10 Natural Remedies for Gas
Intestinal gas is an embarrassing and annoying situation that many people experience on a regular basis. Gas and bloating are, perhaps, one of the main health concerns that human beings living in the Western world complain of.
Estimates show we expel gas at least 14 times a day. That adds up to almost 4 pints of air! But, while these statistics may be the “norm,” it is certainly not a healthy balance. What can we do about all this excess air? Below is a list of a few of my favorite remedies for gas and bloating.
1. Organic Ginger
Drinking ginger tea and eating fresh ginger root are two of the best remedies for gas. Add small amounts of ginger (dried or fresh) to your food, as desired. You can also take a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger before meals for gas relief.
2. Organic Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds help ease gas, indigestion and cramping, all while stimulating proper digestion. Try adding more of this spice to your meals, particularly if they are the foods that are known to cause gas.
3. Organic Garlic
This hot bulb is a great home remedy for gas because you probably have a small jar of this spice in your kitchen right now. However, for best results, using fresh garlic is recommended.
4. Organic Dandelion Tea
A common weed, dandelion has numerous health benefits, one of which is relieving gas. Drink as a tea or add it dried as a spice to your meals.
5. Organic Parsley
Adding more fresh parsley to your diet is another great remedy for gas. Either freshly minced or as a dried spice, add parsley to foods that may contribute to intestinal gas to help prevent the problem.
6. Activated Charcoal
Charcoal has an intense absorption capacity. You can try taking a charcoal supplement before eating, this can help relieve gas and bloating before it starts.
7. Perform a Colon Cleanse
Performing a colon cleanse is a great first step at improving your overall colon health, which in turn may provide gas relief. I recommend performing a 6-day colon cleanse, and then continue taking an oxygen colon cleanser 2-3x weekly, to help aid the body in ridding itself of toxins and gas.
8. Consider a Harmful Organism Cleanse
A large portion of the world’s population has some sort of harmful organism living inside their body. Taking an herbal supplement, such as Paratrex®, will help aid the body in getting rid of these gas-causing invaders.
9. Take a Probiotic Supplement
Taking a probiotic supplement or eating foods with probiotics in them is a great way to get rid of the most common symptoms of gas. In fact, probiotics have many health benefits. Consuming more beneficial bacteria supports healthy colon function.
10. Incorporate Proper Eating Habits Into Your Life
Avoid foods that are known to cause gas and indigestion. This includes fried foods, processed foods and other processed forms of sugar. You may also want to explore your sensitivities to the common foods that cause gas, including wheat products, milk, and high-fat foods. Other foods that can lead to gas include beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, apples, corn, oats, potatoes, most dairy products, pears, prunes, peaches and ice cream.
6 Causes of Flatulence
Just as everyone goes to the bathroom, everyone also passes gas; it’s simply a biological reality. Your body is able to absorb a limited amount of the gas it ingests or produces. The rest has to come out somewhere. Even though flatulence is normal, its presence can cause anxiety and panic- both for the person releasing the gas, and those who may be in the vicinity. For this reason, reducing flatulence is of interest to many people, especially if they feel like their body is producing an excessive amount. However, it’s difficult to remedy a situation without understanding what’s causing it, so let’s take a look at six common causes of flatulence.
1. Intestinal Bacteria
Most of the flatulence your body produces is due to intestinal bacteria, which create methane, and other gases, as a byproduct of digestion. Imbalances between unhealthy bacteria and healthy probiotic colonies can influence how much intestinal gas a person may produce. Persons with healthier intestinal colonies typically experience less flatulence; persons with unhealthy imbalances experience more. This is one reason why experts encourage the maintenance of healthy intestinal flora by taking a probiotic supplement. According to the Department of Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, flatulence and bloating tend to improve when intestinal flora is balanced.
