A gassy stomach is an embarrassing, uncomfortable condition that always seems to hit at the most inopportune times. Gas and the resulting stomach cramps are the natural result of the breakdown of food in our digestive system, but some foods, like beans and high-fibre vegetables, leave us gassier than others. Luckily, there are some simple and inexpensive home remedies for stomach cramps and gas that help solve the problem quickly and without resorting to over-the-counter medications.
Gas is caused by the body's natural process of breaking down and assimilating difficult foods. Beans are the most common culprit, but their gassiness can be cut down significantly by rinsing them thoroughly before cooking. Refined and processed foods can be difficult for the body to digest, leading to gas. Enjoy whole foods as close to their natural state as possible. Eating too fast is another culprit, because air is gulped down along with your dinner. Slow down and chew thoroughly. Stay away from straws. They might protect your lipstick, but they also cause you to gulp down much more air---and consequently cause much more gas---than sipping straight from a cup.
There are lots of effective herbal treatments for stomach cramps and gas, and you probably have many of them in your spice cabinet already. Some herbal treatments include: Ginger: Steep grated fresh ginger in hot water and drink as a tea. Peppermint: Peppermint tea provides quick relief from gas pain and bloating. Celery seeds: Chew one teaspoon of celery seeds to release natural compounds that aid digestion. Do not swallow the seeds. Cardamom: Steep one teaspoon of fresh ground cardamom seeds in one cup of boiling water for 10 minutes and drink. This works best if it's taken before meals. Fennel: Mix one and a half teaspoons of fennel seeds with three teaspoons of plain yoghurt and eat. The fennel calms gas, while the yoghurt can help soothe heartburn.
Gentle exercises can also aid gas relief. Yoga's aptly named "wind removing pose" allows gas to escape, providing quick relief. Lie on your back and hug your right knee to your chest for 10 seconds. Repeat with your left leg, then with both legs at the same time. "Child's pose" is also effective. Kneel on the ground with the tops of your feet as flat on the floor as possible, then sit back until your hips rest on your heels. Slowly tilt your body forward until your forehead is resting on the floor. Stretch your arms in front of your head.