Naturopath and Holistic Health Expert
There can be nothing more uncomfortable then the feeling of a bloated belly, especially during summer and the festive season. Abdominal bloating is one of the most common complaints that I come across in my clinical practice. The causes of bloating are wide and varied and can include poor diet, food intolerance, imbalanced gut flora, PMS, and stress. To effectively treat bloating long-term it is important to find the root cause. However, for short term relief there are some fantastic herbs and natural remedies that can be used (and you can find most of these in your garden or pantry). Here are my top natural remedies to help beat the bloat.
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Calm your bloated belly with sweet tasting fennel. Fennel has been traditionally used for its anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory and carminative qualities (a remedy that relieves gas and bloating in the stomach).
Add fennel seeds to hot water to make a tea, or simply chew on the seeds for a quick bloating remedy.
Not just your average kitchen spice, this warming herb may also provide some bloating relief. Ginger can help stimulate digestion after a big meal. It has also been traditionally used as an antispasmodic and carminative herb and is indicated for nausea, bloating and cramps.
Add ginger to warm water as a digestive tonic after meals, or grate fresh ginger into your salads or meals.
Soothe digestive upset and bloating with refreshing peppermint. Peppermint leaf has been traditionally used as a carminative and antispasmodic herb. It also has relaxing and cooling therapeutics and is the perfect herb to enjoy in the warmer weather.
Add the fresh leaf to your salads, infuse in cold water or add it to boiling water to create a tea.
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For those of you with digestive upset and struggling with a small appetite, gentian may be the herb for you. It has been traditionally used as a bitter and digestive stimulant, which also has anti-inflammatory therapeutics. Bitters stimulate saliva and digestive enzymes that aid the breakdown of foods, promoting healthy digestion and reduce bloating.
Your naturopath or herbalist can prescribe gentian in tincture form. *
Apple Cider Vinegar:
A pantry staple, apple cider vinegar has a wealth of health benefits and can help promote healthy digestion and reduce bloating. Like the bitter herbs, apple cider vinegar is often used as a digestive stimulant. It may help reduce the feeling of fullness and heaviness in the stomach, promote healthy bowel movements and reduce bloating.
Dilute 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, in water and add some lemon juice to support digestion, or use it as a salad and vegetable dressing.
* Herbs may be taken in the form of a tea or tincture form. Herbal tinctures are only available with a prescription from your Naturopath or Herbalist. A qualified practitioner will ensure your medication, supplements or disease state does not interact with the herbs. When an herbalist prescribes herbal medicine they consider one’s constitution: age, allergies, sensitiveness, robustness, size, temperature, current status of health and personality. Always remember to tell your practitioner if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.