Everyone gets a little gassy from time to time. But nobody likes it, which is why home remedies for gas are always appreciated.
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Still, the best way to banish bloat isn't always clear. Natural remedies for gas abound, but not all of them are proven problem-solvers. And in fact, some DIY treatments might actually do more harm than good.
So what can you do to win the wind war, and which fixes really aren't worth it? If you're curious about home remedies for gas relief, here's what science has to say on getting rid of those stomach pains.
1. Get Some Exercise
"It's long been known that activity and bowel function go hand in hand," says Jeff Scott, MD, board-certified gastroenterologist and founder of Happy Colon Foods. When you move your body, the food in your GI tract keeps moving too.
"When we develop a sluggish colon, stool sits too long and continues to undergo fermentation by colonic bacteria, which produces gas as a byproduct," Dr. Scott says.
Post-meal walk, anyone?
2. Drink Water
Here's one more reason to sip: Drinking water may help your digestion, reducing the amount of gas you produce.
That glass of H2O plays a key role in breaking down food as it passes through your gut, as well as making stool soft and easy to pass, according to the Mayo Clinic. And both of those things can fight the formation of gas.
Water also helps cleanse toxins from your organs, carries nutrients through your body and protects your tissues, per the Mayo Clinic. So if you don't get enough water, that dehydration can affect all of your body's systems.
Plus, dehydration can cause flatulence in its own way — it's a risk factor for constipation, which can lead to excess gas and bloating, according to the Mayo Clinic. Staying hydrated is one way to reduce the chances of experiencing such discomforts.
If your gas is on the other end of things and you find yourself burping after drinking water, try slowing down. Belching is often a symptom of swallowing excess air, which can happen if you eat, drink or talk too quickly, per the Mayo Clinic.
How Much Water Should You Drink?
Use this equation to determine how much water you should drink every day:
Body weight (in pounds) ÷ 2 = minimum ounces of water you should drink per day.
3. Try Certain Yoga Poses
And while there's not much formal research on gas-fighting poses for people without IBS, experts say positions that involve bringing your knees to your chest could probably be helpful.
Yoga poses for gas relief — like wind-relieving pose, child's pose and happy baby — are good examples to try.
"It's almost like promoting forward movement, like pushing air out of an air mattress before folding it up," says Rabia De Latour, MD, gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health.
Try these positions when you have built-up gas in your stomach or chest:
- Start by lying on your back on a mat or soft surface.
- Slowly bring one knee to your chest, grasping it with both hands and pulling it toward your body. Hold for five seconds, then release.
- Repeat with the other knee.
- Bring both knees to your chest, wrapping your arms around them to pull them closer to your body.
- Hold for five seconds, rocking gently side to side, then release.
- Start by kneeling on a mat or soft surface.
- Place your hands on the mat, then slowly push your bottom back onto your heels.
- With your arms stretched out in front of you, palms on the mat, lower your forehead to the mat so your chest and abdomen are against your upper thighs (you can spread your knees if that's more comfortable).
- Hold for 30 seconds or as long as feels good to you.
- Start by lying on your back on your mat or a soft surface
- Slowly bring your knees into your chest, taking hold of the outer edges of your feet.
- Spread your knees apart, bringing them up toward your armpits.
- Flex your heels as you push your feet into your hands, making sure your ankles are directly over your knees and your shins are perpendicular to the floor.
- Hold or gently rock side to side for 30 seconds, or as long as feels good.
4. Sip Tea
It's possible that the right herbal tea after a meal could ease your symptoms, Dr. De Latour says. "There's virtually no downside to trying, so it's a great option," she says.
If you're curious what tea helps with bloating, here are a few potentially anti-gas, anti-nausea herbal teas to consider when you have stomach pain:
- Peppermint tea: Peppermint contains compounds that encourage the gastrointestinal tract to relax, according to a September 2019 review in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. And that could be one way to release gas from your stomach.
- Lemon balm tea: This herb is also a member of the mint family, and there's some evidence to suggest it can relieve gas, bloating and indigestion, per Mount Sinai.
