Although the production of gas is a natural part of the digestive process, many people dread the possibility of passing gas in front of others. An uncontrollable fart at an inconvenient time can make a person the butt of jokes for years to come.
Most people pass gas, also known as flatulence, about 10 times a day. Thus, it’s a normal affair. But formation of excess gas in your stomach is no laughing matter.
Gas forms in the stomach when bacteria in the colon ferment carbohydrates, which were not digested properly in your small intestine. This usually involves high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans and peas (legumes).
If you eat a lot of high-fiber foods, your body will likely produce excess gas. Other possible causes of excess gas include excessive drinking, not chewing your food thoroughly, eating spicy and gas-forming foods, too much stress, some kind of bacterial infection, digestive disorders, swallowing air, food intolerances, artificial additives and constipation.
Along with frequent flatulence, symptoms associated with excess stomach gas include bad breath, lack of appetite, a coating on the tongue, abdominal bloating, sharp cramps in the abdomen and belching.
When gas builds up in the intestines and you are not able to expel it, you may also experience gas pain.
Anyone can suffer from stomach gas problem. However, you may be more prone to it if you are lactose or gluten intolerant, eat high-fiber foods, drink carbonated beverages in excess, or have a chronic intestinal condition like irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.
Fortunately, this problem can be easily treated with some simple, natural home remedies.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for gas problem.
1. Yellow Mustard
This is a simple remedy which uses a basic ingredient found in every household refrigerator.
Yellow mustard contains acetic acid that helps lower the level of acidity in your stomach and provides instant relief from gas and accompanying pain.
Additionally, it contains turmeric that aids the digestive system and enhances your gut health.
- Take 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of regular yellow mustard. Wash it down with a glass of warm water. You will get quick relief within 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, commonly used to treat indigestion, can also help with gas.
The enzymes in apple cider vinegar aid digestion and also help alkalize your body so that you feel more comfortable and get rid of excess gas. In fact, it will soothe the stomach and give you instant relief.
Plus, apple cider vinegar is safe for expectant and breastfeeding mothers.
- Add 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
- Allow the water to cool to room temperature, then drink it.
- Do it twice daily.
If apple cider vinegar is not available, you can try regular vinegar.
Ginger is an effective treatment for indigestion and is also great for relieving a gas problem.
Ginger’s antiemetic power has been attributed to its carminative effect, which helps the body expel intestinal gas. In fact, ginger accelerates gastric emptying and improves digestion by relaxing and soothing the intestinal tract.
You can choose from various options for using ginger to combat gas.
- Combine equal amounts of ground ginger, fennel and cardamom. Mix them thoroughly. Add 1 teaspoon of this mixture and a pinch of asafetida to a cup of water. Drink this once or twice a day.
- Consume a little ginger juice mixed with a pinch of asafetida.
- Chew a fresh piece of ginger regularly after meals to prevent excess production of gas. You can also add small amounts of dried or fresh ginger to your food.
- Drinking ginger tea can help control the formation of gas. Boil 1 tablespoon of ground ginger in 1½ cups water, then let it simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Drink this tea 2 or 3 times a day. You can also add a little lemon juice and honey to improve its taste as well as effectiveness.
- Add a few drops of ginger essential oil to any kind of base oil and rub it on your stomach.
4. Baking Soda & Lemon
Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, works as an effective antacid to expel abdominal gas. It works even better when combined with lemon juice.
- Squeeze out the juice from ½ lemon into a glass of warm water.
- Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to it.
- Drink this immediately for instant relief from gas and gas pains.
If you do not have lemon, you can simply mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 6 ounces of water (a little less than 1 glass) and drink it.
However, do not make it a habit to take baking soda every time you have gas as it is only a temporary fix but not good for your health in the long run.
Note: Do not take baking soda in excess as it may harm your health. Also, baking soda is not recommended for those who are on a sodium restricted diet.
5. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal has an intense adsorption capacity, which makes it an effective remedy for gas and bloating.
Its porous structure can trap excess gas in the intestines and get rid of it quickly.
