A bloated belly refers to a condition where the stomach tightens uncomfortably due to the accumulation of gas from the ileum and small intestine. Depending on the severity, the belly can be visibly distended. Bloating is a fairly common condition among adults and children. In many cases, a bloated belly is often accompanied by a host of symptoms that range from nausea to diarrhea, abdominal pain, stomach cramps and frequent belching.
There are different causes of a bloated belly. The most common include swallowing excessive air, heartburn, indigestion, improper eating habits, food allergies as well as intolerance to varied food products. When bloating is a regular occurrence, it becomes important to get professional medical help as this could be indicative of serious underlying conditions such as liver disease, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome or celiac disease. Simple lifestyle changes can make a lot of difference for people who are susceptible to bloating. As a general guide, improving bowel movement helps reduce bloating as it reduces the accumulation of gas. It also helps to include home remedies for a bloated belly as these options have the advantage of ease of use, accessibility and affordability.
1. Peppermint Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh peppermint leaves. Alternatively, use a peppermint tea bag to prepare a hot drink.
Peppermint oil has a high concentration of menthol oil, one of the main ingredients used for the natural treatment of a bloated belly. This is because menthol oil has anti-spasmodic properties that ease spasms in the digestive tract. This is made possible because the oil affects the smooth muscle that lines the tract. As such, peppermint oil reduces the amount of gas present in the belly and enhances digestion of food.
- If you opt for the use of fresh peppermint leaves, simply chew on the leaves as regularly as you can.
- Alternatively, use the peppermint tea bag to prepare a hot drink.
- Simply steep the tea bag in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes.
- Sip on this drink thrice daily to eliminate bloating.
2. Caraway Seeds
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Caraway seeds (whole) or crushed caraway seeds and hot water.
Caraway seeds are an excellent home remedy for the natural treatment of a bloated belly. They work in a similar manner to peppermint oil because the seeds have anti-spasmodic properties which help relax the smooth muscle that lines the digestive tract. The seeds’ healing abilities are attributed to the presence of two potent oils: carvone and limonene. Taking caraway seeds aids in the passing of gas and when taken regularly, helps reduce the frequency of bloating. There are two methods you can use when preparing caraway seeds. The first involves chewing the whole seeds and the second involves brewing tea using the crushed seeds.
- Take a pinch of the whole caraway seeds and chew on them throughout the day.
- If you notice that you tend to get bloated around specific meal times, feel free to include caraway seeds around this period.
- Take a teaspoon of the crushed caraway seeds and place in a pan.
- Add a liter of hot water to the pan and stir well.
- Allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Strain the mixture and sip on the caraway tea through out the day (preferably after meals as this is when most people suffer bloating).
3 Fennel Seeds:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fennel seeds, cup of hot water and strainer.
Fennel seeds have long been used to treat an array of digestion problems, including bloating. The seeds’ ability is the result of its excellent carminative and anti-spasmodic effects. Additionally, the fennel seeds treat bloating by soothing the muscles in the digestive tract, this eliminating the gas. Other benefits of using fennel include its anti-microbial properties that help deal with any infections within the digestive tract as well as its diuretic effects.
- Place one teaspoon of the fennel seeds in a cup and add the hot water.
- Cover the cup and allow the seeds to steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain the mixture and sip slowly, preferably after a meal. Repeat this remedy twice daily for the best results.
- Alternatively, chew on the fennel seeds particularly after your meals.
Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: Fresh ginger root, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a teaspoon of honey and a cup of hot water.
Ginger is an amazing spice, best known for its delightful taste. It, however, has excellent healing properties for dealing with a bloated belly. This is attributed to its carminative properties, which simply means that it eliminates pressure in the belly by assisting gas go through the digestive system. Additionally, ginger contains gingerol and shogaols which soothe the smooth muscles and help relieve pain in the distended belly.
- Peel the ginger root and clean well.
- Slice the ginger root and transfer to a cup.
- Add the freshly squeezed lemon and teaspoon of honey to the ginger root before pouring in the hot water.
- Allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sip on this drink before and after your mealtimes to make the most of the remedy.
- Alternatively, peel the fresh ginger root and chew on it whenever you need relief from a bloated belly.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Three cloves (which may be replaced by clove oil) and a cup of boiling water.
Clove oil is an excellent home remedy for the treatment of a bloated belly, especially bloating that is accompanied by nausea or vomiting. This is because cloves have anti-emetic properties that eliminate the nausea. Additionally, cloves are anti-fungal in nature. These properties relax muscles in the digestive tract, thus providing relief from bloating. There are two ways to use cloves: either in solid form or in oil form with the same results.
Using the Cloves in Solid Form:
- Place three cloves in a cup and pour in boiling water.
- Let the cloves steep for 15 minutes before straining.
