Most individuals experience intestinal gas problem now and then. Some individuals suffer from this problem on a daily basis. But from where does gas accumulate in our digestive path?
Our intestinal tract gets filled with air from exogenous (swallowed air) and endogenous sources (gas produced by colonial microorganisms.) A test of intestinal gas constituents shows it is primarily made of exogenous air and about 1% is contributed by endogenous source.
Exogenous gas is got through the swallowed air, eating quickly and talking while eating, chewing gums, smoking or chewing tobacco, sipping with a straw, anxiety, and stress.
Gas production is generally low in small intestines because of the negligible presence of bacteria. But food rich in carbohydrates, starch cannot be digested as human being does have the required enzymes. So some friendly bacteria, yeast, fungi acts upon such undigested residue and produce methane and hydrogen. Another contributor to intestinal gas is being lactose intolerant. Lactose is a necessary enzyme required to break down lactose, a sugar found in the milk products. Some individuals are lactose intolerant as they cannot digest dairy products like milk, cheese etc. Thus the resultant intolerance leads to a build-up of intestinal gas.
Composition of intestinal Gas
Intestinal gas is a composition of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sulfide.
Oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen comes from swallowed air, but methane and hydrogen are released by the fermentation process inside the digestive tract. One of the components of intestinal gas is hydrogen sulfide, which is a major cause of odorous gas.
Normally air passes out at regular intervals, propelled by the peristalsis (rhythmic contraction of intestinal muscles). But many factors like amount of swallowed air, nature, and frequency of certain foods, stress, medications hinder proper bowel movement and normal expulsion process thereby resulting in flatulence, abdominal pain.
Symptoms of gassy discomfort include belching and passing of flatus at regular intervals. It is also a cause of social embarrassment if one is unable to control its passage. A normal human being releases gas 12-25 times a day.
On a preventive measure change your lifestyle and dietary habits. Have control over exogenous and endogenous air in the following ways.
Make an effort to
Here are some home remedies for immediate relief to try if you’re suffering from a puffed stomach.
Sipping warm water at regular interval improves digestion. The body uses less energy to digest food when warm water is consumed.
This is an excellent gas reliever as the probiotic as it contains promotes a healthy gut. However, this is not recommended for lactose intolerants.
Ginger contains carminative which is a flatulence relieving agent.
Chew pieces of fresh raw ginger or make ginger tea. Ginger juice with water can also help in decreasing intestinal gas. Another remedy is to prepare a concoction of a spoonful of grated fresh ginger with a spoonful of lime juice. Take the mixture after meals.
Lemon juice aids digestion as the citric juice in it helps to break down food instantly. Lemon juice mixed with small amount of water can be an instant gas reliever. Another effective remedy is to prepare a mixture of one teaspoon of lemon juice with a half teaspoon of baking soda. Drinking this preparation helps in breaking food easily, thereby reducing gas formation.
Have peppermint for its relaxant and antispasmodic properties. It stimulates gallbladder, realizing bile for proper digestion. Just chew it or sip peppermint tea before or during meals for digestive benefits.
Another great carminative agent is the hot spice, black pepper. It is a great appetizer, stimulates taste buds, and increases hydrochloric acid secretion which is necessary for proper digestion.
For an effective treatment of gastric related bloating and irritation take a blend of half-teaspoon of powdered black pepper with one spoon of jaggery.
Jaggery is a unrefined sugar made from sugarcane juice. Have a piece of jiggery after meal. This helps digestion and gas control.
Clove is another aromatic spice known to boost digestion, salivation secretion, peristalsis and heartburn issues. Chew a few cloves or clove oil for intestinal gas related problems. Take a two-five spoonful of clove oil in a glass of water for a smooth functioning of the digestive tract.
Crush turmeric leaves. Mix it with milk and consume daily for its gas releasing ability.
Take potato juice before meals at least three times.
Chew cardamoms 2-3 times a day. You can also add it to your dishes. The spice is great for reducing bloating and intestinal gas control.
Another effective spice is Cinnamon. Add cinnamon to tea for a taste as well as for its gas-relieving properties. Another method is adding cinnamon to boiled water. Let it cool before drinking it. You can add honey to this drink also. If you are suffering from a chronic gas problem, increase amount of cinnamon in the drink. Take it before breakfast and continue this remedy for one month.
A great source of electrolytes and protein, coconut water can alleviate gas and cramps too
Drink coconut water on a regular basis for a thorough treatment of the gas problem.