2. Low-Digestible Carbohydrates
You may have seen candy or snacks that are advertised as “having a low impact on blood sugar” but contains 15 grams of “sugar alcohols” on the nutritional label. Sugar alcohols are an example of low-digestible carbohydrates (LDCs). LDCs are carbohydrates that may be added for flavoring purposes but are not absorbed by the small intestine and don’t provide much nutritional effect. This may be desirable for persons hoping to manage their blood sugar or caloric intake. However, even though digestive enzymes do not break down these carbohydrates, they’re not exactly a freebie. The University of Minnesota Department of Food Science and Nutrition warns that LDCs may produce diarrhea and flatulence. One sugar alcohol specifically, Sorbitol, has even been implicated as the source of phenomena dubbed, “Halloween Diarrhea.”
There have been a lot of surgical advances made over the years and some procedures can be performed in very minimally invasive ways. Some cannot, and even routine surgery can result in anatomical reconstruction. Some patients who have had surgery for gastro esophageal reflux have reported experiencing increased bloating and flatulence afterward.
Also known as the musical fruit, many people believe eating legumes will cause intestinal gas or flatulence due to high fiber content. Researchers at the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Arizona State University evaluated the outcomes of several studies that examined the link between beans and flatulence. Although it was deduced that increased fiber intake can produce intestinal gas, they were also quick to mention that concerns about excessive flatulence from eating beans have been slightly exaggerated.
5. Intestinal Disorders
Intestinal disorders are common and produce a range of problems. IBD is a source of constant discomfort for many people. Some estimate that up to 85% of persons with Crohn’s disease suffer from malnutrition. Lactose intolerance, which is widespread among otherwise healthy persons, can also cause diarrhea and bloat. According to the Department of Gastroenterology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London, flatulence is a symptom shared by many intestinal disorders.
6. Harmful Organisms
Like intestinal disorders, harmful organisms disrupt the body and disturb the digestive system. Researchers at the Department of Tropical Medicine at Egypt’s Ahmed Maher Teaching Hospital evaluated stool samples from patients suffering from diarrhea and flatulence and found that harmful organisms infected over 60% of those evaluated.
3 Ways to Reduce and Neutralize Flatulence
Have you ever heard of a rectal catheter? It’s exactly what you imagine it to be. Did you know that several years ago, researchers at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield England used rectal catheters to measure and evaluate the flatulence released by ten volunteers? (I appreciate the thrill of discovery but I’m not sure I’d want to be a technician for that program.) Over a 24-hour period of observation, several facts about flatulence were determined.
- Women and men produce relatively equal amounts of gas
- More gas is produced after meals
- On average, people produce around 700ml of gas per day
- Reducing fiber intake can reduce gas production
A flatulence fact not recorded in the study is that not every time is a good time to be flatulent. Certain social situations and environments are appropriate, others are not appropriate. Some people, however, are more flatulent than others and regularly experience, or inflict, the misery, horror, and distress associated with excessive flatulence. If this a problem that affects you, you will be happy to discover that methods do exist that can help you neutralize flatulence.
1. Take a Probiotic Supplement
There are a lot of advertising dollars being spent right now to stress (sell) the importance of maintaining healthy intestinal flora. Healthy probiotic colonies in the gut encourage and support healthy digestion. Unhealthy bacterial overgrowth hinders digestion and increases flatulence. This is especially true for persons with intestinal disorders like IBS or Crohn’s disease. If you believe or have been told that you’re too flatulent, try incorporating more probiotic foods into your diet and add a solid probiotic supplement to your nutritional regime.
Due to the recent surge in interest, the probiotic market is currently saturated with products of varying quality. Be sure to read reviews and look for a product from a trusted company with a stellar reputation. I recommend Floratrex™, a superior blend of 23 probiotic species that work to optimize digestion and intestinal function. The basic formula includes 25 billion colony-forming units (CFUs), or you can try the 50 billion CFU advanced formula for the ultimate in probiotic support.
