Herbal Remedies for Flatulence

The term “flatulence” refers to the passage of excess intestinal gas through the rectum. Flatulence, one of our bodies’ most embarrassing and socially unacceptable functions, is caused by incomplete digestion. Intestinal gas (which is made up of hydrogen, carbon dioxide and sometimes methane) is created when partially digested or undigested food begins to break down in the digestive tract. Excess intestinal gas may be created when you eat too much, eat at the wrong times, or eat foods that contain substances which are difficult to digest. Some foods that commonly cause excess gas include beans and lentils, milk and other dairy products, and certain particularly fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.

Flatulence is a normal part of the digestive process, and most people experience between eight and 20 episodes a day. For others, however, excessive intestinal gas and flatulence can become a chronic problem, creating social and professional challenges as well as significant physical discomfort. In some cases, very frequent flatulence may be indicative of a digestive disorder. Some disorders that may cause excess flatulence include celiac disease, food allergy or intolerance, GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease), irritable bowel syndrome or peptic ulcer. If  you find that you’re regularly experiencing excess gas, or that your gas is associated with vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, unintentional weight loss, blood in the stool or heartburn, it’s important to see your doctor right away.

Fortunately, in most cases, flatulence is more embarrassing than it is painful, and episodes are usually relatively mild and temporary. Most of the time, excess flatulence can be treated with simple plant-based remedies. Here are a few of the most common and effective herbal treatments for flatulence.

Peppermint is commonly recommended to help treat and prevent flatulence. Peppermint contains menthol, an ingredient often used to aid digestion. Many herbalists and homeopaths recommend chewing peppermint leaves after each meal to help reduce gas problems.

Garlic and ginger can also benefit digestion and help to eliminate excess flatulence. The juice of a clove of garlic can be combined with ginger in lukewarm water and consumed after meals to ward off excess gas.

Because flatulence commonly occurs with constipation, tamarind may also be helpful. Tamarind is usually given as a tea with sugar.

Turmeric is another powerful weapon against flatulence. Turmeric aids in digestion and reduces the production of excess intestinal gas, eliminating the potential for excessive flatulence. Turmeric is sometimes taken in powder form with water. It may also be eaten raw alongside meals to promote the proper breakdown of food.

Bishop’s weed is also sometimes recommended to eliminate flatulence. The seeds can be combined with lemon juice to create a paste that provides immediate relief from excess gas.

For individuals who commonly complain of flatulence problems, an infusion of cinnamon in water can be taken about half an hour after each meal as a preventive measure. In children who suffer from painful intestinal gas and flatulence, dill oil can be very effective. Because dill oil is very mild, it does not cause side effects and can be used in even very young children.




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