I live under the Rocky mountains. Like, right under. If the mountains were a hat, I would be the old lady wearing them. Only I would paint them fuchsia. There’s just something about an old lady in a pink hat.
Still, even though I see them every day, there’s something magical about saying, “I’m going up to the mountains this weekend.” Like it’s a relaxation destination, a daring adventure. All in a 15-minute drive.
I went up to the mountains this weekend. It was neither particularly relaxing nor bravely daring. I went up to babysit my parents’ dog.
If you’ve never met Riley before, he’s an extremely jovial (nearly 10-year-old) dog with what the psychiatrists would only call emotional wackiness. Namely, he obsesses over things. One time, he had a small toy that he loved and wouldn’t stop squeaking, so my dad put it up in a cabinet. Riley spent 4 hours standing, staring at that cabinet longingly, before my dad gave in and got it for him.
Then the toy was mysteriously lost and Riley didn’t know how to handle himself for days.
So my weekend, which started out with the intention of being productive and creative, really just ended up like this: Throwing the ball. Throwing the ball. Throwing the ball. Throwing the ball.
Throwing the ball. Throwing the ball. Throwing the ball. Throwing the ball. Throwing the ball.
My right arm is a work of granite masterpiece now.
And you know how, when you go somewhere different and are greeted by new food, you kind of forget what you’re doing nutrition-wise and just vacuum things into your digestive tract?
My menu for the weekend consisted of: Brie and crackers … and leftover Chinese food. Period. That was it. My body is a temple of dairy and water chestnuts. And my stomach was furious with me yesterday. Finally, it unleashed its wrath in the form of an enormous ball of stabby air that rolled around my stomach, causing me to roll around on the floor in pain.
WHY? I cried to the mercy of the universe. OH GOD WHY? MAKE IT STOP.
And the monstrous blob of dagger-covered air said, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!
And then I remembered I have fennel seeds in my cabinet.
Natural Remedies for Gas and Bloating
So the star of this post is fennel seeds, but there are several things you can do when you find yourself in an uncomfortable tummy situation.
Let’s talk about the fennel first, though.
Fennel, if you don’t know, is a green leafy plant that tastes an awful lot like black licorice. It’s related to parsley and coriander. The plant itself is full of phytonutrients and it’s delicious – if you like licorice-y things. I do. A lot. (Good ‘N Plenty was my candy of choice, back in the day when I bought candy. I know some of you are wrinkling your nose. Whatevs.)
Fennel seeds have been used (especially in India) for thousands of years to help aid in digestion. My favorite Indian restaurant keeps a bowl of them by the checkout counter, for every Tom, Dick, and Penelope to dip their grimy hands in and eat after their monstrous buffet. Yes, I am sometimes Penelope.
As an aside, making a fennel infusion with witch hazel would be a most excellent facial tonic for those of you who have oily or acneic skin. But we’re not talking about that right now.
If you don’t have fennel seeds in your spice cabinet, I highly recommend getting them – if for no other reason than these uncomfortable moments.
SO, while I’m NOT a doctor and this should not constitute as health advice (I hate having to cover my butt, but it’s necessary), here’s how I – I – used fennel seeds to get rid of uncomfortable gas and bloating. Ready? This is complicated.
I ate a pinch of them. And then I ate another pinch of them, for good measure.
Within three minutes, the pain was gone. Poof. Eradicated. Amazing. I burped (quite delicately and ladylike, for those of you who like those details) three times and the whole episode was over. I was then free to resume my healthy eating habits in peace, friends again with my digestive tract.
Got gas? Try fennel. Don’t like fennel? Try this:
Other Natural Remedies for Gas and Bloating
In an uncanny case of synchronicity, I also happened to watch the Dr. Oz show (all the way through for the first time!) while I was up in the mountains. It was all about supplements to help you lose weight, but one lady had issues with daily bloating.
His recommendation for her? Daily? Every morning and whenever she felt bloated? A pinch of caraway seeds. I don’t own any caraway seeds, so I cannot attest to their efficacy, but there you go. Another option for when your stomach feels like it’s going to burst forth, straight through your bellybutton.
Here are a few others:
- Rest on your back with your legs up at a 90-degree angle (this did NOT work for me, and I ended up looking like an epileptic plant stand)
- Turmeric! (There. Now you have another reason to keep turmeric around your house, as if cancer prevention and pain relief wasn’t enough.)
