All of us have experienced the bloated feeling where our tummy feels stretched, swollen and uncomfortable. Well, bloating is an inconvenient condition that is caused when excess wind or gas builds up in the intestinal tract. Certain foods, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and swallowing excess air while eating are some of the main reasons for bloating.
Though it is not a serious health issue, it can certainly be uncomfortable and even embarrassing. But, this condition can be easily treated with natural ingredients such as ginger. It addresses the problem from the root by promoting digestion and improving overall gastro-intestinal health.
Is Ginger Really Useful for Bloating?
- Ginger is a highly effective carminative that alleviates bloating and cramps by expelling the gas and calming intestinal activity.
- Pungent compounds gingerols and shogaols present in ginger relax and soothe the intestinal track. They also work as effective pain reliever that help to relieve abdominal pain and cramps that accompany bloating.
- Ginger acts as a blood thinner and promotes circulation which further helps to relieve bloating.
- Ginger increases the production of saliva, bile and gastric juices that promotes digestion and prevents the formation of gas and bloating.
- Ginger contains zingibain, a digestive enzyme that breaks down protein and helps to reduce bloating and gas caused by protein-rich foods.
How to Use Ginger for Bloating?
Ginger can be used alone or in combination with other natural ingredients as an effective natural remedy for bloating.
1. Ginger Chews
- Peel a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger root.
- Put it in your mouth and chew it for some time.
- Suck in the juices and then gulp it down with some water.
- Repeat this remedy on a daily basis to prevent bloating.
2. Ginger Tea
- Peel a 2-inch piece of ginger and chop it into fine slices.
- Put the ginger slices in a cup and pour hot water over it.
- Cover the cup and let the ginger slices steep for 10 minutes.
- Stir the tea and drink it while it’s still warm.
- You can add lemon juice for added benefits.
- You can add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed ginger juice or ginger powder to 1 glass of lukewarm water.
- Give it a stir and drink this water daily.
3. Crystallized Ginger/ Candied Ginger
Sucking of a piece of crystallized ginger promotes the release of digestive enzymes that can help to relieve gas and bloating caused by overeating. Its anti-spasmodic effect also helps to relax the intestinal muscles and expel the trapped gas.
- Add 1.5 cups each of water and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring it to a boil.
- Add 1 cup of peeled and sliced ginger to it, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ginger slices to a wire rack.
- Allow the ginger slices to dry out completely.
- Roll them in powdered sugar.
- You can suck on these crystallized ginger slices whenever you feel bloated.
4. Ginger Ale
Homemade ginger ale is a fermented product which contains healthful enzymes and probiotics that aid digestion and help to relieve bloating and gas caused by indigestion.
- Mince a 2-inch piece of ginger root finely.
- Add the minced ginger root, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
- Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes or till the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Now, remove from heat and add another 5 cups of water to it.
- Add fresh lemon or lime juice and 1/4th cup whey to the mixture and transfer it to an air-tight glass jar.
- Leave it aside for 2 to 3 days and then transfer it to the fridge.
- Strain the ginger ale and drink it whenever you feel bloated.
5. Ginger and Lime Drink
When it comes to bloating, lime works better than lemons because limes have higher levels of acid compared to lemons. The acids create an alkaline environment in the stomach which helps to break down the foods and expel the gases trapped in the intestine.
- Take a glass of warm water and squeeze the juice of 1 whole lime to it.
- Also add 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger juice into it.
- Give it a stir and drink this concoction before a heavy meal.
- You can also consume a glass of this drink daily in the morning to prevent bloating.
6. Ginger and Fennel Drink
Fennel seeds contain rich volatile oils that act as a powerful carminative and assist in expelling trapped gas form the intestinal tract. Compounds like anethole, fenchone and estragole found in fennel seeds have anti-spasmodic properties that relax the contracted intestinal muscles and allow the trapped gas to release.
- Bring a glass of water to boil.
- Add a tablespoon of fennel seeds and a few slices of ginger to it.
- Cover the glass and let the ingredients steep for a couple of hours.
- Strain the water and drink it.
- You can have 1 to 2 glasses of this drink per day to relieve bloating.
7. Ginger and Garlic Soup
Garlic can help to relieve bloating by stimulating the gastric system. The heating quality of garlic speeds up digestion and breakdown of foods in the intestine which also prevents formation of gas.
- Chop a few cloves of garlic and crush a 2 inch piece of ginger.
- Heat a teaspoon of olive oil and sauté the garlic and ginger in the olive oil.
- Add a cup of chicken or vegetable broth to it and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Consume this soup while it’s hot to relieve bloating.
8. Ginger and Honey Tea
Honey is a natural substance containing a number of enzymes that help to break down foods in the intestine and promote digestion. Substituting table sugar with honey helps to prevent bloating and gas because honey contains levulose and dextrose which are much easier to digest compared to fructose.
- Bring a cup of water to boil and add 1-inch piece of crushed ginger to it.
- Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add a teaspoon of honey to it.
- Stir it with a spoon and drink this tea twice daily.
9. Ginger and Mint Tea
Menthol oil present in peppermint leaves have natural anti-spasmodic effect that smoothes the constricted muscles of the digestive tract and helps to release the trapped gas that gives the bloated feeling.
- Add a handful of fresh peppermint leaves and 3 to 4 slices of fresh ginger in 2 cups of boiling water.
- Remove from heat, cover the container and let the ingredients steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea and drink it while it’s still warm.
- You can drink 2 to 3 cups of this tea a day.
10. Ginger and Caraway Seeds Drink
Caraway seeds are known from its natural anti-spasmodic and carminative properties. The chemicals carvol and carvene present in it relax the muscles of the digestive tract and promote the release of trapped gas.
- Add a tablespoon of crushed caraway seeds and 5 to 6 slices of ginger in a glass of water.
- Boil the mixture for 10 minutes and remove from the flame.
- Set it aside for a couple of hours and then strain the water.
- Drink this brew 1 to 2 times in a day.
11. Ginger and Chamomile Tea
The anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties of chamomile helps to relieve abdominal cramping and pain associated with bloating. It also helps to soothe the abdominal muscles and promote the expulsion of gas.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of dried chamomile and 3 to 4 crushed ginger slices in a cup.
- Pour boiling water over it and let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain the tea and drink it.
- Repeat the process 2 to 3 times a day between meals.
Tips and Precautions:
- The recommended dosage of ginger per day for adults is 2 to 4 grams of fresh ginger root/ 0.25 to 1 gram of ginger powder/ 30 to 90 drops of ginger liquid extract.
- Ginger acts as a blood thinner, so a person taking blood-thinning medication should not consume ginger in medicinal form.
- In rare cases, ginger may cause side effects such as diarrhea, heartburn, mouth irritation and stomach discomfort.
- People suffering from diabetes, gallstones and heart conditions should avoid consuming ginger.
- Don’t eat too much at a time; eat smaller meals instead to reduce the pressure on your digestive system.
- Try to find out if you are allergic or intolerant to certain foods and cut them out from your diet.
- Avoid talking while having food to prevent swallowing air and gases.
- Constipation can worsen bloating. Prevent constipation by eating fiber-rich foods and drinking plenty of water.
Try out these remedies to relieve bloating using ginger and say goodbye to flatulence and gas naturally. But if your bloating problem still persists after using these remedies then make sure to see a doctor because chronic bloating might be a symptom of some serious medical condition.