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5 Herbs to Help Soothe Your Stomach Bloat

Updated: Feb 5

Ouch! That achy belly.

Stomach bloating is a temporary but uncomfortable ailment that many occasionally experience. Your stomach feels full and painful and may look stretched and swollen.

5 Herbs to Help Soothe Your Stomach Bloat
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You might be scratching your head, wondering why your belly is so bloated. It could be gas buildup from carbonated drinks, or you might have too much to eat at your favorite restaurant. Bloating can also be caused by constipation, an intolerance to certain foods, or other digestive issues.

Whatever the cause, when it happens, you want relief fast. There are, of course, several over-the-counter remedies available to alleviate bloating.

But if you prefer a natural approach to relief, try herbs! Let's explore five herbs used for centuries to soothe bloating and stomach upset and promote digestive health: ginger, peppermint, fennel, chamomile, and dandelion.

1. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is a popular spice known for its warm and slightly spicy flavor. Its long history of medicinal use includes its ability to relieve gastrointestinal discomforts like bloating. Ginger's bioactive compounds, like gingerol, have anti-inflammatory and digestive properties.

5 Herbs to Help Soothe Your Stomach Bloat
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How it works

  • Ginger reduces inflammation: It helps soothe the digestive tract and reduces inflammation that often causes bloating.

  • Ginger speeds up digestion: It can stimulate the digestive process by increasing the production of digestive enzymes. When food moves more efficiently through the digestive system, it reduces the chance of bloating.

  • Ginger relieves gas: Ginger is known to help expel gas from the digestive system, so it helps lessen bloating from trapped gas.

  • Ginger eases nausea: Besides bloating relief, ginger can also help alleviate nausea, a common symptom associated with an upset stomach.

How to use it

  • Make tea: Make a soothing cup of tea by soaking fresh ginger slices in hot water. Add honey or lemon for extra flavor.

  • Take a supplement: Ginger supplements are available in various forms, including capsules and extracts. Ask your healthcare professional about the proper dosage for you.

  • Use it fresh: Incorporate fresh ginger into your meals by adding it to stir-fries, soups, or smoothies.

2. Peppermint (Mentha × Piperita)

Peppermint is a refreshing herb widely known for its ability to soothe digestive discomfort, including stomach bloat. The menthol in peppermint gives it an active cooling sensation and offers various digestive benefits.

5 Herbs to Help Soothe Your Stomach Bloat
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How it works

  • Peppermint calms muscles in the gastrointestinal tract: Relaxing these muscles reduces spasms and allows gas to pass more efficiently, reducing bloating.

  • Peppermint reduces gas: Peppermint can help expel gas from the stomach and intestines, quickly relieving bloat.

  • Peppermint relieves indigestion: If you have indigestion or heartburn with your bloating, peppermint can help alleviate these symptoms by promoting smoother digestion.

  • Peppermint calms nausea: Peppermint's soothing properties can relieve nausea, so it's a versatile herb for digestive discomfort.

How to use it

  • Make tea: Use fresh peppermint leaves or pre-packaged tea bags to brew peppermint tea. Sip it slowly after meals to help your digestion.

  • Take a supplement: Peppermint oil capsules or drops can offer more concentrated doses of the herb, so follow dosage recommendations. For recurring or intense discomfort, discuss with your doctor.

  • Use it fresh: Garnish dishes with fresh peppermint leaves, or add them to salads and smoothies.

3. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Fennel is an aromatic herb with a charming, licorice-like flavor. Traditionally used as a digestive aid, it's especially effective for reducing stomach bloat. Fennel contains compounds like anethole, which relieves flatulence and inflammation.

5 Herbs to Help Soothe Your Stomach Bloat
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How it works

  • Fennel relieves gas: It helps break down and expel gas from the digestive system, alleviating bloating.

  • Fennel soothes digestive muscles: Fennel can relax the digestive tract, allowing for smoother and less painful gas passage.

  • Fennel reduces inflammation: It can help soothe inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, a common cause of bloating.

