"What's the definition of bravery?
A man with diarrhea chancing a fart!"
Yes, the production of gas is a natural part of digestion, but passing gas is nonetheless quite embarrassing, especially at a bad time (if there is ever a good time to pass gas). What’s more, problematic gas is no laughing matter. Don’t you think it’s time to stop being brave? Here, then, are seven home remedies for gas that’ll help make these embarrassing situations a thing of the past.
Causes of Gas
Excess gas in the stomach can be caused by a number of things, such as drinking too much, not chewing food well enough, too much stress, a bacterial infection, eating spicy and gas-forming food and, in some rare cases, a digestive disorder.
One of the most common causes of gas is lactose intolerance, the inability to break down lactose. Lactose intolerance is very common in the adult population of Asia and Africa as well as Native Americans and people of Mediterranean ancestry. Almost 30 million American people over 20 are lactose intolerant according to data of the Mayo Clinic.
Albeit not a serious condition, its gas-forming propensity may be quite unpleasant.
Lactose is commonly found in milk, cheese and other dairy products. When your small intestine stops producing enough lactase to digest and break down the lactose, you become lactose intolerant. The undigested lactose moves on to its next stop, the large intestine. The bacteria in the large intestine interact with it, causing gas, bloating and sometimes diarrhea.
Another common cause of gas is indigestion. This can happen to anyone, and does. Poor eating habits or digestive disorders can trigger indigestion, which then causes gas, stomach pain or bloating. You may also experience nausea or heartburn.
Some other typical symptoms of indigestion:
- Not being able to finish a meal because you are suddenly and inexplicably full
- A burning sensation in the stomach or esophagus
- A gnawing feeling in the stomach
Do not ignore severe symptoms of indigestion like vomiting or diarrhea.
The last most common cause of gas is irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS). Also known as irritable colon and spastic colitis, IBS will manifest itself in cramping, bloating and abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation. The severity of the symptoms varies depending on the individual.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of stomach gas include flatulence, bad breath, stomach pain, appetite loss, belching, bloating and a coating on the tongue.
And now, on to our list of simple, natural remedies!
1. Cinnamon – Healthy and Delicious!
Cinnamon powder is obtained from the bark of tropical, evergreen trees. It is harvested by peeling off the inside of the bark. Of the two main types of cinnamon, Ceylon and Cassia, the latter is far more common. Ceylon grows mainly in Sri Lanka and rarely reaches the international market.
There’s no way you haven’t heard of cinnamon! People often sprinkle it on rolls, toast and sweets. It is not only delicious – it will calm your stomach and prevent further formation of gas.
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
- A cup of milk
- Honey to taste
Warm up the milk and add the one-half teaspoon of cinnamon, stir well and drink. Add honey if you want. You can also make tea by adding some cinnamon powder to water and bringing to a boil. Wait a few minutes before drinking it. You can drink this twice a day for a few months or until the symptoms subside.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar – It Also Lowers Blood Pressure
Apple cider vinegar can also help treat gas. This remedy will calm the stomach, ensuring instant relief. Vinegar has been used for cooking and household purposes for ages - if you can’t get apple cider vinegar, regular vinegar will work just as well.
- Two teaspoons of apple cider / regular vinegar
- One glass of water
Add the vinegar to a glass of warm water, let it cool to room temperature and drink. Do this once a day in the morning.
Note: Apple cider vinegar also aids weight loss, reduces blood sugar levels and improves symptoms of diabetes.
3. Ginger – A Host of Amazing Health Benefits
Ginger is an efficient indigestion treatment and provides quick gas relief. This remedy also includes fennel and cardamom.
- Equal parts of ground ginger, fennel, and cardamom
- A cup of water
- A pinch of hing
- Mix the ingredients thoroughly, add a tablespoon of the mixture to a cup of water and then add the hing. You can drink this up to three times a day.
- You can also chew ginger after meals, drink ginger tea or add small amounts of dried or fresh ginger to your meals to prevent gas from forming.
- Another option is rubbing ginger essential oil on your stomach.
We recommend the recipe with fennel and cardamom for fastest relief. Fennel seeds are actually a remedy in themselves – just add a few fennel seeds to two cups of hot water and let it simmer for a few minutes, strain and drink. You can also mix fennel and mint leaves, boil in water, strain and drink the solution.
Cardamom is a great spice that can speed up digestion and provide gas relief. Apart from the recipe above, you can add roasted cardamom powder to your meals or make cardamom tea.
Do not consume ginger if you have calcium oxalate kidney stones.
4. Buttermilk – You’ll Forget Coke
If you’re suffering from gas, try replacing the regular coke or soda with a glass of buttermilk. It’s made with watered-down curd and calms the stomach. As you drink it, it neutralizes spices and soothes your irritated stomach lining.