- Clove tea (just pour boiling water over about 3 heads of clove and let it steep for 5-10 minutes)
- Ginger tea, chewing on a piece of ginger … or massaging your stomach with 5 drops of ginger essential oil in 2-3 Tbsp olive (or other carrier) oil
- Peppermint and/or chamomile tea
- Squeeze a bit of lemon in any of the teas for a little extra gas-busting action
I’ve seen some people recommend baking soda in water for bloating and gas, but I think that’s an iffy idea. Baking soda will react with the acids in your stomach and just lead to more gas. Remember baking soda and vinegar volcanoes?
On one hand, you could build up so much gas that it HAS to come out (and quite unpleasantly). On the other hand, you could build up extra gas that just partners up and hangs out with the gas already there.
(Though, of note, baking soda water is my go-to antacid for heartburn … just not gas.)
If You Want to Discuss Gas …
We can do it here in the comments.
Have any of your own favorite remedies for bloating and gassy discomfort?
(And, of course, if if this is an ongoing issue or your tummy is outrageously painful, you should seek medical care from your healthcare practitioner or your naturopath.)
Enjoy your beans, and tell your stomach I said, “You’re welcome.”
I was also a stressed mom once when my 4 months baby used to cry for hours and hours taking nap just for one or less hour. I tried different remedies but the last remedy that soothed my child was babies magic tea.
Thank you so much! I didn’t have fennel seed, but I did have caraway and it worked within minutes. Sweet relief!
I chewed about an eighth of a teaspoon of caraway seeds. The problem which had been troubling me for 2 weeks, was gone almost instantly.
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I was wondering whether anyone has experienced any side effects from the amount of fennel they have tried to avoid bloating?
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I looove farting, I mean I really love doing it all the time as much as possible!
If you don’t like the taste of fennel or any other spices just grind them up and add them to a veggie capsule. I order mine from doterra.com I think they are 4.95 for a bottle of 100. They are empty capsules that you can put your own spices or medicine in. Works like a charm and there’s no yucky taste.
Miracle cure! I am SO prone to gas and bloating. Some known triggers ( foods that a blood test confirmed as allergic) I avoid, but today, the culprit I believe was a chopped cabbage salad. I was out of gasEx, and chomping on crystallized ginger hadn’t helped, so I resorted to an Internet search and found this thread. We are Indian, so luckily, I had every spice imaginable in the tins. After chewing some fennel seeds and concocting a tea in my mortar and pestal of fennel, caraway, cloves, dried mint and ginger, I put it all in a tea ball and steeped it for a few minutes, drank it, and felt miraculously improved within 10 minutes! My husband told me that his mom swears by geera (“jeer-uh”) or cumin seeds for flatulence also. Crush and steep in hot water. Next time, I’ll add some to my fennel+ tea! Thanks for this thread!
Thanks for your advice.I made the clove tea but i add garlic and dry grapefruit peel.
Oh my gosh, thank you thank you. Had an endoscopy with biopsies today and was left in agony with that “monstrous blob of dagger-covered air”. The fennel seeds were these magical unicorn-dust bearers of happiness. I can breathe again! I put some beside my bed in case of a night-time recurrence. You’re the best!
Pure sorcery! What an amazing little trick. My office bought me lunch today and I had been miserable for hours. Stopped at the store, nibbled a pinch in the parking lot, and by the time I got home relief had come. Thank goodness! And thank you for this gem of a remedy!
I can’t believe it… I had 2 pinches of fennel seed, I chopped up, and almost immediately started feeling better. I was afraid I wasn’t going to get much sleep tonight! I can’t wait to tell my mom and friends.
So when you say just eat a pinch of fennel you mean just pop it in your mouth and eat it.. can you mix it with something else? I’ve been dealing with bad gas daily, especially at night. My doctor first prescribed Omeprazole and then told me to take Gas-x (125 mg Simethicone) 3 x’s a day. It’s not working either. I just started drinking fennel tea and it seems to be helping but.. if just eating a pinch of fennel seeds works faster I will try it.
The fennel worked like a charm – thank you very much!
um, that was amazing! Thank you so much!
Thank you for your article! Fennel really helped when the gas-x wouldn’t. Another option I have found is a tea (and sorry it’s not organic) but it is STASH’s White Christmas Tea. It is white tea, peppermint and ginger root. I tend to bloat after lunch. If I have tea with ginger afterwards – I had a ginger pear tea once and that worked too – it really makes a difference!
Those are Carom seeds and not fennel seeds 😉
After surgery on Wednesday the only pain keeping me down is the gas pain. I made fennel tea and ate the seeds after. I have found relief! Within in minutes! Now I’m off to explore what you might have to say about constipation, another glorious side effect of modern medical practice.
