Home Remedies to Relieve Stomach Bloating
"Whether or not you champion voluptuous curves, a womanly bottom or a statuesque bosom, nobody wants a big stomach," writes Monica Grenfell, author of 5 Days to a Flatter Stomach. The same is true for men and women alike. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, "Millions of Americans suffer from abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea." These common symptoms not only cause physical suffering, but they also contribute to embarrassment and poor self-image.
Stomach bloating, in particular, is a frustrating symptom. The Mayo Clinic explains that bloating occurs "when gas doesn't pass through belching or flatulence." This gas remains trapped in the stomach and intestines, causing pain and discomfort. Here are some common home remedies that are known to relieve gas and stomach bloating:
Amylase, Lipase, and Protease: The body naturally produces these three digestive enzymes. The enzymes work together to help digest proteins, starches, and fats. However, some individuals do not produce enough of these enzymes to get the nutrition needed from their food, and they experience pain and discomfort from poor digestion. Since these enzymes cannot be obtained through food, supplementation is often beneficial. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, "In a small clinical study of 18 people, supplements containing lipase and other pancreatic enzymes helped reduce bloating, gas and fullness following a high fat meal."
Bergamot Oil Blend: This oil comes from the peel of the bergamot orange. You can use this oil as both an internal and external remedy. Added to tea, the oil calms and relaxes the stomach, alleviating the feeling of fullness. Rubbed directly onto the abdomen, the oil creates a warming and soothing effect.
Bromelain: This is a digestive enzyme harvested from the fruit and stems of pineapples. Used throughout history for a variety of health cures, this natural enzyme works as a digestive aid to help with the breakdown of proteins and other foods.
Cayenne: This is a powerful stomach remedy, which provides many benefits. It fights off harmful bacteria in the gut, relieves gas, and enhances the effects of your natural digestive enzymes.
Cinnamon: This spice has an interesting history. Ancient Egyptians used the spice in their embalming practice. Later in history, this spice assisted in restoring health during the Bubonic Plague. Besides its modern uses for balancing blood sugar levels, this seasoning also works as a digestive stimulant. As a carminative agent, it naturally breaks down and propels the expulsion of stomach gas.
Fennel: Used throughout history for babies with colic, the fennel seed stimulates the digestive process by relieving abdominal bloating, cramps, and flatulence. You can add the seed to food or make it into a tea.
Papaya: Many people struggle with low acid production. This shortage results in poor protein digestion. In turn, partially digested proteins will pass into the lower abdomen and become toxic, causing irritation and gas pains. Papaya contains proteolytic enzymes that help break down and completely digest proteins in the stomach.
Parsley: There is indeed a reason why restaurants garnish a plate with parsley. While it does add appealing colour to a dish, this herb has a high enzyme content which aids in digestion, helps to move gas, and encourages proper elimination. As a side benefit, it leaves you with fresh breath.
Peppermint Oil: Some claim this herb is one of the best at relieving stomach bloating. The herb is calming and anti-spasmodic, soothing the spasms that cause bloating.
Savory: This herb is a member of the mint family. It is another common home remedy for colic in babies. It is an herb that warms the body, stimulates digestion, and alleviates gas accumulation.
Diet and Nutrition
Specific foods may dramatically impact your stomach's digestive health. Dairy and wheat are the two most difficult food groups to digest, and often, doctors suggest an elimination plan to see if these foods are culprits to stomach upsets. In addition, The Mayo Clinic suggests that you avoid these carbohydrates that are known to produce gas: baked beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carbonated drinks, cauliflower, chewing gum, certain fruits, hard candy, and lettuce. Author Monica Grenfell, in her book 5 Days to a Flatter Stomach, suggests also eliminating dried fruit, diet drinks, and artificial sweeteners.
Stomach bloating is often a brutal symptom to endure. However, it is encouraging that with a few simple supplements and dietary changes, you can find relief through relatively easy means.
Health Disclaimer. Copyright ©2013. Published with permission. C. Shepard is a freelance writer and is not directly affiliated with avivahealth.com.