Natural Treatments to Get Rid of Intestinal Gas
Gas is a natural by-product of the digestive process that is a combination of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and sometimes methane. Gas can be passed by burping or through flatus. These gas vapors alone are generally odorless and if gas has an unpleasant odor, it is typically due to bacteria residing in the large intestine.
Gas can be caused by swallowing too much air, or as undigested foods begin to break down. Belching can get rid of swallowed air containing oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, but as the gas moves into the large intestine, it is expelled through flatulence. The reason gas develops and must be passed is simply that the body cannot digest and absorb all of the sugar, starches, proteins and fiber consumed. As they pass into the large intestine, the gut flora attacks them, breaking them down. This results in the production of hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases, and sometimes in methane.
Having gas is common and natural, but it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Certain conditions like lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance as well as other sensitivities to foods can cause digestive upset. Learning your personal triggers and avoiding those foods and beverages that cause gas to develop in your system can help prevent gas pains and potential embarrassment. Popular over-the-counter antacids may not relieve all symptoms and may cause side effects. Fortunately, there are a number of natural treatments for gas pains that are safe and effective.
Natural Treatments for Gas Pains
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar (that contains the mother culture) with a cup of water and drink right before a meal. This can help to relieve digestive conditions including acid reflux and heartburn by boosting healthy bacteria and acid in the gut. Try switcher, a fermented drink made from apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, real maple syrup and water. You can use natural sparkling water to add some fizz to the drink that may help you belch some of the gas in your system. Fresh ginger is known for combating nausea, promoting digestion and protecting against stomach ulcers.
2. Clove Oil
Add 2–5 drops of clove essential oil to eight ounces of water to reduce bloating and gas. It may also help other digestive problems like indigestion, motion sickness and hiccups.
3. Activated Charcoal
Take 2 to 4 tablets of activated charcoal just before eating and again one hour after a meal to relieve gas pains. Activated charcoal may help relieve symptoms including flatulence, bloating and distention of the abdomen by eliminating gas trapped in the colon.
4. Digestive Enzymes
Take a full-spectrum digestive enzyme supplement as recommended. Look for a high-quality supplement that contains lactase to breakdown lactose in dairy, lipase to breakdown fats, amylase to breakdown starches and protease to breakdown proteins. For further digestive support, look for one with ginger and peppermint that also support healthy gut function.
A high-quality probiotic supplement can help to maintain a healthy digestive tract by adding healthy bacteria to the gut. Gas symptoms may be relieved as the bacterial flora is altered according to the Cleveland Clinic. In addition, a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials has found that probiotics reduce pain, flatulence and bloating in patients with IBS. In addition to a probiotic supplement add probiotic-rich foods to your diet including kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, natto, raw cheeses, tempeh and apple cider vinegar to improve digestion.
6. Fennel Essential Oils
Known for its digestive health and licorice-like flavor, fennel essential oil has antiseptic properties that may help relieve constipation, bloating and gas pains. Add 1 to 2 drops of fennel essential oil to water and tea and slip slowly to relieve digestive upset and flatulence.
Take 200 milligrams to 500 milligrams of a high-quality asafoeida supplement to relieve flatulence and gas. This powerful spice is central to Ayurvedic medicine and other traditional medicinal practices for preventing and relieving digestive upset. It is widely used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines when preparing lentil dishes, legumes and soups. It has a very strong sulfurous odor that cooks out, making it ideal for longer cooking preparations like stews and braises. Asafoeida is not recommended for pregnant women, nursing moms, children, those with high or low blood pressure, or those with a bleeding disorder. It is known to interact with anticoagulants, antihypertensive drugs and anti-platelet medications.
8. Physical Activity
When symptoms arise, take a walk, jump rope or try rebounding. The physical activity may help to relieve gas pains by expelling gas naturally.