Gas is air in the digestive tract. Digestive tract is responsible for the digestion of food. Gas is primarily composed of carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and sometimes methane.
Flatus (gas) passed through the anus, may also contain small amount of gases that contains sulphur, which produces odor. Everyone passes gas either by belching or flatulence (farting), but many people make it too often due to excess gas.
Causes of Gas
Gas in digestive tract is caused by swallowing air or due to digestive mechanism. During regular activity everyone swallows a small amount of air while eating, drinking and speaking, and amount of swallowed air increases if they eat, drink or speak too fast. Second cause, digestive mechanism also produces the gas. During digestion, food is broken down in stomach and intestine by bacteria and enzymes, which produces gas. Foods that are high in carbohydrates rather than fat or proteins tend to cause gas. However, there is no particular list of food that causes gas, some food may cause gas in some people, others may not have a problem.
Most common symptoms of gas are burping, passing gas, bloating (feeling of fullness and swelling in the abdomen) and abdominal pain or discomfort.
Home Remedies for Gas
In India ajwain seeds can be found in most households, due to medical properties. It is considered to be an effective home remedy for treating indigestion due to its anti acidic properties. Modern lifestyle, change in diets tends to increase gas in our digestive tract.
Ajwain stimulates appetite and enhances digestion. Soak ajwain seeds in lemon juice in glass jar and dry in the shade. Take one tablespoon with warm water every night helps to alleviate gas and discomfort in stomach. Addition of ajwain seeds, and salt while kneading the dough also helps in quick digestion of food.
Haritaki is hot, carminative and it is light, works as an appetizer bringing about the stimulation of digestion and it’s a promoter of life. It is devoid of salty taste .It is helpful in bringing about the ignition of the digestive fire hence very much effective in digestion of food.
Wash black harad well, wipe it and keep it in airtight bottle. Suck one piece after meal. Keep in the mouth till it dissolves completely. This is very effective for removing gas and relieves constipation. Pregnant women are advised not to try this, as it could lead to abortion.
Khajoor is rich in vitamin B and C along with sugar, protein, carbohydrates, fats, enzymes, minerals (phosphorus and calcium). It is regarded as cooling, sweet, fattening, tonic and aphrodisiac. It is very good for relaxation in bloating and discomfort in stomach.
Soak 6-8 khajoors (date) in a cup of water overnight. Churn in the mixer in the morning and drink first thing in the morning.
Buttermilk is also known as chhach or matthha occupies a special place in health drinks. It aids in digestion and removal of other stomach disorders. It is prepared by removing the butter from cream or curd. It is churned using blender or hand, the white butter comes to top, and thin liquid at the bottom is buttermilk.
Mix ¼ teaspoon of powdered cumin (roast it over tava and then make it fine powder), black pepper and sendha namak in a glass of buttermilk (chhach). Drink 2-3 times in a day. It helps in alleviating gas and discomfort in stomach.
Asafoetida (hing) has numerous health benefits. It is particular valuable home remedy for relieving flatulence and stomach problems. It possess anti flatulent, anti microbial, anti-inflammatory, laxative, and expectorant properties.
A pinch of asafoetida in warm water provides relief from gas. It can also be mixed with dry ginger powder and little salt in warm water. Once in a day provide relief from the gas. For children, placing the hing directly on navel helps in passing the gas.
Mint is a wind reliever and an excellent carminative. It eliminates gas and wind and perks up working of the digestive tract. Boil about 10-15 leaves in a bowl of water and have it half an hour before meal.
Wash mint leaves properly and dry in shade, make fine powder. Add 1 teaspoon of powder in curd along with cumin powder. It helps in removing stomach disorders and bloating.
Menthol is a volatile substance that has a direct antispasmodic effect on the smooth muscle of the digestive tract. It possesses carminative properties. It allows the gastrointestinal system to work more effectively.
Peppermint oil, Chamomile oil, lavender oil, all possesses menthol. Take 2-3 drops of oil and apply gently on abdomen. It gives instant relief.
Yoga places a very good role in releasing the gas. Breathing exercises, Pranayama Kapalbhati, anulom vilom are helpful in bloating.
After meal Vajra Asana, is especially very helpful. Sit down on a firm mat with your legs folded behind you. Keep your feet at a distance and butt should rest on heels. Place your hands on thighs with palms facing downwards.
Baking Soda and Lemon
Baking Soda has ability to balance pH levels, lower acidity and its absorbent properties make it good home remedy for gas and bloating.
For instant relief of gas, mix Juice of lemon to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of warm water. Drink it down quickly. You will get a quick relief but you will have a little belching.
Couple of Quick Tips
1) Drink plenty of water. Take more liquid, coconut water, juices aids in effective digestion and less gas problem.
2) Daily walk at least for 2-3 km either in morning or evening. Regular exercises, jogging, aerobics stimulate the passage of gas through the digestive tract.
3) Avoid fatty, deep fried food, smoking and alcohol.
4) Stress is one of the major cause of gas formation. So try to relax and take your mind off tension.
5) Including Citrus, Yogurt, coriander, pumpkin,cloves, rosemary, sweet potato helps in preventing flatulence. Include protein rich diet sprouts, salad, apple, 2-3 banana, grapes, lemon, garlic in your day to day meal plan.