One in ten Americans states that they suffer from bloating regularly, even when they haven’t eaten a large meal (say, a Thanksgiving feast).
Sometimes, bloating can become severe enough that it causes a noticeable swelling of the abdomen. Gas and bloating are usually diet-related, so you may find that a few simple changes to what you eat will do the trick. Still, if your stomach fails to settle down, there’s no need to rush to the doctor or pharmacy (yet!)
In this article, we’ll talk about four natural ingredients – essential oils, to be exact- that may help relieve those gas and bloating episodes. We’ll wrap things up by making a few other suggestions that may help.
What causes bloating?
Several things may instigate episodes of bloating and gassiness. Here are some common offenders:
– Beans and lentils: These foods contain sugars called oligosaccharides, which must first be broken down by bacteria in the gut before they can be digested.
– Certain fruits and veggies: Certain vegetables contain a fair amount of starch, including Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and carrots, which can create a gassy feeling. Fruits high in natural sugars like apricots and prunes may also contribute to gassiness and bloat.
– Dairy products: Lactose, or milk sugar, can be a source of bloating and intestinal discomfort if you’re sensitive to it. More than likely, you already know if you’re lactose intolerant.
– Sweeteners: Fructose, a natural sugar added to many processed foods, is difficult for many people to digest. Sorbitol, an artificial sweetener, can’t be digested. Both can create some serious bloating trouble, so be aware of them the next time you eat. Try to limit the amount of fructose and sorbitol that you consume on a daily basis.
– Whole grains: Natural grains contain a myriad of health benefits, but they can sometimes cause bloating and gas troubles. Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that, when consumed in large amounts, can create bloating, gas, and even constipation. This is one reason why nutritionists do not recommend the sudden, sharp increase of fiber in one’s diet. Instead, slowly adding fiber and giving your body a period to adjust is a better option. Additionally, make sure to consume plenty of water, as H2O can help prevent the fiber from absorbing too much water from within the digestive tract.
Oils That May Help
Here are four ingredients that can help with gas and bloating:
1. Chamomile Oil
Chamomile oil has been shown to help reduce intestinal inflammation and ease pains brought on by cramping. Chamomile may also help relieve diarrhea, chronic heartburn, loss of appetite, nausea, motion sickness, and vomiting. Though more research must be conducted, chamomile oil may also help rid the body of toxins.
2. Cumin Oil
It’s said that cumin oil works wonders for intestinal cramps and general pain in the stomach. It may also help with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and flatulence. Pregnant women should not use cumin oil, nor should it be exposed to sunlight after being applied to the skin.
3. Ginger Oil
Per Medical News Today, the potential health benefits of ginger include relieving motion sickness, nausea, lack of appetite, and pain. Ginger is also known for its carminative properties, which help to reduce flatulence, gassiness, and abdominal discomfort.
4. Peppermint Oil
Of the four oils mentioned here, the oil most proven to help relieve gas and bloating is peppermint oil. Whether taken in capsule form or applied and rubbed onto the skin, peppermint may help calm stomach muscles and reduce pain from cramping. It also helps eliminate gassiness.