HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS
Herbs and supplements can be game changers when it comes to the naturopathic treatment of bloating. There are many herbal remedies, teas, supplements, probiotics and prebiotics that can help. Some of the herbal medicines to stop bloating that we find most effective are listed below:
- Herbal Teas: Such as Peppermint Tea (and peppermint oil capsules) have been studied for the relief of bloating. It has antispasmodic effects. Think of when you sniff peppermint oil – your nasal passages feel like they open up. A similar thing happens in the gut too. Ginger Tea also helps – it relieves inflammation and stimulates movement in the small intestine. Chamomile and Lemon Balm (Melissa) are other favourites of mine – both relieve gas and spasm as well as being calming. Stress being a big trigger for bloating, I find these herbs very useful !
- Iberogast: This is a patented liquid herbal combination that I always have on me. Published studies have found it helpful for IBS and dyspepsia, as well as bloating. It encourages digestive enzyme secretion, improves small intestinal movement and relieves spasm and pain.
- Probiotics: Not all probiotics are evidenced based and many can have not-so-great effects in people with bloating. Strains that have been found to be helpful include Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus plantarum 299V and Lactobacillus Reuteri DSM 17938. I use the first two strains often in patients who have bloating with looser stools or urgency with great effect, and the latter strain for people with bloating and constipation.
- Prebiotics: These are fibers that feed the beneficial gut bacteria. One particular fibre type, PHGG (Partially Hydrolysed Guar Gum), reduces methane production in the gut, improves gut movement, and increases butyrate which helps reduces gut pain and the sensation of bloating. You have to start with a small amount of this and gradually build up to the researched dose, otherwise your bloating can get worse initially. I have found this the most helpful product for people on long term restrictive diets such as low FODMAP and often this allows them to reintroduce many foods they have missed!
If you are experiencing regular bloating our Naturopaths can help, book in here!
By Jad Patrick – Counsellor, Mindful Self Compassion Teacher, Naturopath
Peppermint Oil for the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome… : Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology (lww.com)
STW 5 (Iberogast) Therapy in Gastrointestinal Functional Disorders – FullText – Digestive Diseases 2017, Vol. 35, Suppl. 1 – Karger Publishers