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6 Herbs for Gas and Bloating

Feeling gassy or bloated is something we will all experience at some point. Especially during times of increased stress or when you eat a food your microbiome isn't used to. In normal circumstances it should be mild and go away within a few hours.


If you experience chronic gas and bloating, there could be more going on under the surface. Some common causes of chronic gas/bloating include:

  • Food intolerances (ie. lactose/gluten)

  • Low stomach acid, bile or enzymes

  • Dysbiosis (imbalance between good/bad bacteria)

  • Yeast overgrowth (Candida)

  • Parasites

  • Chronic stress/nervous system imbalances

When you're feeling extra gassy/bloated and want a quick way to deal with the discomfort, reach for carminative herbs. These are herbs contain volatile oils that help increase gastric emptying and peristalsis, relieving cramping and expelling gas. They also help relax the stomach and many carminative herbs have anti-inflammatory properties.


Here are six awesome carminative herbs you can try for relief:


1. Chamomile


In herbalism, Chamomile is known as the "Mother of the Stomach" but it's more well known to most people for its relaxing properties, commonly included in sleepy time tea blends.


In addition to the relaxing properties of Chamomile to the digestive tract, it can be used to help alleviate symptoms of GERD, food intolerance, IBS, and nausea. It is also used for inflammatory or ulcerative conditions of the digestive tract, such as gastric ulcers and inflammatory bowel disease.


How to Use Chamomile:

  • Make an infusion (tea) with 2 teaspoons or 2 teabags per cup of boiling water. Steep covered for at least 5-10 minutes. Drink 1-2 cups per day.

  • Add 1-3 mL of tincture to 1/4 cup warm water and drink 2-3 times per day.



2. Lemon Balm


Lemon Balm helps to relax and calm the digestive system and is particularly helpful if you have digestive discomfort, gas, and indigestion associated with stress and anxiety.


This herb is considered a relaxing nervine tonic and is uplifting in cases of anxiety, restlessness, and in low mood or depression. Energetically, it helps to calm and lift the spirits. It is soothing and healing for grief and sadness. It is also helpful for headaches associated with digestive issues and anxiety.


How to Use Lemon Balm:

  • Make an infusion (tea) with 1 teaspoon or 1 teabag per cup of boiling water. Steep covered for at least 10 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups per day.

  • Add 1-2 mL of tincture to 1/4 cup warm water and drink 2-3 times per day.


3. Cinnamon


Cinnamon has a long history of use for gastrointestinal complaints such as dyspepsia, gas, diarrhea, and vomiting. Interestingly, it has also been studied to establish effectiveness at eradicating Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection. I don't recommend using cinnamon alone for this purpose, but consuming it regularly might have protective effects.


This herb is also antimicrobial, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal, meaning it can combat bacteria, parasites, and yeast in the GI tract.


How to Use Cinnamon:

  • Add 1/4 teaspoon per day to food or drinks. It's easy to sprinkle over oats, fruit, or add to smoothies.

  • Add 3-6 mL of tincture to 1/4 cup warm water and drink 2-3 times per day.




4. Fennel


A randomized, controlled, double-blind trial found that consuming fennel seed after meals significantly reduced post-meal gas and bloating. Another study found enteric coated fennel capsules improved irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms including abdominal discomfort or pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gastroesophageal reflux, headache, and fatigue. In both studies, participants reported overall quality of life and mental wellness improvements.


Fennel is often used during breastfeeding as the medicinal constituents can be passed through breastmilk to soothe infants with colic.


How to Use Fennel:

  • Make an infusion (tea) with 1-2 teaspoons or fennel seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep covered for at least 10 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups per day, especially after meals.

  • Add 1-4 mL of tincture to 1/4 cup warm water and drink 2-3 times per day.


5. Ginger


There are many trials that have shown that Ginger is very effective in relieving nausea compared to placebo and even compared to conventional pharmaceuticals. This herb is also very useful for people who have a sluggish digestion where there is associated constipation and poor absorption of nutrients. It works as a warming carminative and relieves gas when it is caused by a slow and cold digestive system.


In people with SIBO, ginger can be used as a prokinetic. Prokinetics support the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC), which sweeps food through the GI tract. This can help reduce bacterial overgrowth and prevent SIBO relapse after treatment.


How to Use Ginger:

  • Make a decoction with 1 tablespoon fresh chopped or 2 teaspoons dried chopped root per 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered for 10-15 minutes. Drink 2 cups per day.

  • Add 5-15 drops of tincture to 1/4 cup warm water and drink 2-3 times per day.


6. Peppermint


Peppermint relieves spasmodic pain in IBS, reducing the spasms and returning the peristaltic movement of the digestive system to normal. It is also relaxing and soothing for stomach aches associated with stress and anxiety. This tea is particularly good for children. Its pleasant taste can be enhanced with a touch of honey.


If you are prone to acid reflux or GERD, avoid Peppermint because it relaxes the sphincter between the base of the esophagus and the stomach. This allows acid from the stomach to enter the esophagus.


How to Use Peppermint:

  • Make an infusion (tea) with 2-4 teaspoons or 2-3 teabags per cup of boiling water. Steep covered for at least 10 minutes. Drink 3-4 cups per day.

  • Add 1-2 mL of tincture to 1/4 cup warm water and drink 2-3 times per day.



If you're still struggling with chronic gas and bloating, let's work together to get to the root cause. My Gut Reset Program is a great next step to get a personalized plan based on your unique microbiome, along with community support and education. Get on the waitlist here.

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