  • Fennel boosts digestive enzymes: Fennel facilitates the production of digestive enzymes, aiding in efficient food breakdown.

How to use it

  • Make tea: Steep fennel seeds in hot water to make a fragrant and soothing fennel tea. Drink it after meals for optimal digestion.

  • Take a supplement: Fennel supplements, such as capsules or extracts, are also available. Consult your healthcare provider for proper dosing.

  • Use it fresh: Incorporate fresh fennel bulbs into salads and stir-fries, or eat it as a crunchy snack.

4. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Chamomile is a gentle herb with soothing properties, known for calming the mind and the digestive system. Chamomile tea is a popular choice for soothing upset stomachs and reducing bloating.

5 Herbs to Help Soothe Your Stomach Bloat
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How it works

  • Chamomile fights inflammation: Chamomile contains compounds that can help minimize inflammation in the digestive tract, potentially easing bloat.

  • Chamomile relaxes digestive muscles: Like peppermint, chamomile can relax these muscles, making it easier for gas to pass and reducing discomfort.

  • Chamomile is calming: Chamomile's soothing and comforting effects may help reduce digestive issues and bloating aggravated by stress.

How to use it

  • Make tea: Use dried chamomile flowers to brew a cup of chamomile tea. Sip it slowly after a heavy meal or when you experience digestive discomfort.

  • Take a supplement: For more concentrated doses, chamomile supplements, such as capsules or extracts, are available. Follow recommended dosages, but discuss with your doctor if you use it regularly or take prescription medication.

  • Prepare a bath: For a unique approach, consider adding chamomile tea bags to your bathwater to promote relaxation and help settle your bloating and digestive discomfort "from the outside in".

5. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion is a common flowering plant with a long history of use in traditional medicine, mainly herbal remedies. Often considered a weed, it may not be the first herb that comes to mind for stomach bloat, but it may offer some soothing benefits for an unhappy belly.

5 Herbs to Help Soothe Your Stomach Bloat
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How it works

  • Dandelion is a natural diuretic: Dandelion can increase urine production, which may help reduce excess fluid retention and resulting bloat.

  • Dandelion supports liver function: Historically, dandelion has been used to support healthy liver function, which can contribute to better overall digestive health and reduced bloating.

  • Dandelion aids digestion: Dandelion root stimulates digestion by boosting the production of digestive juices and bile. This can help prevent gas buildup and lessen the likelihood of bloating.

  • Dandelion is rich in fiber: Dandelion leaves are a good source of dietary fiber, which can aid in regular bowel movements. This can help prevent constipation-related bloating.

  • Dandelion has a mild laxative effect: Besides its fiber content, dandelion can also have a mild laxative effect, promoting regularity and reducing the chance of bloat from constipation.

How to use it

  • Make tea or coffee: Steep dried dandelion leaves or roots in water to make tea and drink after meals to support digestion and alleviate bloating. Alternatively, you can use a dandelion tincture, but follow instructions on product labeling, adding a few drops to hot water as needed. You can also roast dandelion root to make a slightly bitter coffee-like beverage, aiding digestion.

  • Take a supplement: Dandelion supplements, including capsules or extracts, are available for those who prefer a more concentrated form. Always follow recommended dosages and consult your physician about whether dandelion suits you, particularly if you take medications, have a medical condition, or are allergic to ragweed, marigolds, or daisies (all plants in the Asteraceae family).

  • Use it fresh: Wash dandelion leaves thoroughly to remove any dirt or pesticides, then add the leaves to salads or incorporate them into various dishes.

5 Herbs to Help Soothe Your Stomach Bloat
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The Takeaway

A bloated tummy is no fun, but it is usually temporary. These five herbs may offer effective, natural relief from the discomfort of stomach bloat — whether you brew an herb tea, incorporate an herb into your meals, or take an herbal supplement.

Of course, individual responses to herbs can vary. If your bloating persists or is accompanied by severe symptoms, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for a precise diagnosis and tailored treatment plan.

Which herb will you try? Here's to happy, healthy bellies!



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