You can take 500 mg activated charcoal 2 hours before or after a meal to reduce gas. Make sure to drink a large glass of water after taking it. It is available in tablet, capsule and powder form. Consult your doctor for the exact dosage that is right for you.
Cinnamon will soothe your stomach and also prevent further buildup of abdominal gas.
Cinnamon prevents gas formation by reducing the secretion of gastric acid and pepsin from the stomach walls. In fact, cinnamon can give you instant relief from gas problems.
- Add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a cup of warm milk. Stir it well, then drink it. You can also add some honey.
- Alternatively, you can make cinnamon tea by adding ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder (or a few cinnamon sticks) to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 5 minutes, then drink it.
Fennel is surely one of the best ingredients for fast relief from bloating and gas.
It acts as a carminative to help your body get rid of gas in the gastrointestinal tract. It also helps relieve colic pain in babies.
- Crush 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle and pour 1 cup of hot water over it. Cover and let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain and drink it this tea once or twice a day for relief. You can also drink this tea after a heavy meal to prevent gas and bloating.
- You can also chew fennel seeds or fresh fennel leaves, if you can bear the taste.
- Alternatively, you can mix fennel, cardamom and mint leaves in equal amounts and boil them in 2 cups of water to make a concoction that can help with stomach gas.
Chamomile tea can also help in improving digestion and relieving stomach gas.
Asafetida is also an effective remedy against gas. It has antispasmodic and antiflatulent properties that help alleviate problems like indigestion and intestinal gas.
- Just add a pinch of asafetida to a glass of warm water and mix it well. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day.
- Alternatively, put a small amount of asafetida into a ripe banana and eat it. Do this twice a day.
- For topical application, make an asafetida paste by mixing it with a little water. Apply the paste on your stomach and allow it to dry for a few minutes. Soon, your gas will dissipate.
Peppermint is great for easing gas pains as well as other digestive problems. The menthol in it has an antispasmodic effect that helps soothe and relax the muscles so that you can expel painful digestive gas.
A 2007 study published in Digestive and Liver Disease reports that a four-week treatment with peppermint oil was beneficial for patients with irritable bowel syndrome. It improved symptoms including passage of gas, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, a feeling of incomplete evacuation, and pain or urgency at defecation.
Peppermint can be used in different ways to treat a gas problem.
- Make peppermint tea by adding 1 teaspoon of fresh peppermint leaves to a cup of boiling water and letting it steep for 10 minutes. Strain it and add some honey. Drink the tea 2 or 3 times a day.
- Alternatively, mix 2 drops of peppermint oil in ½ cup of cool water. Drink it once or twice a day.
- For quick relief, simply chew some peppermint leaves.
According to Ayurveda, buttermilk is a great remedy for expelling intestinal gas.
Buttermilk is rich in probiotic microbes that help promote digestion and prevent indigestion and excessive gas. It also prevents stomach bloating and acidity.
Especially when combined with carom seeds and black salt, buttermilk works as an excellent remedy to relieve gas and flatulence.
- Mix 1 teaspoon each of carom seeds (ajwain) and black salt in a cup of buttermilk. If you do not have carom seeds, use celery seeds. Drink this solution twice daily.
- Alternatively, add a pinch of dry ginger powder and a little rock salt to a glass of buttermilk. Drink it once or twice daily.
- If you experience gas due to lactose sensitivity, taking lactase supplements may help you digest the lactose and reduce the gas problem. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
- Keep track of foods that trigger gas and try to avoid them.
- Cut back on fried and fatty foods.
- Reduce your intake of dairy products.
- Eat four or five small meals a day, instead of fewer large meals.
- Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly and don’t gulp.
- Avoid chewing gum and drinking through a straw to prevent swallowing air that can contribute to gas.
- Avoid cigarette smoking, as it can increase the amount of air you swallow.
- Increase your level of physical activity to help move gas through the digestive tract. In fact, yoga poss like Wind-Releasing Pose (Pawanmuktasana), Mountain Pose (Parvatasana) and Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Savanasana) can help relieve you of abdominal gas.
- To reduce odor, limit your consumption of foods high in compounds containing sulfur.