As most people know, there are many causes of stomach bloating.
The causes range from minor conditions such as eating the wrong type of foods to more serious health conditions like diverticulitis.
Bloating is the feeling that the abdomen feels bigger than usual caused by excessive production of gas in the stomach.
And often, but not always, it is associated with other symptoms such as nausea, pain, cramps and stomach growling.
The table below summarizes remedies that have been suggested by experts for treating stomach complaints. We have included information on recommended dosages and suggested ways to use them.
When selecting which natural remedy to try out, start with those that have the most evidence of effectiveness. Then if you need to, go down the list and try some of the other ones.
|Natural Remedies||What Experts Say...|
|Peppermint|| (What's this?)
Peppermint oil is shown to help with stomach related pain and discomfort. It appears to be effective against discomfort that results from a meal.
See Benefits of Peppermint to get information on available formulations and the dose to use.
Turmeric, a popular herb, is shown to help treat a variety of stomach complaints such bloating and pain. This herb seems to work by exerting a protective effect on the stomach against irritation from stress, foods and alcohol.
Dose: Take 500 mg up to four times daily. Higher doses have been used without concerns. However, some people may find that it can also cause stomach discomfort as well. If so, discontinue use.
This herb is a traditional natural digestive tonic that can calm down and support the entire digestive system.
Fennel, when combined with peppermint, can be used to treat a variety of stomach complaints including chronic bloating and flatulence.
Dose: Tea or infusion - Use 1 to 5 grams of the crushed fruit up to four times daily in between meals. It is suggested that fennel be used on a short-term basis, no longer than 14 days.
Chamomile is useful for treating stomach bloating and it acts as a mild sedative. Clinical studies done with chamomile combined with fennel and several other herbs showed that it reduce colic problems in infants.
The most popular way to take this is in a tea formulation.
Dose: Tea - Drink a cup of chamomile tea after each meal. Extract - Take 500 mg up to twice daily. Tincture - Use 2 mL up to twice daily.
Licorice is used to treat stomach ulcers, gastritis, colic (abdominal pain) and gas. Iberogast, made by Enzymatic Therapy, is clinically shown to help reduce stomach problems including excessive gas.
This proprietary formulation contains licorice, peppermint, chamomile, lemon balm, caraway and clown's mustard plant.
Dose: Take 1 mL three times daily of Iberogast. Or you can use a formulation that contains at least licorice, peppermint and chamomile. It may be as effective.
Traditionally, ginger is used to treat nausea, colic and stomach pains.
Dose: Take 1 to 5 grams daily (divided into three or four equal doses). Start with the lower dose first as higher dosage has been reported to cause stomach discomfort.
Valerian may be helpful in reducing stomach bloating and discomfort. It is classified as a carminative herb (reduces gas).
Dose: Suggested dose ranges from 300 to 1,800 mg daily (divided into two or three times daily). Tea - Use 1.5 to 3 grams and steep for 5 to 10 minutes in about 150 mL of water. Drink several times daily as needed.
Traditionally, lemon balm is suggested to have anti-gas and anti-spasm benefits.
Dose: Tea - Drink 1 cup two to four times daily. Tincture (1:5) - Use 2 to 6 mL up to three times daily.
Historically and medically, anise is used as a digestive aid and to treat stomach problems.
Dose: Take 10 to 30 grains of lightly grounded or powdered seeds steeped in half a cup of water and drink one to three times daily.
Here are some common symptoms that a person suffering from stomach gas might experience:
There are certain foods and health conditions that are known to cause excessive gas formation leading to abdominal bloating and discomfort.
Foods that might cause stomach bloating:
Other less serious causes may include:
Some medical conditions that might cause stomach bloating include:
Follow-up with your doctor to ensure that the excess gas production is not caused by these and potentially other health conditions.
As well, excessive level of stress may cause cause stomach complaints including pain, bloating, ulcers and other symptoms.
To help get rid of bloating, here are other things you can do.
Foods - Increase the amount of fiber in your diet slowly. Large amount of fiber, if you are not used to taking it, can cause bloating. Chew properly and eat slowly. Avoid foods such as beans, onions and cabbage. Avoid eating carbohydrates with proteins at the same time.
Exercise - Physical activities help to promote proper digestion and intestinal functions.
Stress - Managing stress can go a long way to help you get relief from stomach complaints and gas. Although stress may not directly cause stomach problems, it is known to amplify the symptoms.