Stomach bloating describes what happens when too much gas fills up a person’s gastrointestinal tract. This process often causes the tummy to feel stretched and is usually accompanied by painful abdominal cramps. General advice says to cut out gassy culprits, but for some, the symptoms may stubbornly persist. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies which may do the trick – here are three such remedies.
Peppermint is available as a tea or in mint or capsule to relieve bloating and gas.
According to medical website LiveStrong: “Peppermint has a calming effect on the intestines, which allows gas to be passed more easily.”
Peppermint also eases gas and bloating by helping the body absorb gas that has accumulated in the intestines and colon, noted the health body.
Evidence supports this claim.
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that plant compounds called flavonoids found in peppermint may inhibit the activity of mast cells.
These are immune system cells that are abundant in your gut and sometimes contribute to bloating.
According to Dr Oz, taking 200 milligrams of magnesium daily could help to fight fluid retention and expel gas.
As he explained: “This crucial mineral eases constipation by relaxing the muscles in the intestinal walls.”
Other rich sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, whole grains and fish (such as halibut).
According to Holland and Barrett, bathing in Epsom salts may also soothe the swelling.
“Your body can absorb the magnesium in the salts through your skin,” it said.
If bloating symptoms are related to insufficient production of bile, which is needed to break down dietary fats before they can be absorbed, artichoke tablets may do the trick.
According to Dr Brewer, medical director of Healthspan: “Artichoke tablets stimulate bile production and can quickly relieve bloating.”
Artichoke is also helpful when bloating and indigestion are due to overly spicy food or drinking alcohol, she noted.
According to the NHS, a simple self-help tip to reduce bloating is to reduce air intake.
People can do this by:
- Not talking and eating at the same time
- Sitting down to eat (sitting upright and not slumped over)
- Reducing the amount of fizzy drinks they consume
- Stop chewing gum and chew with their mouth closed so that they’re not taking in excess air
If the bloating is a result of constipation, people should take steps to prevent it by adding more fibre to their diet, drinking lots of fluids and exercising regularly, said the NHS.
“Even a 20 to 30 minute brisk walk four times a week can improve your bowel function,” it added.
De-stressing may also soothe bloating. Find out how stress impacts bloating here.