Stomach bloating can occur after eating because there are many foods that can induce excess wind (gas). Beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower can be harder to digest, causing the creation of more gas in the gut. The NHS advises cutting down on these foods to prevent bloating. But some experts have found peppermint oil to be effective.
Peppermint oil is a natural substance which experts believe can reduce stomach bloating
Bloating may also be caused by altered function of the muscles in the digestive tract.
Antispasmodics, which reduce muscles spasms, have been shown to help top this.
But peppermint oil is a natural substance which experts believe works in a similar way.
A number of studies have shown it can reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including bloating.
Peppermint oil is available as tablets, an essential oil, tincture or tea.
Holland & Barrett explains what it is: “Peppermint oil is extracted from the peppermint plant, which grows throughout Europe and North America.”
Peppermint oil can also help with bloating as it helps muscles relax and eases stomach pain.
The high street health store advises: “Peppermint’s main active ingredient, menthol, found in the leaves and flowers of the plant is thought to have a relaxing effect on the smooth muscle of the intestine, relieving muscle spasms.
“When applied to the skin, it’s muscle-relaxant effect has been shown to soothe headaches, too.”
It adds: “Scientists think peppermint temporarily desensitises pain sensors in the gut, reducing abdominal discomfort.
“A 2016 study in Digestive Diseases and Sciences found it also works as an anti-inflammatory and reduces excess gassiness, which can relieve tummy aches and pains.”
Bloating can also be a symptom of constipation, which peppermint oil has also been found to help with.
Holland & Barrett says: “Peppermint’s relaxant effect on muscles means it also speeds up transit of food through the gut, reducing symptoms of indigestion such as bloating and constipation.”
Another bloating remedy could be fennel and curcumin essential oil.
According to a study published in 2016, supplements containing a combination of fennel and curcumin essential oil could be the answer.
The study tested the effectiveness of supplements containing these essential oils in 116 people with mild-to-moderate IBS.
After 30 days, participants reported an improvement in their IBS symptoms, including bloating and abdominal pain.
It’s advised essential oils are only consumed on the recommendation of a doctor.
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