Flatulence & Bloating
No one is exempt from flatulence. Everyone will experiences gas and/or bloating at some point, caused by disturbances in the intestines. Minimal amount of gas and flatulence is normal and does not account for a problem. Normal amounts of gas are formed in the intestines since whenever we eat; we swallow a small amount of air. And, any food we eat undergoes slight fermentation, which produces gases.
When gas and bloating are significant, they aren’t just an uncomfortable inconvenience; they are warning signs of a greater digestive affliction. In excess, they can indicate weak or irregular digestive strength, which is the root of many more serious ailments, including mal-absorption. Pathological gas forms when food sits stagnant in the digestive tract for too long and ferments, or spoil. This fermentation creates the buildup of gas molecules. The bacteria in the intestines that are behind this fermentation process also leave behind their waste products which can irritate the lining of the digestive tract and further hamper digestion. Bloating is the result of this excess trapped gas in the gut. Severe or ongoing bloating can lead to distention, or overstretching of the intestines. This can have a permanent effect on the muscle tone of the bowels.
Solving gas formation should automatically reduce bloating. If it doesn’t, there may be another source behind bloating which should be checked by your healthcare provider. The root solution to gas is to strengthen digestion by personalized eating habits and diet. Difficult to digest food; including cabbage and the like, beans, raw food or cold drinks, should all be completely avoided. Instead, favor warm, well cooked and easy to digest meals and sip hot water throughout the day.
Of crucial importance is to release gas whenever it is signaling, and never suppress the need.
Specific remedies to relieve flatulence:
Ginger remedy: grate some fresh ginger root until you have about 1 teaspoon of pulp. Add to the grated ginger 1 teaspoon of lime juice. Swallow the mixture immediately after eating.
Lemon Juice remedy: stir 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda into 1 cup cool water. Drink it down quickly, right after meals. It forms carbon dioxide, which facilitates digestion.
Cumin-Fennel-Celery seeds mixture: prepare a mixture of slightly roasted cumin, fennel and celery/ajuwan seeds in equal proportions. After each meal, take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of this mixture, chew well until liquid in mouth, and swallow with 1/3 cup of warm water.
Probiotics & Digestive Enzymes: strengthening the intestinal flora and supplementing with digestive enzymes can boost digestion and relieve gas.
Charcoal Tablets: swallow 2 tablets after lunch and dinner. The charcoal absorbs gases and helps prevent flatulence.
Hingwashtak Churna (powder): is a classic remedy to strengthen weak or irregular digestion, and also help dispel gas. It is a formulation including carminative herbs that helps redirect the flow of gas downwards. You can prepare a DIY version of Hingwashtak powder by mixing equal amounts of the following ingredients in powder form: Cumin, Ginger, Ajuwan, Caraway, Celery Seeds, Fenugreek, Rock Salt, Nigella, and Fennel. Take 1 teaspoon of the mixture and mix with the first morsel of food for each meal. Add a teaspoon of ghee if more lubrication is required. If swallowing the mixture in one concentrated first morsel is too strong for you, spread the teaspoon of powder over all the food on your plate. A lighter version of Hingwashtak powder could be made out of equal amounts of Rock Salt, Nigella, Fennel, Cumin and Ginger.
Triphala: a classic herbal blend of gentle laxatives to reduce food stagnation and digestives to improve digestive strength, eliminating gas and bloating. At night before going to bed, steep 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Triphala compound in a cup of boiling hot water for 10 minutes, strain as needed, and drink.