Another great herb, Coriander is known to add aroma to dishes. Chew raw coriander leaves for gas relief. Grated coriander can be added to a ½ glass of buttermilk
This kitchen ingredient can be relied upon for proven properties to relieve intestinal gas, indigestion, and constipation. Add a pinch of asafoetida into a glass of warm water. Drink this 3 times a day for proper release of gas.
High in fiber content, onions regulate bowels and check gas and bloating. The fiber in onions promotes good bacteria in the gut. The extracted juice from an onion can give you relief from gastric problems. However, eating too many raw onions can aggravate gassy issues. Opt for an onion based soup or salad.
Garlic is an excellent gas reliever. Grind garlic, and mix it with black pepper, cumin seeds, and water. Boil it for 15 minutes. Extract the juice, cool it at room temperature and drink it twice a day.
Papaya is a super nutritional food, rich in dietary fiber content. It contains an enzyme papain which breaks down protein, thereby easing the digestive process. Unripe papaya contains papain in significant quantity than ripe papaya. Include unripe papayas in your curries, fry it or just eat raw for its magical gas-relieving benefits.
Celery leaves and its stalks are great for treating bowel irritation and bloating and gas treatment. It is heavy in vitamins like K, A, and C. It prevents fluid –retention or bloating as it has a balanced amount of sodium, potassium, iron, and calcium. The celery leaves and stalks are added to enhance the taste of soup and salad. These leaves and stalks are used for garnishing nonveg curries like chicken and fish.
The essential oils in cumin seeds stimulate salivary glands and aid digestive process, thus minimizing gas formation in intestinal tracts. Add a teaspoonful of cumin seeds to a glass of water and boil it for 15 minutes. Let it cool. Drink this after meals for wonderful benefits.
Triphala is a powdered form of three herbs, Indian gooseberry (amla), Beleric myrobalan (behada), Inknut (harada). It deals effectively with a gassy stomach. Blend half teaspoon of triphala powder into boiling water for 5-10 minutes and then drink it before going to bed.
However be careful with the quantity and frequency of taking this concoction as it is high in fiber and may cause bloating if taken in excess.
This is a fine black powder, prepared from coconut shells, bone char, sawdust, petroleum, peat, and coal. This powder is highly porous in nature. Subjecting this powder to high temperature brings about reduction in the size of pores and increases its spongy surface area. The porous negatively charged surface naturally absorbs positively charged molecules like gas, and other toxins and thereby protects our body from any undesirable components.
Such charcoals can be made at home or brought in form of capsules, tablet or powder. Gulp it down with a glass of water in the empty stomach, mostly before the meal. Take care it is not taken immediately after any consumption of medicine. Charcoal powder treatment should be used occasionally and not a daily supplement.
If you’re having flatulence issues in the morning, take activated charcoal one hour before dinner. If intestinal gas is an irritant in the evening, try this powder before lunch hours.
Some other methods to curb excessive intestinal gas formation are:
Practice deep breathing for increased blood circulation and oxygen supply. Adequate oxygen is essential for the normal digestive process.
Practice Yoga postures like the wind-removing pose, supine twist, cat-cow pose, and happy baby to help relieve trapped gas
Some best sleeping pose to relieve gas is keeping your head elevated, sleeping on your left side, and lying face down
Sleeping immediately after meals can aggravate gastric problems. Take a walk after meals and sleep at least after two hours after meals.
Drink 7-8 glasses of water a day. But don’t drink liquid during meals. Consume water after at least one hour of having meals.
Try these self-tested quick relief tips for a healthy gut. However try one remedy at a time. Try remedy that best suits your constitution. For. e.g Onion may be an excellent source for gas relief for some while for some other it may aggravate gas problem.
It's worth far better to go for natural remedy before trying out expensive medications.
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An excellent article. No doubt this would be found helpful by many people. The author has mentioned the food-items which help to reduce the problem of intestinal gas. Yoga and proper sleeping posture also help. However, I have heard that asafoetida may not be that helpful in reducing the problem.reply 1
Thanks Partha for the valuable comment. As regards your doubts about asafoetida's effectiveness in reducing gas problems, it's safe, and it's laxative, anti-flatulent,and antiseptic properties that help deal with problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), flatulence and an upset stomach. One can also take asafoetida with a pinch of black salt to see it's benefits. However it should not be used when suffering from any kind of blooding disorder, High BP and low BP or any kind of Gastrointestinal infection. I would also like to add that one should try that remedy which best suits his/ her body constitution or should not be allergic to that element..1
Very good write-up indeed. The very hectic schedule these days cause a lot of problems to the individuals of working class. Your article would help them to no the ways to remain healthy of digestive problems with the shortest of measures.reply 0