Could you also eat fresh fennel too?
4:00 am relief from a bowl of hot chili on a snowy night … Seemed like a good idea at the time. Thx for relieving the pain & cracking me up in the meantime!
I am definitely going to give this a try and as a bonus I too lOVE Licorice, black, red, green any!! Lol, thanks for a helpful article, hoping it works for me!
I hate licorice and anything licorice flavored. That said, I mixed 2 pinches caraway seeds (well bruised, via mortar and pestle)with 1 tsp raw honey, spread on my favorite brand of bread roll. Between the honey and bread there was only a hint of caraway. (It was actually a pleasant low note to the taste) Worked great!
Clever work-around! I’ll have to try this since I can’t stand licorice either!
Ginger Boone Bikini competitor/athlete
Oh my goodness you are so fun/funny/helpful!!! I have struggled with so much tummy bloat on and off stage! I am so excited to try these things! Any and all! I have seriously thought I have had a severe medical condition or something due to my tummy bloat and gas pains! After I compete especially!!! Totally screws up the whole gastrointestinal to eat normal foods again, let alone this passed show when I tried vegan/ plant based nutrition! My fav nutritionist says too, if u know ur gonna eat spicy foods like chili sprinkle baking soda for acid reflux suffers. I love this article and your happy energy!!! Thank you!!!
I was in such severe pain from a Mexican meal tonight, I was doubled over nearly in tears. I read your article, ran to my spice rack…chewed up some rather ancient fennel…and phew! So much better! I think I’ll buy some fresher fennel to keep on hand in case it happens again, because even though it tasted pretty awful…it worked. Thanks so much!
OMG that was the funniest thing I’ve read in years…I could not stop laughing…Great article!
OMG! I cannot thank you enough! After 4 miserable hours, 2 doses if pepto, and 1 dose of Gas-x I found your article in my desperate search for relief. I dug through my spice drawer and found a may-be-older-than-my-kids jar of fennel seeds. I chomped about a dime size portion of them just enough to break them up a bit and swallowed them with some water. About 5 minutes and 2 belchs later I was right as rain! Unbelievable. Thank you sooooooo much!
made the spaghetti pie tonight, awesome! Everyone had 2nds!
Thanks for the excellent advice and the laughs! 🙂
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OF course, your first two suggestions are spices I absolutely hate the taste of. I can go for tumeric whole-heartedly, have you any other spicy suggestions? Basil, thyme, sage, etc?
Started drinking fennel tea just 3 days ago after doing some lengthy research on the IBS subject. As a skinny 24-year-old, a big downfall is my constantly bloated stomach. Seriously, I could fool someone into thinking I’m pregnant, it’s that bad sometimes. I have been drinking two cups a day (once in the morning and once midday) and my stomach has seriously transformed. I don’t feel a painful bloating pressure after my meals (due to trapped gas), and my stomach looks flatter. I thank the fennel gods, because this is some herbal magic. I haven’t tried eating the seeds raw, but I’ll be sure to keep some handy in case of a severe episode of IBS.
I’m a skinny 31-year-old and I suffer from the I’m-not-pregnant-it’s-just-gas bloat alllll the time (my diet is full of gas-inducing foods). I don’t know anyone like me, so it’s nice to hear other skinny girls have the same issue 🙂 No one sees my bloated belly because I hide it really well, and I’ve learned over the years that no one wants to hear a skinny girl complain about her body (fair enough). I knew about the magic of fennel (and aniseed for that matter) but I had completely forgotten about it until yesterday after several days of even more gas bloat than usual. I made a fennel/aniseed tea yesterday and had one before dinner and one after and it worked like a charm. I can’t even believe I’m sitting here at work comfortably and with my back straight! I’ll be having this tea regularly now and see if it keeps working! Glad to know I’m not alone 🙂
Currently having a huge bloating episode at work. In agony .
Luckily I’m a nanny though, so I had two big pinches of the fennel seeds and 10mins later I’m still the size of a house -BUT pain has gone completely . Thank you so much. I’m buying a jar to put in my purse as I’ve started to flare up with more episodes in last few weeks randomly.
Thanks for soothing the pain!! 🙂
Beautifully written! The sugar coated fennel from the Indian shops is very tasty. I avoid the bowl at some restaurants because it is a breeding ground for germs… Thanks for all the good info!
Someone had to say it
Eat your fennel and stop whining about the taste. Some of ya’ll sound like little kids with the cough medicine. Just eat it!