You can add spices like pepper to it to improve the taste.
Buttermilk is especially good when combined with black salt and carom seeds. It’ll do wonders for (against) your flatulence.
- A teaspoon of carom seeds
- A teaspoon of black salt
- A cup of buttermilk
Mix the carom seeds and black salt in a cup of buttermilk. You may replace carom seeds with celery seeds. Drink the solution once a day.
5. Baking Soda and Lemon – Tried and True
Baking soda is a great natural remedy for gas because it reacts with the stomach acids to produce carbon dioxide, which leads to elimination of excess gas from the stomach. As indigestion is one of the most common causes of gas, baking soda is definitely worth trying because it makes food easier to digest by breaking down the fat, thus helping relive indigestion.
Baking soda functions as an antacid. Antacids help relieve gas by neutralizing stomach acid and reducing bloating caused by acid reflux.
Baking soda works well with lemon for a double gas relief effect. The acidity of lemon facilitates a compensatory response of the body where the pH increases, going from more acidic (low) to more alkaline (high). When dissolved with water, baking soda also increases the body’s pH.
Click here for more information about the health benefits of lemon juice!
- The juice of one fresh lemon
- Two pinches of baking soda
- One glass of water
Add a pinch of baking soda to the juice of one fresh lemon. It will start to fizz. Now add the water and another pinch of baking soda and stir until the baking soda is fully dissolved. Drink this slowly, preferably on an empty stomach, several times a week.
You can dissolve some baking soda in water and drink it on empty stomach if you need immediate relief from stomach gas.
Do not drink on an empty stomach if you have serious stomach problems like an ulcer.
6. Garlic (Not Before a Date)
Garlic has a host of medicinal properties. It also has a very low calorie content. Its health benefits are derived from its amazing nutrients, such as fiber, manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, selenium, copper, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus among others.
We recommend having garlic soup to improve digestion and reduce gas. It will work best with fresh garlic, not garlic powder sold in a package in the supermarket (duh).
The strong heating quality of garlic offers gas relief by stimulating “gastric fire”.
Here is a great home remedy:
- Fresh garlic
- Black pepper
- Cumin seeds
Grind the cloves and boil them in water for a few minutes, adding some cumin seeds and a little bit of black pepper. Strain the solution and let it cool to room temperature. Drink this a few times a day – it will start working very soon.
Note: Please observe the recommendation in the subheading. Smelling of garlic or passing gas on a date is forgivable, but both at the same time, on one and the same date – not likely to be.
7. Peppermint and Honey – A Delight to the Senses
Peppermint and honey can help relieve stomach gas in all kinds of ways. You can eat raw honey and chew peppermint leaves - this home treatment for gas with peppermint and honey, which has a myriad of other health benefits, is actually quite well-known. They are truly quite effective when combined.
Here is another idea:
- Fresh peppermint leaves
- Honey to taste
Make tea by adding the leaves to a cup of boiling water. Wait several minutes, strain, add honey and drink two or three times a day.
Note: You can also put two drops of peppermint oil in a glass of cold water and drink it three times a day.
How to Prevent Gas
As we know, the best of all medicinal treatments is prevention, and gas is no exception to the rule.
How can we prevent it from forming to begin with?
Start by finding the source. As far as gas is concerned, you first need to determine where the gas is being made, whether in the large or small intestine.
If it is produced in the large intestine, it is accompanied by flatulence, meaning your diet is most likely to blame. If it is produced in the small intestine, on the other hand, you will experience intense abdominal discomfort. This means gas is trapped there because of overgrowth of some kind of bacteria.
In the latter case, we suggest eliminating sugars from your diet, reducing soluble fiber intake and not taking any pre-biotic supplements. This will replenish the good bacteria and “starve” bad ones.
How to Help Both the Large and the Small Intestine
You can do this by adding beneficial bacteria and enhancing enzymatic power. There is a lot of good bacteria in fermented foods, so you might want to include some of these (or more) in your diet. These bacteria will stimulate the activity of key digestive enzymes.
A specific type of these, called brush border enzymes, are most active at night. Brush border enzymes are responsible for breaking complex molecules down to entities that can be processed. Some examples of these enzymes are peptidases, lactase, maltase and sucrase-isomaltase.
Given their “nocturnal” character, I suggest drinking a glass of buttermilk (see “Treatments” list above) or taking some kind of supplement before bed.
I really hope you found my list of natural remedies useful and interesting to read. While usually not indicative of a serious condition, gas can be problematic, especially if you experience it often. If you are struggling with gas, rest assured that it can be cured – all you need to do is try one or more of the natural remedies described in this article.
Please tell us what you think in the comments and share this article so you can help other people out there who also suffer from the pain and embarrassment that chronic gas brings!