In asking clients about their digestive health, I’ve learned that many people don’t believe they have digestive issues– even if they regularly suffer from gas and bloating. Apparently, they share this in common with over 70% (and maybe even 90%) of other Americans.
Yes, we’ll all have gas and bloating at some point or another, but they shouldn’t be a part of our regular digestive process. Both symptoms can be incredibly uncomfortable, and there’s no need to suffer!
Try these easy, natural, medicine-free Ayurvedic remedies to help your tummy feel flat and calm again.
1) Be mindful of the way in which you eat.
Ayurveda has gifted us simple yet profound wisdom on this topic. Check out this article to learn more.
2) Drink a cup of hot water first thing in the morning.
When we wake up in the morning, our digestive fire is naturally low. Hot water gives this agni a jumpstart, both preparing it for food and stimulating the bowels. Take this remedy on board every day; not only when you’re feeling bloated or gassy.
3) Avoid gas producing foods.
Cabbage, peas, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are the foods most likely to give you gas. Most beans also make this list. If you’re having issues, try cutting them out of your diet, and then reintroducing them one at a time. Notice how you feel afterwards– if they make you bloated or gassy, either cook them with lots of digestive spices or avoid them altogether.
4) Cook your vegetables.
Some people do just fine with a raw kale salad, while others will end up with a balloon of a tummy afterwards. Salads might be touted as healthy but raw vegetables are actually pretty difficult to digest. If you’re dealing with gas and bloating, try steaming or sauteing your vegetables.
5) Spice up your food.
Spices do more than just flavor dishes– they have mild medicinal effects. Fennel, cumin, coriander, ginger, ajwain, and hing (aka asafoetida) will help to counteract your food’s gas forming tendencies.
Using these spices is very easy. Heat 1 teaspoon of ghee or coconut oil in a small frying pan. Then throw in 1/2 teaspoon each of a few of these spices, some grated ginger, and a pinch of hing if you have it. Stir and fry for 30 seconds, then pour on top of your beans, rice, or cooked vegetables.
6) Chew and swallow 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds after meals.
Fennel helps to relieve bloating and uncomfortable abdominal pains. To get the strongest effect from any spice, buy organic, store in an air-tight container, and consume within 6 months.
7) Practice wind releasing pose.
As it’s name implies, pawanmuktasana, or wind releasing pose, helps to push out trapped air.
To practice, lie on your back. Hug your right knee into your chest. Inhale deeply, then exhale and reach your knee toward your nose. Hold this position for a few seconds, then inhale and release.
Order is very important here– do the exercise 3 times on the right side first, and then 3 times on the left. This follows the natural movement of the colon so that you’re literally pushing gas out.
Lastly, hug both knees into the chest and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 3 times.
(This article was also featured in Popular Lately on elephantjournal.com)