Feel better? Good! Now, STFU ;););)
I grew up in the Midwest U.S. eating all the typical things that a kid there would eat…milk, juice boxes, fish sticks…you name it, I pretty much ate it, and without a single digestive issue (I used to brag that I had a stomach of steel and could eat any gross combination of whatever was on my lunch tray at school, thus winning the awe and respect of all around me). My first issue with dairy products didn’t rear its head until after I had spent a year working abroad in Asia (where I ate so many things that I didn’t even know the name of but suprisingly never had any problems!!) after college graduation and had returned to the U.S. I started to have bloating/stomach issues with the milk, cheese, etc. that I was eating, which had NEVER given me problems in the past. So I gave up dairy and switched to almond milk, thus solving the problem for the time being. After a year living at home, I went to live abroad again, this time in western Europe, and ate my heart out, including delicious dairy products…milk, yoghurt, a spectrum of cheese from fresh to super-cured…without a single problem! Two years later, I return home to the U.S., and find that suddenly I am dairy-sensitive, and have to give up dairy all over again due to immediate, painful bloating (my husband as well had the same reaction, and he is from Western Europe). We concluded that there is something in the U.S. food system that is seriously wrong, because we couldn’t eat any dairy or any kind of meat without having the same painful stomach problems, things that here in Europe we both eat without issue. So everyone who IS having digestive issues in the U.S., do keep in mind that your issue may not be that you are intolerant of a certain kind of food, but that it is what is being put into that food (chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, etc.) that may be the real issue. We know that this was our problem there, and this was after my having been out of the country for a year or two at a time and I suppose my body eventually cleansed itself and readjusted to food that is much less interfered with, genetically or chemically. (And with Celiac Disease suddenly popping up in the U.S., you have to wonder about its origins, because here in Western Europe, people eat an abundance of bread, including myself…it’s included in every meal, every day…and it’s not an issue here at all…they also do not allow their wheat to be genetically modified, and the U.S. does…is there a link?) Thanks for letting me share!
I learned about a health issue called Leakygut ( ｈｔｔｐ://ｄｅｓｓ.ｍｅ/Ｌｋｙｇｔ ) recently and as I listened in the video, I learned that my symptoms align. I hope I will get the cure as I apply the methods.
I just read this and will try it. I’ve had many intestinal and bowel surgeries, but for the last couple of years, I’ve been suffering terribly from flatulance. No smell to them, THANK GOD, but sometimes loud. It happens so much that I’m barely aware of them anymore. I’ve been afraid to take anything because my stomach is very, very weak so it’s never sure how it will react, of even if products are safe at all.
But I love fennel. I cook with it all the time and it never bothers me, so I’m trying this. Thank you – thank you so much. 🙂
woke up with intense gas pain and bloating. got online for natural remedy and found this page. I have a huge spice rack with both fennel and caraway seeds. I just took a healthy pinch of both and now I am waiting…I pray this works. I feel like I am dying – a burning sword stabbing me through my stomach. I will say one thing – I usually eat healthy – BUT last night I ate a can of my sons beefaroni. NEVER AGAIN. UGH :/
Wow, I’m 12 weeks pregnant and have been suffering from excruciatingly painful gas and bloating. I’ve tried all the tips about soda water, ginger ale, I even tried gas x with no relief! I ate a tablespoon of fennel seeds and with in 10 minutes I was amazed at how great I felt!!!! Thank You So Much for the advice!!!Yeah!!!
My husband gas offends other men. I have tried almost everything to get the constant farting (oh the smell of horror) to end. I am so embarrased and I am pretty sure that he is too since everytime he does it he sighs. Yea, poor him, but poor everyone else in the house who has to breathe this in. It travels so fast too. I need more suggestions or else I will have to put him in a bubble…
Cardamon is also good for gas. I put it in my french press with my morning coffee, along with ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne, which are all good for digestion and much more.
Holly - greenpennypincher.com
I put cinnamon in my coffee every day – a sprinkle in the grinds makes the coffee taste like much higher quality beans.
I live in Nigeria, so finding fennel seeds or caraway seeds [if I even knew what they looked like] would be a needle-in-a-haystack situation. But I must say that Baking soda and water works. It did for me at 3 am this morning when I woke up with a bloated painful tummy. After rolling around on the bed [and on my hubby when he refused to budge], I remembered my baking soda, and went for it. Worked instantly. Thanks for sharing 😀
My husband and I went for Indian food the other night. Needless to say, when we arrived home the food started to “kick in”. I then thought: “AH HA!!” and shoved fennel seeds in both of our mouths. Betty, I have to say I think you saved us from a very painful night. ha! Thanks!
