Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen are folk-remedy experts and home tipsters based in New York City. They have spent decades collecting “cures from the cupboard” and are authors of several books, including Secret Food Cures.
Everyone has experienced the bloated feeling that comes with an excess of stomach gas. This is usually the result of eating certain foods or combinations of foods. Simple diet changes and remedies offer natural gas relief that can ease the discomfort for you and any friends and family members in your immediate presence.
In the following excerpt from Secret Food Cures by Lydia and Joan Wilen you can find simple natural gas relief remedies and help for flatulence.
By now, you probably know which foods give you gas, and which meals may prove lethal. But do you know about food combining? The library has lots of books with information on the subject, and there are simple, inexpensive charts available at health food stores. If you follow proper food combining—for example, wait two hours after eating regular food before eating fruit—you shouldn’t ever have a problem with gas. But it’s not always convenient to stick to good combinations.
Here are some remedies for when your food combining is less than perfect and, as a result, you’re cooking with gas.
• When you know you’re eating food that’s going to make you and everyone around you sorry you ate it, take two charcoal tablets or capsules as soon as you finish your meal.
Just be aware that activated charcoal will adsorb medication you may be taking, such as birth-control pills, aspirin and many prescription drugs.
It’s important to take the charcoal quickly because gas forms in the lower intestine and if you wait too long, the charcoal can’t get down there fast enough to help.
WARNING: Do not take charcoal capsules or tablets more often than directed. Charcoal is a powerful adsorbent and will rob you of important nutrients you get from food.
• A strong cup of peppermint tea will give you relief quickly, especially if you walk around as you drink it.
• A hot water compress placed directly on the abdomen can relieve gas pains.
• Add one teaspoon of anisette liqueur to a cup of warm water. Stir and sip.
• An old home remedy for gas and heartburn is a raw onion sandwich. Some people would rather have gas and heartburn than eat a raw onion sandwich, and some people get gas and heartburn from a raw onion sandwich. That said, if onions agree with you, it’s worth a try.
• Add 1 ⁄2 teaspoon of bay leaves to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep, then strain it and drink it down slowly.
• Get rid of a gas condition with mustard seeds and lots of water. The first day, take two seeds, the second day take four and so on until you take 12 seeds on the sixth day. Then work it down until you’re taking two seeds on the eleventh day. By then, you should be fine. Continue to take two seeds a day. Always take the mustard seeds on an empty stomach.
• Add one cup of bran and one cup of oatmeal to a gallon of water. Let it stand for 24 hours, then strain, keeping the liquid. Drink a cup 15 minutes before each meal to prevent indigestion.
• Each one of the following seeds is known to give fast relief from the pain of gas—anise seeds, caraway seeds, dill seeds and fennel seeds (all are available at health food stores).
To release the essential oils, gently crush the seeds and add one teaspoon to a cup of just boiled water. Let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink. If the gas pains don’t disappear right away, drink another cup of the seed tea before eating your next meal.
• The unripe berries of a pimento evergreen tree are called allspice. It was given its name because it tastes like a combination of spices— cloves, juniper berries, cinnamon and pepper. Allspice is said to be effective in treating flatulent indigestion. Add one teaspoon of powdered allspice to a cup of just-boiled water and drink. If you have the dried fruit, chew 1⁄2 teaspoon, then swallow.
• This gas-expelling yoga technique should be done in the privacy of your bedroom. Lie on the bed face down with one leg tucked under you. Got the picture? Your knee is under your chest. Stay that way for three or four minutes, then stretch out that leg and bring the other leg up, with the knee under your chest. Every three or four minutes, reverse the legs. When you’ve expelled the gas, you can stop.
• If you feel you have a gas pocket, or trapped gas, lie down on the floor or on a bed and slowly bring your knees up to your chest to the count of 10, then back down, and relax. While you’re relaxing, massage your stomach in a circular motion with the top half of your fingers, pressing hard to move that gas around and out. If that doesn’t do it, repeat the entire process, by bringing your knees up to your chest and—you know the rest.
• Drink ginger tea after a heavy, gassy meal. Steep 1 ⁄4 teaspoon of powdered ginger in a cup of hot water for five minutes, or let a few small pieces of fresh gingerroot steep, then drink the tea slowly.
• To prevent beans from giving you gas, soak dried beans overnight. In the morning, pour off the water. Add fresh water and an onion, then boil them. When the liquid comes to a boil, pour off the water and throw away the onion. Then, cook the beans the way you ordinarily cook them—only this time, they may not create gas.
• This is a Taoist remedy that dates back to the 6th century BC. Scrub a tangerine, then peel it and boil the pieces of peel for five minutes. Strain, let cool and drink the tangerine tea. The tea should stop you from belching. You can also eat the tangerine peel as a digestive aid.
To find more natural home remedies for everyday troubles check out Secret Food Cures from Bottomlineinc.com