- Chamomile tea: The Plant Foods for Human Nutrition review concluded that chamomile can also encourage the GI tract to relax, making this another solid after-dinner tea option.
- Ginger tea: Taking ginger and artichoke leaf capsules before meals helped reduce feelings of pain and bloating, found an April 2015 study in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The tea can also help relieve symptoms of indigestion, per the Cleveland Clinic.
But what is the best tea to drink for bloating? For instance, is there a frontrunner when it comes to peppermint tea vs. ginger tea's benefits? According to the Cleveland Clinic, ginger tea is their pick for best brew for overall gut health, as it can improve digestion and calm nausea and indigestion.
Does Green Tea Help With Bloating?
While some say green tea helps with gas and bloating, it's not yet clear whether it's effective at easing digestive distress, per the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
If you decide to try green tea, keep in mind that it has caffeine, which some people should limit, including those with heart problems or anemia, or people taking certain medications.
5. Eat Gut-Friendly Foods
So, what is the best thing to take for flatulence? Foods rich in probiotics are a good bet.
There are no foods that eliminate or "absorb" gas, but the friendly bugs in these foods increase digestive-supporting bacteria and reduce bad bacteria that interfere with digestion, which over time could promote a healthier gut, according to the Cleveland Clinic. And a healthier gut can mean less gas.
Probiotic foods that may reduce gas and decrease flatulence include:
Foods rich in prebiotics — special plant fibers — might be helpful, too. Prebiotics nourish the good bacteria in your GI tract to help the friendly microbes do their job, which could set the stage for better digestion, according to the Mayo Clinic.
You can find prebiotics in fiber-rich plant foods like:
6. Avoid or Limit Certain Foods and Drinks
If you notice a particular food or drink tends to get you gassy and you're wondering how to stop farting, one of the most effective ways to prevent flatulence naturally is to steer clear of the problem food, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Different things can be gas triggers for different people. High-FODMAP foods (which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) are common culprits — these are foods that contain large amounts of naturally occurring sugars that can be hard to digest for some, per Johns Hopkins Medicine. As a result, they're not the best foods to reduce flatulence.
Here are some high-FODMAP foods and other gas-inducing ingredients to be aware of:
- High-fiber foods: Bran, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and beans are some of the most notorious offenders, according to the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG).
- Starchy veggies: Potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn, can also create gas as they break down in your GI tract, per the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders.
- Sugar-free snacks, gum and candies: Many contain sugar alcohols like sorbitol, which can make you gassy, per the ACG. That's because sorbitol is broken down very slowly by your body — meaning it stays in your system longer than most other foods — and can cause bloating from gas-producing bacteria in your intestines.
- Carbonated drinks: Per the ACG, carbonated beverages are a primary risk factor for belching, bloating and gas because they create excess gastric air.
- Fried or fatty foods: Fast foods like fried chicken and cheeseburgers are harder for your body to digest, which can cause gas and indigestion, per the NIDDK. Instead, opt for fish, seafood or leaner meats like chicken, which are foods that may help you stop farting if fattier meats are to blame for your bloat.
- Dairy products: If you're lactose intolerant, milk, ice cream and some cheeses could make you bloated and gassy, per the ACG.
How to Stop Flatulence From Fiber
Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps promote good digestion and regular bowel movements, per the Mayo Clinic. But if you currently eat little fiber, suddenly increasing your intake can cause gassiness, bloating and discomfort.
To avoid symptoms and eliminate flatulence, gradually work up to the following 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans-recommended daily servings of fiber for adults:
- People assigned female at birth: 22 to 28 g
- People assigned male at birth: 28 to 34 g
What About Probiotic Supplements?
If probiotic-rich foods are good for digestion, is it better to just pop a pill? Probiotic supplements may play a role in managing gas and bloating, according to a May 2019 Advances in Therapy review.
But for now, the research is unclear on the best probiotics for gas and flatulence — we don't know which probiotic strains or combination of probiotics work best in treating certain diseases or health conditions, per the Cleveland Clinic.