I have been to a couple Indian restaurants, and at the door they both had a large bowl (or something like it) with seeds in it for people to take on the way out. Do you think this was the reason? Hmm…. I wonder.
Are any of these contraindicated during pregnancy? Ever since I learned about avoiding chamomile while pregnant I am extra cautious.
Absolutely NO papaya for you if your pregnant
Oh if you have nausea then do try cardamom that will work really well. Safe for pregnant women 🙂
Ya know, I’ve always wondered what that bowl of fennel seeds at the Indian restaurant were for!! I will now be that girl who sticks her hand in for some because sometimes that type of food can “get me!” I may even carry some in my purse now!! Thanks for the tip!!!
Love fennel! Also good for gas is black cardamom seeds – in fact my mom makes a ‘tummylicious’ for all stomach related ailments which has fennel, cardamom and mint that tastes divine and is great for gas and especially tummy bugs.
How does she make it? Thanks 🙂
Yes, how would one go about making this “tummylicious” concoction?
I love those candy coated fennel seed! I carry a small container in my purse and dish them out to the little children at church………I am their favorite person. 🙂
“An epileptic plant stand”… I laughed. Loudly. Instantly. Love it.
I have had gassy, bloating issues all my life. I’m a joke at work. Almost a year ago my doctor urged me to go gluten-free. With much self-education, I did. With time, miracles occurred. History of migraines-much reduced. GI tract-much improved. General feeling of flu symptoms and crushing fatigue-vastly better. I also put a few drops peppermint essential oil in a glass of water and drink it down. Huge relief almost instantly. Now, boy, I know if I screw up and get some gluten in. Agony for 24 hours. Do the research and decide for yourself. Apparently, gluten intolerance and celiac disease are much more common than we think and mostly undiagnosed in this country. I myself had no medical tests. My doctor says do the elimination test and listen to your body.
I have been considering giving gluten-free a try. I too have migraines, that flu like feeling and extreme fatigue.. So far, nothing else has worked so I am going to try this. Any additional info you can offer would be much appreciated 🙂
Jen, I am going out of the country tomorrow on vacation , so I’m a little short on time, but I’ll try to respond better when I get back.
Go to your bookstore and pick up some books or check out your local library. Of course the internet has stuff too. Just start reading like crazy. Learn to read labels. It is a work in progress and will take a long time.
For now, try to stick with foods in their simplest form. Meats, vegetables, fruits, beans, stuff like that. Rice is fine. Oats if they are labeled gluten free. Eating out is tricky. Most chain restaurants have a gluten free menu, either there or online. Check them out.
If you love breads and stuff, you can buy gluten free breads and store them in the freezer. You can learn to make bread stuff too.
For pasta, buy Tinkyada brand rice pastas. My family eats them and knows no difference. Large grocery stores like Kroger, United, etc carry gluten free stuff. But rather than buy lots of fattening junk, learn to eat natural foods. They are good and you will feel so much better.
Your symptoms sound like mine. My doctor also recommended eliminating dairy and alcohol. I occasionally drink wine and gluten free beer. I do eat dairy, just not all that much.
I like waffles and toast and stuff, so I make my own gluten free.
When I get back, if you are interested, I can give you the name of some cookbooks I like. But do check your library first.
Good luck, I think you may find relief.
And Jen, don’t forget to read every label. Even something like soy sauce has wheat as a main ingredient, and wheat, barley and rye and all their similar varieties are off limit. But they make gluten free soy sauces, even. Stay away from barley malt, any of those strange ingredients. For now, your best bet is simplify it down, give it a month or two, and see how you feel. As my doctor says, just listen to your body.
Watch ham, sausage, lunchmeats, etc. Best to buy stuff that is labeled gluten free. And stay away from aspartame (artifical sweetener) and monosodium glutamate. Those really trigger my migraines. I am now migraine free or almost so.
It seems overwhelming at first, but it will become easier and more natural and now it is just a way of life and not really a big deal. I even called ahead to my airline and they will have gluten free food on hand for me.
Good luck to you.
