tea to infants can result to rapid eye movement, seizures, restlessness and vomiting. Pregnant or nursing women should not drink this tea.
Other natural remedies to get rid of trapped gas
- Parsley – This is an excellent spice that you can add in your meal to alleviate bloating.
- Apple cider vinegar – In a glass of warm water, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Drink the solution to alleviate the pain caused by bloating. Alternatively, you can use normal vinegar if there is no apple cider available.
- Cardamom – This is a spice that can speed up the process of digestion. You can add this when cooking vegetable or rice.
- Cinnamon – One of the essential ingredients for making delicious food and pastries, cinnamon is also used for medicinal purposes. Simply add 1 teaspoon if cinnamon power in a glass of warm milk.
- Buttermilk – Fresh buttermilk is one of the great remedies for treating indigestion. Aside from healing gastric issues, it also helps in keeping your body in good shape.
- Black pepper – It is believed that black pepper can heal indigestion. Like lemon water, it also increases the level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
- Potato juice – Simply grind some potatoes and squeeze its juice. Drink the potato juice before eating to help your digestion process.
- Fasting – Fasting can also be a remedy to allow your stomach to rest. It helps in eliminating toxic agents that cause irritation or gas.
If you have gastric problems, here are some preventive measures that you can follow:
- Regular exercises to avoid bloating.
- Avoid spicy food, aerated drinks.
- Do not use straw when drinking.
- Chew your food properly and eat only light and healthy meals.
- Drink plenty of water.