Healthy home remedies to fight flatulence

Everyone has it. But passing gas in public can be embarrassing, and if you have excessive gas, you may well feel bloated and uncomfortable. Here's how to cope.

Healthy home remedies to fight flatulence

Less-than-stellar nutrition, a lack of exercise and stress can all leave you with an unpleasant feeling of abdominal pressure. If it's any consolation, Hippocrates (the father of medicine) proclaimed that passing gas "is necessary to well-being."

Ancient Roman emperor Claudius also declared that "Roman citizens shall be allowed to pass gas whenever necessary." But even the ancients sometimes turned to nature to help their intestines bounce back and eliminate gas. A distressed intestine needs soothing.

Home remedies

When your stomach is distended, it's wise to cut back on eating and try one of the following natural ways to reduce gas with medicinal plants or heat applied to your abdomen.

  • Mix together 15 grams (1/2 ounce) each of caraway seed, fennel and anise. Pour about 250 millilitres (one cup) of boiling water over 10 millilitres (two teaspoons) of the mixture. Let the tea steep for 10 minutes, strain and drink unsweetened.
  • Finely grind caraway seed and coriander and take two millilitres (1/2 teaspoon) with a little water before every meal.
  • Use licorice root to help with bloating: dissolve 20 grams (2/3 ounce) of licorice (from a health food store) in about 250 millilitres (one cup) of chamomile tea. Drink 250 millilitres (one cup) per day.
  • Let heat soothe discomfort. Heat a cherry-pit or spelt cushion to about 40°C (105°F) in the oven or microwave and place it on your tummy.

Nutrition

It is no suprise that diet and eating habits play a big part in digestion. Here are some tips to help you navigate it.

  • Season your food with spices that aid digestion, such as caraway seeds, anise, marjoram and ginger — they can can reduce flatulence and bloating.
  • Eat slowly and chew thoroughly — you'll swallow less air and reduce gas.
  • Want to play it safe? Avoid gassy foods such as beans and carbonated drinks.
  • Cook legumes, leeks and cabbage thoroughly — the vegetables will be easier to digest.
  • If you suffer from food sensitivities or conditions such as lactose intolerance, be aware that it could trigger a gas attack. Avoid the foods in question.
  • Avoid candies and gum sweetened with sorbitol, xylitol or mannitol. They are difficult to digest.
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