I must make a comment here. I have had that problem for so many years with the bloating…no matter what I ate. Iwas never able to eat anything like broccoli, cabbage or beans. I tried fennel, peppermint, beano, all the herbal things I read about. Nothing worked. 3 months ago I gave up flour and sugar. After a few weeks, I realized I had not had any bloating. I was shocked. After reading about gluten sensitive. I now realize that this was my problem all the time. I have now been gluten free for 3 months and I’m eating all the cabbage, broccoli, beans, tofu…whatever and loving it. This was life changing for me. Who would have thought…
catnip tea is great for gas and for colic
I LOVE turmeric. I put a few dashes of it in just about everything for the cancer-preventing properties. I didn’t know that it helped with gas and bloating.
Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents
As a 6 month pregnant woman, I cannot tell you how much I love you for posting this. God bless you!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 I pinned so I will never forget. You rock my face off.
I’m 6 WEEKS and I echo your thanks 🙂
The europeans have used a home remedy called gripewater for childrens tummy issues for ages. Made of fennel, ginger and chamomile, it is now becoming more popular in the U.S. Three years ago i could only find it commercially at the base px – now even walmart stocks it. I always include a bottle in any babyshower gift – it saved my sanity when my daughter was born. She was intolerant to just about every thing i ate or drank. There are recipes to make your own (and it would certainly be cheaper), but however you acquire it i cannot sing its praises enough. Instant (like count to ten) relief every time for my babies.
I was so happy to have discovered it back in 2005 when my first son never seemed to stop fussing. We pretty much gave him gripe water morning, noon and night. It is all natural so I didn’t mind giving him that much. It worked!
Some babies cannot tolerate gripe water…it causes my little grandbaby to projectile vomit.
How I wish I would have had some of these remedies with me over the weekend. We had to cut our camping trip short because I was so uncomfortable with gas and cramps that I could hardly move. I will definitely be buying some fennel seeds soon, and take them with me wherever I go! Looks like I’ll be stocking the camper with some peppermint tea, too.
Thanks for a great post with very useful information (as always!).
Can you tell me more about the fennel and witch hazel acne tonic?? I am very interested!
I live next to the Rocky Mountains too… Love the mountains!!! Plus they help me know which direction is east if I get lost. 🙂 Love the rest of the blog too.
Susan Neel Wiederhold
Me too. I did get lost in Denver though…you get down into it and the mountains are all around you 😀
Im not sure but i think the pic you have posted is of Carom seeds and not fennel seeds 🙁
In India we use fennel seeds as a mouth freshner and carom seeds for gas trouble etc …
do you chew the fennel seeds or just swallow them
Baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) does work for gas. Here is how:
Juice a lemon and add baking soda to it. It will fizz (baking soda reacts with citric acid to produce carbon dioxide). Keep adding baking soda till the fizz stops. Then add a cup of water to this and fully dissolve any baking powder residue. Drink it all up.
It won’t taste great, but the result is immediate. This is my go to remedy for a bloated tummy.
I almost felt like crying reading this. Not because I have that “stabby ball of air” right now. But oh how I have had it. I know that pain all too well. IBS, and all. I’m a firm believer in peppermint tea, but sometimes it’s just not enough. I’ve just added fennel and caraway to my list of things to buy tomorrow. I will forever be keeping them on hand – just in case.
I was diagnosed with it early this year. I have been taking “stomach pills” for pain, but I have been wondering what some natural remedies would be. I have been to nervous to try any since I get awful pains, and my pills work in minutes. I will have try try peppermint tea and fennel seeds as well the other suggestions
I also boil some bay leaves. Old folk remedy that works for me. Boil about two bay leaves and discard the leaves. Add some sugar if you like, drink like tea. Works wonders
Yep- peppermint tea is the BEST remedy for cramping and bloating (as an IBS sufferer, that means a lot!). 🙂 Weirdly, we’re in synch too! Just wrote a blog post about it the other day 🙂
I like to make catnip and fennel tea for gas and bloating. I even used it with my newborn (I just gave him a few teaspoons and that did the trick for him) last summer.
I also sprinkle fennel seed on my pizza. SO good!
I use fennel seeds for gas, but I hate chewing them. So I boil a few ounces of water and let the seeds steep for a few minutes then drink the infusion. It takes a few extra minutes, but I find it much more palatable.
The number of women on the internet openly discussing bowel activity is just too damn low. Especially in a humorous, nonchalant, not-related-to-either-pregnancy-or-menopause kind of way. That and the fact that I get bloated and gassy from every little thing that goes down my esophagus just make me wanna shout “hallelujah” to this post.
Now, to the grocery store!
Thank you this is great to know! Thank you for the added humor! I laughed so hard I cried!!
