What do beans, carbonated beverages, and eating too fast all have in common? They can give you gas now and then! Other factors can play a role, too—like stress, or eating incompatible foods. Obviously, the easiest way to deal with occasional gas is by avoiding foods and habits that cause it in the first place. But Ayurvedic herbs and spices can help you digest your food better, too.
What causes bloating and gas?
We’ve all experienced it from time to time: the dreaded belly bloat. Your stomach feels like a hot air balloon and you could clear a room with your toots. Some of the culprits behind occasional gas and bloating include:
- Eating too much: Overdoing it at mealtimes can overburden your digestion, leading to ama (sticky digestive toxins caused by undigested food).
- Eating incompatible foods: In Ayurveda, certain food combinations are said to diminish your agni (digestive fire). For example, milk is best consumed on its own, or with a sweet grain like rice. Eating milk with most other foods—especially bananas and sour fruits like cherries—will likely lead to indigestion. Melon is another food best eaten alone. The bottom line: if you feel gassy after eating a certain food or food combination, that’s your body’s way of telling you to reduce or avoid it.
- Eating on the go: Eating while driving, walking, standing, or doing other activities (like working, reading, or watching TV) can draw energy and blood flow away from your digestive system, leading to digestive discomfort. It also aggravates Vata dosha—the Ayurvedic mind-body element associated with air and space—which can lead to a temporary accumulation of wind in the intestines.
- Eating while stressed: Eating when you’re upset or engaged in intense conversations has a similar effect. Whenever possible, skip those business lunches and save the complex negotiations for board rooms.
Your overall gut health also has a big impact on your digestion. Learn more about the importance of gut health in Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic spices for occasional bloating and gas
Avoiding indigestion-inducing habits and foods is the first step towards beating the bloat. But did you know that certain Ayurvedic spices can help you digest your meals better? Here are a few of our favorite spices for occasional bloating (and while you’re at it, have a look at these Ayurvedic secrets for better digestion).
Ginger is well known in Ayurveda for its digestion-boosting properties. A key ingredient in traditional curries and stir-fries in India, this zesty root stimulates the digestive fire and also helps with assimilation. You can buy the root fresh or in powdered form in any supermarket and use it in your cooking. A little goes a long way.
Another easy suggestion: try eating a bit of fresh ginger pickle before meals. Grate some ginger root and sprinkle it with fresh lemon juice and salt. Have a few bites before your meal to stimulate your digestive juices. You can also sip ginger tea to ease occasional indigestion or gassiness.
Coriander whets the appetite without overheating Pitta dosha (the mind-body element associated with fire and water). This flavorful spice also helps to support a healthy response to allergens. When cooking, simply add sautéed coriander seeds or powder to your dahls, soups, and veggie sautés.
Coriander is one of the three key ingredients in our Organic Digest & Detox Tea—a simple, but surprisingly powerful tea that boosts nutrient absorption, stimulates the lymphatic system, helps to clear toxins, and supports overall gut health. The other two ingredients are cumin and fennel, which we’ll discuss next.
Cumin is commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic cooking, as well as in Middle Eastern and Mexican cuisines. This simple spice has many benefits, from boosting digestion to aiding in the purification of digestive toxins. Cumin, coriander, and ginger are three key ingredients in Digestive Lassi, a probiotic beverage made from yogurt.
Fennel is a wonderful digestive spice. Because it has a cooling taste, it kindles the digestive fire without overheating Pitta dosha (the mind-body element associated with fire and water). In India, people often eat toasted fennel seeds after a meal to freshen their breath and support their digestion. Try it! Next time you feel bloated, chew a teaspoon of raw or lightly toasted fennel seeds and see how you feel. You can also add fennel seeds or powder to your cooking (it pairs really well with spices like cumin and coriander).
Turmeric is Ayurveda’s “golden spice.” The yellow powder that gives curry its distinctive hue, turmeric is a mainstay in Ayurvedic cooking and herbal formulas. According to the ancient texts, this golden botanical supports a healthy stomach, digestive system, liver, and colon, among many other benefits. Add a few sprinkles to your scrambled eggs, sautés, dahl soup, and other dishes for daily benefits.
In Ayurveda, fenugreek is traditionally used to help support digestion and elimination. In cooking, this tangy spice combines well with other traditional Ayurvedic cooking seasonings, like cumin, coriander, fennel, and ginger. You can buy fenugreek seeds or powder and add it to soups, stews, and curries for a robust flavor.
Ayurvedic herbs for occasional bloating and gas
If you need some additional support, Ayurvedic herbs and herbal formulas can help to stimulate your digestion, support regular elimination, and ease occasional gassiness and belching. Here are some of our go-to herbs and formulas for occasional bloating:
Organic Triphala Rose
In Sanskrit the word triphala means “three fruits.” The three fruits in our Organic Triphala Rose are amalaki, haritaki, and bibhitaki, and they work together to support healthy elimination and digestion in both the short- and long-term. We’ve also added cooling rose petal to this formula for greater digestive comfort. A mild laxative and daily detox, this gentle blend helps purify toxins while enhancing nutrient absorption.
For daily support with meals, try Herbal Di-Gest, a complex blend of pomegranate, cumin, ginger, long pepper, and other Ayurvedic botanicals. This synergistic blend supports improved digestion, balances the appetite, and helps with occasional gas, bloating, and discomfort.
If you experience acid indigestion now and then, try Aci-Balance. This powerful, cooling blend is made from amla, cabbage rose, and Indian jalap—all of which are traditionally used in Ayurveda for occasional indigestion, gas, and sour belching.
Natural home remedies for occasional bloating and gas
One of the great things about Ayurveda is that many of its healing home-remedy ingredients and recipes can be found right in your kitchen. Our Digestion & Detox Spice Mix Recipe is a perfect example. Use this delicious blend of cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel, black pepper, and ginger to flavor your cooking and rev up your digestion.
On days when you need a digestive reset, try making this easy-to-digest Kitchari: Mung Bean Stew with Basmati Rice. The easiest solid food to digest, kitchari nourishes and balances the mind and body without overtaxing the digestion. It’s a great option when you’re cleansing, or on days when your digestive fire feels diminished.
And don’t forget to try our probiotic, yogurt-based Digestive Lassi drink!
Additional tips for relieving occasional bloating and gas
A few more things you can do to help avoid and ease stomach discomfort:
- Get moving: Exercise is one of the best and easiest ways to boost your digestion, metabolism, circulation, and mood. Try to make a point of doing a little something everyday—even just a 20-minute walk.
- Try yoga asanas: The ancient practice of yoga asanas can help clear stress from the mind and body, thus aiding in digestion. Learn more about yoga asanas that balance digestion. You can also read up on the connection between your food, mood, and digestion.
- Steer clear of the bubbly: Carbonated beverages of any kind can lead to the odd bout of burping and/or gas. To spare yourself the discomfort, avoid or reduce sparkling water, soda, champagne, and other types of alcoholic beverages.
For more recipes, tips, and videos on balancing your digestion naturally, be sure to check out our Digestion Wellness Hub.
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