HER­BAL HEAL­ING

Ease Gas with Herbs Botan­i­cal so­lu­tions for ex­cess gas and diges­tive dis­tress.

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - By Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH

Let’s get some­thing straight. e word bloat­ing? It’s the word du jour, and I hear it a lot. e thing is, most peo­ple who com­plain about ab­dom­i­nal bloat­ing don’t know that gas (not just wa­ter re­ten­tion) is a ma­jor cause. is “bloat” is any ab­nor­mal swelling, or in­crease in di­am­e­ter, of the ab­dom­i­nal area.

A gut full of gas may sound triv­ial, but that con­stant pres­sure and re­sult­ing ab­dom­i­nal pain can be among the most an­noy­ing symp­toms a per­son can en­dure. It pales next to a brain tu­mor, but it can sure ruin a good day.

Gas can form any­where in the diges­tive tract, but it largely comes from bac­te­rial action in the large in­tes­tine, as a byprod­uct of fer­men­ta­tion.

ose bugs live o our waste. So if undi­gested car­bo­hy­drates make their way to the bac­te­rial home­land, the mi­crobes break them down to sim­pler com­pounds, in­clud­ing some in gaseous form. Cer­tain herbs can stim­u­late the se­cre­tion of diges­tive juices that as­sist the body in di­ges­tion and can help to al­le­vi­ate gas.

PARS­LEY-FAM­ILY HERBS

e pars­ley fam­ily is fa­mous for its col­lec­tion of gas­sup­press­ing seeds—think fen­nel, cumin, dill, co­rian­der, anise, and car­away. e the­ory is that the abun­dant es­sen­tial oils in th­ese seeds bump up diges­tive juices, and may also kill bad bac­te­ria.

In my mind, fen­nel is the world cham­pion. In a re­cent Ital­ian study, fen­nel and co­rian­der were both found to be nat­u­ral bac­te­ri­cides. A 2016 study found that anet­hole, a ma­jor con­stituent in fen­nel seed, re­stored de­layed gas­tric emp­ty­ing. In another trial, 95 per­cent of study par­tic­i­pants tak­ing an her­bal mix­ture con­tain­ing fen­nel, as well as dan­de­lion, St. John’s wort, le­mon balm, and cal­en­dula, ex­pe­ri­enced com­plete re­lief of col­i­tis symp­toms, in­clud­ing ab­dom­i­nal pain and cramp­ing, within two weeks.

Use fen­nel, or any of th­ese pars­ley fam­ily seeds, by tak­ing them in cap­sules, tablets, or tinc­tures; or chew­ing the whole seeds or drink­ing as a tea as needed.

GIN­GER

Gin­ger, a warm­ing herb, is a

rst-aid kit on a plate. is time-tested rem­edy is used by nearly ev­ery cul­ture in the world as a treat­ment for gas. It re­duces gut spasms, ab­sorbs and neu­tral­izes tox­ins in the GI tract, and boosts diges­tive juice se­cre­tion, in­clud­ing bile and saliva. A re­cent pa­per re­ported that gin­ger en­hanced fat di­ges­tion by stim­u­lat­ing bile and pan­cre­atic li­pase en­zymes. is spicy root con­tains con­stituents that soothe the gut and aid di­ges­tion.

Pre­pare a tea and drink af­ter a large meal to ease dis­com­fort. Drink three times a day, or as much as needed to lessen the bloat­ing. I also rec­om­mend tak­ing gin­ger in cap­sules and tinc­tures.

BLACK PEP­PER

On the whole, warm­ing herbs re­duce gas and bloat­ing, and black pep­per is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple. It is one of the most val­ued herbs in Asia. Piper­ine, a main ac­tive con­stituent, has a rep­u­ta­tion for in­creas­ing bioavail­abil­ity and ab­sorp­tion of nu­tri­ents. It works in part by in­creas­ing in­testi­nal motil­ity, which is known to re­duce gas. It is of­ten com­bined with long pep­per, a close rel­a­tive. Long pep­per tends to mois­tur­ize tis­sues, such those in the diges­tive tract, while black pep­per tends to re­duce ex­cess mois­ture. Use black pep­per in tea or cap­sules. Start with 500 mg per meal and in­crease with each meal un­til you have banned the bloat.

Chew­ing whole fen­nel seeds or drink­ing a tea made from fen­nel seeds can help to al­le­vi­ate gas and bloat­ing.

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH, spe­cial­izes in Ayurveda and herbal­ism, and has more than 40 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in holis­tic medicine. His web­site is kp­khalsa.com.

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