I use an essential oil blend from doTERRA called DigestZen that contains many of the things you mentioned in your post…and more: ginger, peppermint, tarragon, fennel, caraway, coriander, and anise, and it works wonders on all types of stomach discomfort. I just rub it on my stomach and have used it for my kids as well. It’s great!
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is great for stomach troubles. Though not gas, it helped some major diarrhea issues I had. It seems to soothe my stomach, plus it’s great for a lot of other ailments. I take about 1 tsp in a cup of hot water with honey, preferably raw honey. Check out
my FAVE. I have my acv/raw honey tea morning, noon and night.
“And the monstrous blob of dagger-covered air said, YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”
Hahahaha! Not at your pain, of course. But at your humour.
Now. To get my dog to eat fennel seeds ….
I’m so glad you posted about this! My hubby has HORRIBLE gas. (and by horrible, I mean peel paint off the walls, makes you gag horrible). And while I think its hilarious (because farts are always funny!) I don’t need to encounter them 100 times a day. I’m going to have to try sneaking some of the remedies in on him and seeing what happens!
My favourite is definitely peppermint tea, which I see you mentioned. That’s what my husband and I use, and I’ve converted some friends as well.
I was hoping your miracle cure would be something besides fennel…. *gag* Interesting that Turmeric helps though. I keep meaning to pick some up; maybe my bloated stomach will finally convince me.
And what a cute doggy…. 🙂
Ashley, I haven’t read through all the comments here, but have you tried papaya extract? I swear by it.
I love fennel seed. I’ve been using it as an after meal digestive aid for some time. Plus, they also help freshen your breath 🙂 Ahhhh, turmeric…another love of mine. Great post!
The Girl in Yoga Pants
Unfortunately, I’m quite familiar with gas pain. I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I’ve had pain so bad a few times that I would have gone to the emergency room if someone could have gotten me to the car. So, yeah. I’ve been there.
One thing that helps me is alternate nostril breathing, which I learned through yoga. It is said to encourage a calmer emotional state, soothe the nervous system, and promote energetic balance. I don’t know about all of that, but I do know that it helps with severe pain. I used it during labor with my youngest. If it hadn’t been for that breathing technique, I would have passed out. Seriously, it’s that good.
To do it, you place your right thumb by your right nostril and your right ring finger by your left nostril. Close off your right nostril with your thumb, breathe in, pause. Then, release the right nostril, close off the left nostril with your ring finger, and exhale. Breathe in through your right nostril, pause. Then, repeat.
It doesn’t take care of the gas, but it does help with the pain until the gas goes away. I will definitely be buying some fennel seeds! Thanks!
Hey fellow yogi and IBS sufferer! (also been to emerg… scary eh?). Perhaps there’s something about Type A people, IBS and Yoga? (i just assume, most IBS people are Type A personalities)…
I’ve used Ujaii breathing to help calm my nervous system- honestly most types of slow, calming breathing will help. I’m not really a fan of alterntate nostril breathing, but then when I’m in severe pain I don’t like holding my nose lol. 🙂 That’s the beauty- there are strategies for all!
Honestly, you should give Peppermint Tea a try. There are definite scientific evidence supporting it (which I blogged about 🙂 ), and it’s yummy and delicious!
Not really type A, but IBS here. Peppermint tea is AMAZING (and Altoids sort of work in a pinch — they have peppermint essential oils in them) for an IBS attack, but it doesn’t do much for me with gas. Fennel seeds work great, as does fennel tea. I am not in love with the flavor, but so do not care since it works.
I was writhing in pain just the other day from stomach gas. No idea what caused it, though. I solved it with homeopathic cell salts, specifically Nat Phos (natrum phosphate). I took one tiny cell salt every 30 seconds until the pain went away completely. Within 2 minutes, ahhhhh… relief!
Hyland’s makes them and can be found in health food stores. I prefer 1-800-homeopathy (no plastic and just work better for me), which I buy at http://www.1-800homeopathy.com/cell-salts/single-remedy-cell-salts.html online.
Ginger works for me! Dried and covered with yoghurt yum, yum! Gonna try fennel next. O, and that fennel-witch hazel infusion sounds deadly (as we say here in Dublin). Got a recipe?
I’ve got fennel seeds in the cupboard… nice to know they’re good for more than just meatballs!
I absolutely loved this post, and made sure to read it out load to my boyfriend while pausing to giggle and nod my head, in that, “amen, sisah” kind of way. I just had a big raw salad and i now look 5 months pregnant. Time to raid my spice rack!