- Allow the mixture to cool and drink this tea once daily for best results.
Using Clove Oil:
- Place four drops of clove oil in a cup and add hot water.
- Stir the oily water and sip on it once daily.
6. Chamomile Tea:
Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: One chamomile tea bag, a cup of boiling water and honey or freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional natural sweeteners).
Chamomile tea is one of the most common natural remedies for dealing with a bloated belly. The tea has great antispasmodic properties which not only relax the smooth muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, but also soothe heartburn for those who get the two accompanying conditions. Chamomile tea also has anti-inflammatory traits, making this tea a must-have if you are susceptible to bloating.
- Place the chamomile tea bag in a cup and pour in the hot water.
- Place a cover over the cup to allow the teabag steep in the water for 15 minutes.
- When the time elapses, squeeze the tea bag to get the most of its benefits.
- Stir in a tablespoon of honey or the lemon juice and sip this tea severally during the day.
TIP: Avoid the inclusion of milk during the tea preparation process as this only compounds bloating and adds to the accompanying discomfort.
Time Required: Varies depending on your choice cooking method, but typically an hour.
What You Need: A cup of raw pumpkin.
Pumpkin is not only highly nutritious, it is also an excellent way to deal with bloating. To appreciate the benefits of pumpkin, it is important to consider one of the ways in which bloating occurs. When food is not properly digested, it causes the natural bacterial flora in the large intestine to act on the food as a source of nutrients. The result is flatulence, which in part explains why foods that rich in fiber such as soy beans predispose many people to bloating. Pumpkin helps alleviate the gas pressure because it is easy to digest. Enjoy these benefits by including pumpkin in your meals.
- Choose a relevant pumpkin recipe to enjoy the benefits thereof.
- You could either boil the pumpkin, bake it or find ways to incorporate it in different recipes.
8. Activated Charcoal:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Activated charcoal (in powder, tablet or capsule form).
Activated charcoal has long been used to treat a bloated belly. While its chemical composition is typically carbon, it is its structural form that makes it a perfect remedy for treating bloating. In fact, the difference between this charcoal and regular charcoal is that the former undergoes oxidation using hot steam to create porous. As a result, activated charcoal is quite porous, and it is this structure that helps absorb the excessive gas. Activated charcoal is available in different forms, so get to choose one that is most effective for you.
- See a medical professional to establish the ideal dosage for you.
9. Lemon Water:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: One fresh lemon and a cup of warm water.
Taking warm lemon water on an empty stomach is a great habit to pick up if you would like to eliminate bloating. Lemon juice is rich in citrus acid, and it is this acidity that triggers the release of Hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the stomach. HCl breaks down food, thus ensuring that it does not proceed to the small intestine undigested. Proper digestion as a result, reduces the likelihood of bloating. In addition, the hot water ‘keeps things moving’ in the digestive tract, thus preventing toxins accumulation and constipation. With these benefits, there is no reason why you should not start taking warm lemon water daily.
- Clean the lemon and slice it into wedges.
- Add a cup of warm water to the wedges and stir well.
- Drink the lemon juice and proceed to have your meals after half an hour or thereabout to allow the lemon juice act.
Tip: In the absence of lemon wedges, you can always use a tablespoon of lemon juice.
10. Go The Herbal Way With This Infusion:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: One teaspoon of the following: dandelion leaf, chamomile, yellow dock and burdock, strainer and a cup of hot water. Honey (an optional natural sweetener).
Herbs are a natural remedy for the treatment of bloating. The inclusion of these herbs combines different traits including anti-spasmodic, laxatives and diuretics, all of which help in the expulsion of the gas. This relieves abdominal pressure while regulating the digestive tract.
- Place a teaspoon of each of the aforementioned herbs in a cup before adding hot water.
- Cover the contents with a lid and allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes.
- Strain the mixture and dispose off the herbs.
- Allow the infusion to cool before you transfer it to a container with a lid.
- Pour out a glass, stir the honey and drink this infusion at least thrice daily.
Tip: If you opt to use fresh herbs in place of the powder, add thrice the recommended amount. Avoid using sugar to sweeten the infusion as this only compounds the bloating.
In addition to these natural remedies, one of the simplest ways to deal with bloating is to get moving by leading an active lifestyle. This enhances the normal functioning of the digestive tract while giving you chances to expel the gas instead of allowing it to accumulate in the belly. It also helps to eat foods that are rich in magnesium as they prevent the retention of fluid while avoiding processed, spicy and fast foods. If possible, lower your consumption of carbohydrates as these are common culprits of water retention which in turn causes bloating and an overwhelming discomfort. Other tips include drinking adequate amounts of water, eating smaller portions of food more frequently as well as reducing dietary salt intake.