Bloating Natural Remedies
Written by Adam Whitby
What natural remedies will work for bloating? Well, for a start, we need to ask ourselves which solutions count as 'natural'.
I suppose the most natural relief from bloating and wind would be to assume the yoga position of pavanmuktasana or the 'wind release pose', which is said to induce flatulence and relieve the symptoms of trapped wind. But getting your yoga mat out and striking a pose can obviously be somewhat inconvenient at times. Alternatively, you might find that sipping hot water and then lying down for half an hour could help, yet again this is not always a luxury we can afford.
It can be a good idea to use natural remedies to treat bloating, because over-the-counter medicines can often contain a large cocktail of chemicals. Whilst these medicines can achieve temporary relief, their possible side effects and contraindications can be numerous, and need careful checking.
So, what is natural? Below I have listed four remedies which should have very few side effects and can be taken by mostly anyone.
Many people would say that herbal remedies are the most natural form of self healing, for example using peppermint, ginger, fennel, chamomile, cinnamon and many others. The family run UK company called Herbs, Hands & Healing have a product called 'Intest-Stable' which contains essential herbs and food extracts such as olive leaf, and cloves, which are natural antibiotics. It can work extremely well and is best taken alongside a probiotic supplement too. A Vogel do a product called Centaury - named after the mythological Greek creature with a head & torso of a man on the body of a horse. Centaurs were said to be masters of healing. Centaury is a bitter herb which supports digestion and may well help with bloating. Last but not least, Pukka herbs make a product called 'Wholistic Triphala' which is popular amongst health circles for bloating and sometimes even for constipation. Pukka also do a range of gorgeous teas, so if you are looking for a very light approach then you could try their 'After Dinner Tea' or their ' 3 Fennel Tea'. For more remedies, read this great blogpost by herbalist Megan.
Herbal tea not only tastes nice, it can help with bloating too.
Sometimes the body's enzymes just need a boost in order to help the breakdown of certain foods. You may want to try a digestive enzyme such as 'Digestizyme' by Lamberts. However, there is a school of thought that your body can build up a dependency to digestive enzymes, so you might want to take them for a short period of time only. What is a short period of time? Unfortunately it hugely depends! As my naturopath friend Lou Bowler reminds us, food supplements are to supplement and not replace a good diet and lifestyle. It is important to always reassess for yourself the difference that a remedy has made - whether natural or medicinal. As with any kind of supplement that you take, reassess as you go, and talk to a health practitioner about it.
Probiotics & Prebiotics
Bloating and wind are often signs that the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut is not as it should be, and that bad bacteria is more numerous than good bacteria. This is known as dysbiosis, and can be a result of various factors including stress, ageing, high sugar levels in your diet, or consumption of antibiotics.
Find out more about probiotics for bloating.
In such situations you can top up your good bacteria to maintain that essential healthy balance, and help solve the problem of wind and bloating, by taking a high quality probiotic. There is no risk of dependency with probiotics as the adult body does not produce them itself. OptiBac Probiotics make a supplement called 'One week flat' which is especially made to help maintain healthy digestion, reduce bloating, and to support a lighter feeling in the gut.
Find out more about OptiBac Probiotics here.
I can't think of anything more natural than simply helping our bodily processes, and particularly our digestion. Try paying attention to which foods seem to be causing the bloating, and cut down on these. I wouldn't recommend drastically cutting out any food groups as you may lose out on essential minerals and vitamins, but it is certainly worth cutting down on foods such as gluten if you can see that this is the cause. Other things you can do for your diet is to eat healthily, cut down on additives in your foods, and drink plenty of water.
For more tips see the article What Causes Bloating? If you can find the root cause, surely resolving this would be the most appropriate natural remedy for you.
What Natural Remedies have you tried for bloating? Please share your experiences below.
Image of tea courtesy of dusky.
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