Does it seem like every meal makes you feel bloated and gassy? Or do bloating and gas strike randomly, for no apparent reason at all?
Whatever the case, you’re probably desperate for a solution to make that nasty bloat go away.
There are many reasons for gassiness and bloating – and most are to do with your gut health.
What Causes Bloating?
Disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) and celiac disease are the most serious causes of gastrointestinal bloating.
A sluggish bowel is also a major cause, particularly when it leads to chronic constipation. When your gut isn’t emptied often enough, your abdomen can become too ‘full’. Similarly, bloating can result from gastroparesis, a delay in the emptying of food from the stomach into the small intestine. This is often the result of low stomach acid.
Most often, poor gut bacteria are to blame. When ‘bad’ gut bacteria overwhelm your ‘good’ bacteria, the result is some form dysbiosis. If untreated, this can lead to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) (too many bad bacteria in the small intestine) or Candida overgrowth.
SIBO occurs when bacteria from one part of the digestive tract end up in the small intestine, or when the naturally occurring bacteria in your small intestine grow out of control. This imbalance of bacteria in your gut can cause bloating, diarrhea, and pain.
Similarly, an overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast can lead to gas and bloating. Candida yeast can usually live naturally in the gut without causing any problems – but when it grows out of control, it can wreak havoc on your normal digestive function.
There may also be certain foods you are allergic or intolerant to. Wheat and dairy are some of the most common causes of bloating, along with fructooligosaccharides (present in onions, garlic, apples and other foods containing high FODMAPs).
Of course, there are times it’s really hard to avoid certain foods! For example, you might know that beans and spices give you a terrible stomach-ache, but your boss has just shouted lunch at the local Mexican restaurant… or, you know that you can’t tolerate dairy products, but your best friend has just given you a box of chocolates for your birthday.
In these cases, it’s helpful to know that relief is just a tea away!
Best 7 Teas To Reduce Bloating
There are many amazing medicinal herbs that can be brewed into a tea for bloating and gas relief. Drinking these teas throughout the day can help to relieve the pain and discomfort of digestive ills.
1. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint is a wonderful herb that has been used to treat digestive ills for centuries. This is all thanks to its active ingredient, menthol.
Menthol is what gives peppermint its ‘minty’ taste. Menthol also delivers a wonderful flavor while helping to reduce inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of peppermint tea help to soothe stomach discomfort that can cause bloating and gas.
Studies show that peppermint tea harbors potent antispasmodic properties, which simply means that it helps your intestines to relax. This helps to alleviate that nasty intestinal gas and bloating.
Research has also found that peppermint tea can provide an analgesic (pain-relieving) effect that help to relieve the discomfort associated with a bloated belly.
2. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is made from the root (rhizome) of the ginger plant. It’s a spicy, warming flavor that’s both stimulating and nourishing.
Ginger is a powerful anti-emetic, which means it can help to reduce feeling of nausea and indigestion. It’s been used for hundreds of years to as a home remedy for vomiting, stomach upsets and even morning sickness.
Fresh ginger tea is especially effective in soothing a bloated tummy due to its anti-inflammatory and carminative properties. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, so it’s especially useful for IBS.
Ginger tea has also been found to help your digestive system to empty more quickly and efficiently, which helps prevent that ‘stuffed’ feeling you have after a meal.
This gentle tea is renowned for soothing a sore tummy while also boosting mood! Made by steeping chamomile flowers in hot water, chamomile tea offers natural calming effects for the body and mind. It can also help to reduce water retention and improve overall mood and wellbeing.
Research has shown that chamomile is especially helpful for irritable bowel syndrome, helping to soothe the intestinal tract and ‘unclench’ those stomach muscles. It also appears that chamomile can help to combat the bloating effects caused by lactose-containing foods.
Regularly drinking chamomile tea can help to improve sleep quality and relaxation. It appears to work on a chemical level, boosting GABA receptors in the nervous system to improve your mood.
