Flatulence can be both distressing and embarrassing. Thankfully, there are many remedies and ways to avoid flatulence in the first place. While not every flatulence remedy will work for everyone, there is bound to be something to help you among the following suggestions.
What Causes Flatulence
Flatulence is the medical term for the release of gas from your digestive system. It occurs as a normal process when gas collects within the digestive process in one of two ways:
- Swallowing air while eating or drinking can cause collection of oxygen and nitrogen within the digestive tract
- As food is digested, digestive gases including carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane collect
Both ways can result in flatulence, especially when certain foods notorious for producing gas are consumed. Such foods include, for instance:
- Beans and other pulses
- Bran, Broccoli and Brussel sprouts
- Cabbage, Cauliflower and Raisins
- Prunes and Onions
- Fructose in fruit, fruit juices and honey (which is difficult to digest)
- Excessive Fibre
Reducing your intake of these foods; soaking beans/pulses overnight before boiling them in fresh water the next day (or, better still, cooking them in a pressure cooker) will all help to reduce flatulence. So will avoiding sugar-free chewing gums and sweets containing difficult to digest sweeteners like mannitol, sorbitol and xylitol.
Other Causes of Flatulence
In some cases, excessive flatulence may be caused by lactose or other food intolerances; constipation, gastroenteritis or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), as well as celiac disease.
Flatulence Remedy 1 – Foods that Prevent Flatulence
Foods keeping the production of gas under control by introducing beneficial bacteria into the digestive system include:
- Bio-yoghurts containing probiotic bacteria (biphidus or acidophilus; two to three small tubs a day could make a real difference)
- Miso/Miso soup (available in very handy single sachets from supermarkets’ Asian food sections and Asian food shops)
- Probiotic capsules (taken as directed on their labels – usually on an empty stomach, three times a day).
Flatulence Remedy 2 – Ginger
Ginger tablets, capsules or tincture taken before meals (according to instructions provided on labels) can be effective in reducing flatulence, as can:
- Eating chunks of fresh (and invariably hot – so care is advised) root ginger
- Home-made ginger tea (grate a teaspoon of fresh ginger, steep for 5 minutes in a cup of boiling water; strain and permit to cool down before drinking)
- Ginger Tea Bags (available from supermarkets)
Flatulence Remedy 3 – Peppermint Tea
Ready bought from the supermarket or made fresh by steeping 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried peppermint leaves for 5 minutes in a cup of boiling water before straining, peppermint tea is also an excellent flatulence remedy.
Other Herbal Remedies
Chewing half a teaspoon of anise, fennel, caraway or celery seeds after meals also helps to prevent excessive flatulence. All of these seeds are available from supermarkets’ spice sections. A teaspoon of herbal bitters taken before meals in a cup of warm water improves stomach acid production, speeds digestion and reduces flatulence and bloating.