2. Herbal Remedies
For hundreds of years, herbal remedies have been used to support an endless list of ailments. In France alone, nearly forty plants have been identified as traditional remedies for indigestion. Peppermint and ginger are two of the most popular. Multiple clinical studies have confirmed that taking peppermint after a meal can help reduce the number of intestinal maladies, including flatulence. If you need a solution that’s doubly effective, add some ginger to the mix. A randomized clinical trial conducted at Thailand’s Siriraj Hospital found that consuming a ginger and water solution produced an anti-flatulent effect.
3. Charcoal Filters
Let’s face it, we’ve all been in closed quarters with mixed company and felt the very identifiable pressure of flatulent gases. The polite, socially acceptable response is to wait until you’re in a private or designated area before unleashing the beast. Sometimes, however, the pressure is strong and the wait can be long and unbearable. If you’re on an eight-hour international flight, how long can you really hold it?
Earlier this year, researchers at Herlev Hospital in Copenhagen explored that very question and warned what most of us know: holding it in for long periods of time on an airplane is extremely uncomfortable and difficult. Furthermore, air pressure changes are a part of air travel and that can make flatulence even worse. The authors recommended embedding charcoal filters into every airplane seat cushion. Charcoal filters, which are able to absorb odors, would allow passengers to release gas without disturbing the nasal sensitivities of their flight neighbor. No mention was made if the filters have sound-suppression capabilities.
3 Signs Your Flatulence is Not Serious
Digestive complaints are a common problem among adults. Gas, bloating, and indigestion: we’ve all experienced all of them and most of the time their presence is temporary. Flatulence, which is perhaps the most popular of gastrointestinal struggles, may occasionally be the result of a serious health problem but is often simply the result of diet or other benign situation. Although you should always be courteous and mindful of those nearby, here are three occasions when you definitely do not need to worry about being flatulent.
1. When It’s a Sign of Recovery
Since flatulence is produced during digestion, by some measures, being flatulent is actually an indication of good health. In some situations, flatulence can even be the sign of recovery.
The anatomical disruption of pregnancy or surgery will often produce a temporary condition known as postoperative ileus, which is a loss of gastrointestinal motion. The presence of flatulence and other bowel noises is an indication the condition has passed. Throughout much of the 1900’s, it was a common task for nurses to monitor and listen for the return of bowel noises in patients with postoperative ileus.
2. When It’s Fake
Whoopee cushions, beloved for their comedic effect, are a source of artificial flatulence… but they’re not what I’m referring to.
Some people describe a colonoscopy as a pleasurable and enjoyable experience, most do not. One of the reasons for the discomfort, or amusement, is because, during a colonoscopy, it’s common to inflate the intestinal tract with air. Yep, just like a balloon. The procedure, which improves visualization, is also known to produce wall-shaking flatulence afterward when the air is released. Both patients and technicians may be relieved to learn that new developments suggest using carbon dioxide instead of “room air” may lessen the amount of flatulence released.
3. When It’s High Altitude Induced
The air inside your body can be affected by altitude and air pressure. Air pressure changes with altitude and it’s common to be more flatulent at higher altitudes, especially for people who do not live in a high altitude area. Some estimates have figured that acute mountain sickness affects over 80% of hikers, mountain climbers, and other short-term high altitude visitors. One of the most common symptoms of acute mountain sickness? Flatulence.
Not All Flatulence is a Joke
Flatulence isn’t always a laughing matter and can actually be indicative of more serious health concerns. The University of Washington’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has warned that flatulence, along with bloating, pelvic pain, and difficulty eating, are the most common indications of ovarian cancer.
However, don’t freak out because you passed gas. Your body will usually let you know if it’s experiencing a disturbance, so listen to it and listen to it honestly. If you notice changes in the flatulence your body produces or other digestive effects that are different from YOUR norm, don’t ignore it! Take inventory of your life and determine the cause. Has your diet changed? Has your activity level increased or decreased? Are you taking medications or supplements? Be aware of your own health and when you’re in doubt or experiencing discomfort, consult your healthcare provider.