Gahh. I knew this (I think you’ve mentioned the fennel thing before?) and yet when I was all bloaty just before I left to take the bus to the opera a few months ago (classy, I know), I simply changed skirts then bore out an uncomfortable few hours. The worst part was during the third act of Nixon in China.
Something that works when I’m not trudging to a bus stop in heels is massage: starting at the sides just under the ribs and curving down to the belly button. Repeat. In private. I bet this would work even better with the ginger massage oil.
Does anyone have recommendations for natural lactose intolerance remedies? I’ve become LI out of freakin’ nowhere! Lactaid pills help (as does, yannow, not drinking milk), but I was wondering if there was a less chemical-y way to avoid the pain.
I am also LI, but I haven’t found that anything ever relieves my discomfort… I HAVE, however, recently discovered oat milk. It is delicious, and doesn’t hurt my stomach at all like milk and soy do.
One other thing; I don’t know how severe your intolerance is, but non fat milk has the most lactose in it. Maybe you can get away with instead drinking whole milk, maybe you can’t, I don’t know (maybe you haven’t even been drinking non fat in the first place; I know I never did). But I thought I’d throw that out there just in case. 😉
My Ward, hopefully soon to be adopted, daughter, is lactose intolerant, but to COWS milk only… When she was a year old, her biological parents had her to the doctor several times, and she ended up on a nebulizer for all the congestion from the cows milk.
When my wife and I began taking care of her at 18 months old, she screamed horribly, but the doctors said that at least she was getting the medicine then- We could NOT keep doing this!
Long story short, after looking around, we found that she did well on rice, soy, almond, and raw goats milk. We talked to the doctor, after she had been off the cows milk for a couple of weeks, and there was no reason for any more nebulizer treatments.
She still can not do cows milk, at age 8, but we now have our own milk goats, and she does great on that, so we dont see any need to change.
The thought train that led me to start experimenting with other milk types, was because my sister could not handle any milk but soy, back in the 60’s when we were kids, she had horrible colic as an infant. When she was switched to soy in her bottle, it was the first time since birth that she had more than a couple of hours of sleep. She was 5 or 6 months old by the time that soy was tried.
I don’t know if this might help anyone with IBS or not, but it might be worth looking into, at least to try. Almond milk is sweet, I personally havent tried rice or soy, but both my mother and my ward like all of them.
Susan Neel Wiederhold
Avoid soy….here in the US we don’t ferment it and it can seriously screw up the hormones…it is on of the most heavily GMO-ed seeds/foods on the market.
Thanks! We will definitely keep that in mind.
Stl Tour Girl
I have the same issue. Didn’t know until my 30’s that cow’s milk was my problem. I, like your daughter, can do other milks, just not cow. I believe it is the protein rather than the lactose. Either way, it’s good to know the culprit.
Almond milk is great!
I’ve always been lactose intolerant since I was a teenager and mine sprang up out of nowhere as well. I avoided milk for years because of it (which is so sad because I love milk).
Then I discovered raw milk. For whatever reason (probably the level of awesomeness in it), the raw milk doesn’t hurt me the way pasteurized milk does. And it’s not just me…I’ve read about a lot of people who were LI until they switched to raw. So I would suggest trying to find raw milk in your area and giving it a go. It couldn’t hurt to try!
i get goat’s milk and all is calm; all is bright!
I felt compelled to reply to you. You have become LI because your body has stopped producing lactaise, the enzyme needed to digest lactose and galactose both found in milk. Some people’s production of the enzyme naturally lessens and then halts as they grow older. Also the pill that you are taking, I believe it contains this enzyme you need in pill form. Another option is to look online for an all natural pill form of the enzyme lactaise. Good luck to you. Your post was old, I hope you get this.
On the topic of gas: My son and I are driving along and he rips one. I say, “Oooh, that was juicy!” After a second’s pause, he says “I love you mom.” I laugh and say, “You love me because I just said that your fart is juicy?” And he says, “yeah. You’re cool. A lot of mom’s would say, ‘ooh, gross’ or ‘say excuse me’ or ‘don’t do that’ but you say that it’s juicy. I love that about you.” And so there you go, mother/son bonding over juicy sounding gas.
That said, as much as I love bonding over it, it is good to know that there is a natural remedy for it. And I love black licorice! Except it gives me gas.
Should I have used a pseudonym on this gassy comment? Probably. But I am being authentic! 🙂
Oh, I could have used this info last week. Hate licorice. Hate caraway. Hate gas more. Guess it’s time to stock some.
The tea doesn’t taste much like licorice, IMO — about 1 T of seeds to a mug of boiling water. Maybe see if that works.