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Natural Gas Remedies

gasI blogged about natural remedies for gas and bloating a few years ago and it was a hit. So here are 5 new remedies to try:

1)      Chamomile tea

In my last blog I suggested peppermint tea as a solution…well if you are not a fan then chamomile is a great alternative. Chamomile is antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and relaxing! Peppermint tea is better for gas caused solely by indigestion but chamomile can help with gas due to indigestion as well as heartburn.

2)      Eat pumpkin

Gas is usually caused by improper food digestion. When food does not break down in the small intestine, it goes into the large intestine where natural bacteria feasts on it. As a by-product they produce a variety of gasses. Pumpkin is helpful because it can reduce the amount of gas created. Eating about a cup of pumpkin with your meal can help ward off gas. Try making a pumpkin pudding for dessert!

3)    Chew food thoroughly

In most cases, gas is created when we are having a hard time breaking down food. If you chew your food thoroughly you will digest it faster and it will pass through your body smoothly. The more food sits in your intestines the more gas gets built up and needs to be expelled.

4)      Drink warm lemon water

A glass of warm water with lemon every morning not only helps with easing your gas pain but also has a great detoxifying effect on your entire body. Lemon helps the liver enzymes work more efficiently and stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid which is what breaks down our food. More HCL can lead to less gas and bloating.                    

5)      Eat some anise seed

Anise has anti-spasmodic properties and helps to relax your digestive track. The relaxation also helps with cramping. Try adding anise seed to ground beef or turkey or add it to boiling water to make a tea.

                Gas is embarrassing but it is also natural and we all experience it. Hopefully some of these natural remedies can help keep your digestive system in line. Good luck!

Healing Your Digestive System with TCM

A vast array of chronic disease ranging from auto-immune, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and gynecological can be rooted in the dysfunction of the digestive system.  From  a Traditional Chinese Medicine view, the health of the Spleen & Stomach Qi (the Earth meridian) is vital to overall health.  When treating a patient with digestive system issues, the first thing is to identify the pattern of imbalance and then choose points to correct the imbalance. Additionally, basic dietary considerations are important to address as well. A patient must identify food allergies/sensitivities and should avoid skipping meals, eating while upset, eating too quickly or eating while working, watching TV or driving.

In our practice, we have found many patients have a gluten sensitivity and when gluten is eliminated from their diet they have more energy and less bloating/gas. If you are unaware of any food sensitivities start by eliminating the most common for at least 2 weeks- diary, caffeine, gluten, and soy. After 2-3 weeks of elimination of these foods, start slowly adding one of the items back into your diet.  Only add back one new item each week so you can thoroughly evaluate how you feel. If you notice any new symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, change in stools or abdominal discomfort after adding back in a food item, it is likely you have food sensitivity. Also, it is important to focus on eating at regular times and avoid excessive dairy, raw/cold foods, processed sugars and alcohol. These items create “dampness” in the body which manifest as body heaviness, sluggishness, bloating and gas, unclear thinking, excess weight and chronic sinus infections.

If your digestive systems seems to be off track and you haven’t been able to figure out the cause, TCM can help you heal your body naturally and effectively.

Acupuncture Stops Indigestion, Bloating, Nausea…

I just came across another article about new research which concludes that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of dyspepsia.  I figured this was the perfect topic to blog about considering we have been treating quite a few patients (with success!!) for bloating, gurgling, acid reflux and fullness after eating.

Dyspepsia is indigestion also known as an upset stomach. It involves symptoms including pain, bloating, full or heavy sensation after eating, nausea, belching and heartburn. Indigestion is often linked to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), gastritis and gastrointestinal ulcers. In Western medicine, dyspepsia is often treated with PPIs (proton pump inhibitors which essentially cut down on the amount of acid in the stomach). However, long term use of PPIs is linked to gastric cell atrophy, which may lead to cancer!

In my experience, once the right acupuncture treatment plan is created for the patient, their symptoms of bloating, gas and discomfort go away. In addition to regular acupuncture treatments, most of my patients have found that adding fennel tea to their diet helps ease their upset stomach as well. On average, it takes about 4 weekly treatments to see symptoms disappear. Most patients are able to discontinue use of PPIs or at least cut back on the dosage and frequency. After 4 treatments, treatments are spaced out considerably so that patients are on either a monthly or quarterly maintenance plan.

Natural Ways to Reduce Gas and Bloating

Alright this isn’t the most comfortable topic to discuss but let’s face it, we have all experienced gas and bloating sometime in our life. It is an annoying and sometimes embarrassing condition that can result from poor dietary habits or improper digestion. Some of us may seem more prone to gas and bloating than others but the good news is with some simple dietary changes and natural remedies we can prevent future bouts of gas and relieve current episodes. If you are one who suffers on a regular basis, be sure to check with your health care provider to rule out other causes (Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease etc) before trying any natural remedy.

One of the easiest solutions is to eliminate foods that are known to cause gas and indigestion such as fried foods, spicy foods, processed foods, fructose and refined sugar. Other common foods that lead to gas and bloating include beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, apples and dairy products.

Here are 6 other remedies for gas and bloating:

  1. Fennel. This delightful vegetable has a mild licorice flavor and can be eaten raw or sauteed. The actual fennel seeds can be crushed and made into a tea by adding boiling water. The fennel seeds can relax the muscles in your digestive track and allow trapped air to pass. Caraway seeds have similar properties and can be added to your meals to help ease gas and indigestion.
  2. Organic Ginger. Drinking ginger tea or adding fresh grated ginger root to your foods is one of the best remedies for gas. Try adding some fresh ginger to your next stir fry or smoothie.
  3. Take a Probiotic Supplement. Taking a probiotic supplement or eating foods with probiotics (like yogurt) is a great way to get rid of gas. Probiotics have many health benefits and can help keep your colon in optimal working order.
  4. Acupuncture. Acupuncture has an effect on every system of our body especially our metabolism. Regular acupuncture treatments can help to regulate your bowels and digestive system to keep everything balanced and running smoothly.
  5. Peppermint tea. Peppermint helps to relax digestive muscles. If you are not a particular fan of peppermint tea, peppermint capsules work great as well.
  6. Hot Water. Easy enough and it works. About a half a cup of hot water should do the trick.

 Hopefully some of these tips will help keep you gas and bloat-free. If you are faced with a bad episode of gas pains, lying on your back and doing the bicycle motion with your legs can help bring instant relief.