4. Green Tea
Among its many medicinal properties, green tea is a fantastic digestive aid. In fact, it may be one of the best teas for your gut, thanks to its high content of catechins and antioxidants. These catechins are not only powerful scavengers of free radicals (which can damage cells), they help to soothe muscles in your gastrointestinal tract.
Green tea can also help to eliminate the build-up of gas in the intestines, which brings down bloating in your tummy. In addition, green tea helps your digestive system function more efficiently, stimulating the enzymes that your body requires to properly break down food.
5. Hibiscus Tea
We tend to think of the hibiscus as just a pretty flower, but it’s also an excellent digestive tonic. It’s made by infusing the vibrant petals of the hibiscus in boiling water. This produces a fragrant, caffeine-free tea with a distinctive flavor. Some say it even has hints of cranberry!
The great thing about hibiscus tea is that it helps to balance hormones. This can reduce water retention and eliminate bloating, particularly during certain times of the month.
The high flavonoid content of hibiscus tea also helps to modulate aldosterone, the hormone responsible for regulating water intake and electrolyte levels.
6. Fennel Tea
Fennel is a revered digestion aid that has been used for centuries. Fennel tea is made from the seeds of the fennel plant, which harbour a wonderfully sweet flavour similar to licorice root.
Research published in the Journal of Food Biochemistry has shown that fennel is an excellent anti-inflammatory, particularly in the digestive tract. The volatile oils in the plant have also long been used to treat digestive upset – possibly because it contains estrogen, which inhibits muscles spasms. This helps your digestive system to break down food more efficiently, without bloating.
Fennel’s aromatic and carminative properties also relieve flatulence, diarrhea, bloating or stomach cramps, which are often caused by irritable bowel syndrome. Fennel tea even helps to reduce acidity in both your stomach and intestines.
7. Dandelion Root Tea
Dandelion root is one of the best herbal aids for the liver. Dandelion tea can be made from the root alone, or the entire plant: roots, leaves, and petals. However, most research has been conducted on the medicinal benefits of dandelion root.
Dandelion root tea is a natural diuretic, which means it helps your body to flush out excess fluid and eliminate toxins. This goes a long way in helping to alleviate the bloating caused by tummy gas.
Dandelion root also stimulates the liver, which plays a key role in digestive function. It helps with cleansing and a sluggish liver, and encourages the secretion of bile by the hepatobiliary system. This makes it a highly beneficial aid for reducing congestion of the liver and gall bladder.
Which Is the Best Tea for Bloating?
So, which is the best tea for bloating? It’s hard to choose just one, as everyone will have different preferences and symptoms. However, chamomile tea is generally regarded as the most gentle and effective for all kinds of symptoms. It’s powerful yet soothing and has only a mild flavor.
Best of all, chamomile has the added benefit of calming the mind and relieving nervous tension, which can be a factor in stomach bloating.
While these herbal teas are all useful in relieving the acute symptoms of bloating and gas, they’re still only a temporary fix. If you find that you suffer from these digestive problems on a daily basis, it’s likely that your gut bacteria are in trouble. The best way to treat this is through diet and probiotics.
Try to remove foods from your diet that are high in sugar. Cut down on red meats
Probiotic supplements are typically available in capsule or tablet form. They’re a convenient way of delivering ‘live’ beneficial bacteria to your gut, where they can re-colonise and establish a healthy balance again.
Look for a quality probiotic supplement with a high CFU count (colony-forming units) and preferably one that contains a variety of strains: 7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation & Reviews)
It’s also important to examine your diet for foods that you may be reacting to. As mentioned above, wheat and dairy are common causes of gas and bloating, so it’s important to eliminate these first – and then observe your symptoms when you re-introduce them to your diet.
Also, take a look at the FODMAP list of foods and consider which may be causing your symptoms. Remember, gas and bloating usually has many different causes!
Featured photo credit: Sebastian Sammer via unsplash.com
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