What's more, you might experience some unintended side effects. Probiotics could cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, flatulence or bloating in the first few days after taking them, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
In all, "some studies have shown minor benefit and some have not," Dr. De Latour says.
Instead of focusing on supplements, she recommends sticking with a well-rounded, plant-based diet and avoiding foods that seem to trigger gas for you.
What About Papaya Enzymes?
Papain, an enzyme found in papaya, has traditionally been touted for its ability to aid digestion and settle upset stomachs. But the benefits aren't backed by any high-quality research, Dr. Scott says.
In fact, papain might make your stomach woes worse. According to an August 2014 Mayo Clinic Proceedings review, over-the-counter papain supplements can trigger gastritis — stomach inflammation that can cause pain, nausea and vomiting.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Bloating or Gas?
Many tout apple cider vinegar for bloating, indigestion and gas. But there's zero credible evidence that using ACV for bloating or gas works.
Plus, because it's acidic, drinking undiluted apple cider vinegar for gas and bloating could actually irritate your stomach and aggravate conditions like acid reflux, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
And while there's no evidence to show that ACV does indeed help with bloating, the risk of trying a diluted dose of the drink is low, per the Cleveland Clinic. In fact, there are some benefits to drinking vinegar, as its antioxidant, antimicrobial and disinfectant properties may help regulate blood sugar and prevent certain infections.
Again, there's no science to suggest that apple cider vinegar does help with bloating. But if you're interested in potentially reaping the other benefits, you can start by mixing yourself one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a warm mug of water, per the Cleveland Clinic.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Make You Fart?
There's no evidence to show that ACV routinely causes gas. But for some, the acidic taste alone may lead to related symptoms like nausea or vomiting, per the Cleveland Clinic.
What About Baking Soda?
Baking soda is thought to be a DIY heartburn remedy — albeit one with potentially harmful consequences if you take too much too quickly, according to September 2013 findings in the Journal of Medical Toxicology.
But does baking soda really help with gas? Likely not — there's no evidence that it can help get rid of gas pain or bloating.
"It has the ability to quickly neutralize acid and raise the pH in your stomach. That does not, however, prevent gas and can cause some problems with medication absorption and increase fluid retention due to its salt content," Dr. Scott says.
In other words, steer clear of this supposed natural remedy for gas and acidity.
- Journal of Medical Toxicology: "Baking Soda Can Settle the Stomach but Upset the Heart: Case Files of the Medical Toxicology Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco"
- American College of Gastroenterology: "Belching, bloating, and flatulence"
- Cleveland Clinic: "How to pick the best probiotic for you"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Probiotics"
- Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "The Effect of Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) and Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) Extract Supplementation on Functional Dyspepsia: A Randomised, Double-Blind, and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial"
- Advances in Therapy: "Bloating and Abdominal Distension: Clinical Approach and Management"
- Mayo Clinic: "Does drinking water during or after a meal disturb digestion?"
- Mayo Clinic: "Gas and pains"
- Mayo Clinic: "Probiotics, prebiotics, and your health"
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Eating, diet, & nutrition for gas in the digestive tract"
- Plant Foods for Human Nutrition: "Herbal Teas and their Health Benefits: A Scoping Review"
- Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology: "Effect of Yoga in the Therapy of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review"
- Mayo Clinic Proceedings: "Over-the-Counter Enzyme Supplements: What a Clinician Needs to Know"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Acid Reflux?"
- Mayo Clinic: "Belching, Gas and Bloating"
- Mayo Clinic: "Constipation"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Vinegar"
- Mount Sinai: "Lemon balm"
- Cleveland Clinic: "The Best Teas to Drink for Your Health"
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Green Tea"
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: "FODMAP Diet: What You Need to Know"
- Mayo Clinic: "Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet"
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans"
- International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders: "Foods that May Cause Gas"
- International Journal of Molecular Medicine: "Effect of diet and individual dietary guidance on gastrointestinal endocrine cells in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (Review)"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Exploring the Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar"
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “FDA 101: Dietary Supplements”
- Mayo Clinic: "Functions of water in the body"