Passing air or farting is a natural process and something that everybody does. However, doing it a lot is not a sign of good health. Moreover, what if it happens in public? Embarrassing, right? You sometimes think that it would not make any noise, but it does. Sometimes, you even believe that others will not sense the foul smell, but when you see that people around you become uncomfortable with the foul odor, you feel like hiding your face. Many people reading this can relate to this.
More than 30% of people around the world suffer from problems related to flatulence – and most people choose to ignore. This is because they think it is a natural thing that is bound to happen. It is true to a certain extent, but beyond that point, it is indeed a matter of concern and requires medical help.
Many people feel embarrassed to discuss this with their doctor’s as well. However, it is best to treat this naturally. Ayurveda has effective treatments for people suffering from excessive flatulence.
What Exactly is Flatulence?
Flatulence (Aadhyaman in Sanskrit) is the accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal. Excessive flatulence can lead to the urge of farting frequently. The gas can be passed from the anus or the mouth, and both are considered to be a breach of etiquette. It may or may not come out with a sound and may or may not have a bad odor. The gas so expelled is called flatus.
Flatulence is natural. If it does not happen, then there is something wrong with your digestion system. However, if it happens all day long, and you have no control over it, it needs to be treated.
Causes of Flatulence
According to Ayurveda, excessive flatulence is the result of the presence of abnormal Agni in your body. Agni, as you probably know, means fire. A healthy person is someone who has normal Agni in this body. When the amount of Agni increases, it makes the person unhealthy.
At times, the Agni gets vitiated, and some of the reasons behind it can be the following:
- Prajnaparadha or any offence against wisdom – one part of your body insists on doing something that is detrimental to the other parts
- Kaaliparinama or unexpected change in weather conditions
Asatmyendriyarthasamayoga or incorrect coordination of the various sense organs and their objects
- Any one of these three factors can damage your Pitta dosha, a situation known as amala pitta.
Humans tend to take in the air while doing a lot of daily activities. For example, you take in a considerable amount of air while drinking water. This air can also lead to flatulence, urging you to pass wind. This wind is always odourless and does not make a sound as well. Certain types of foods are known to produce more gas when consumed like beans, cauliflower, turnips, etc.
Antibiotics and improper placement of dentures can also cause flatulence indirectly. Dentures fitted incorrectly do not let you chew your food properly. Flatulence can be genetic as well.
Symptoms of Flatulence
A healthy individual passes wind at least eight to ten times a day. Excessive flatulence can be due to some deep-rooted gastric or intestinal problems. If that is so, a detailed medical investigation is recommended. If passing air is accompanied by pain, it can be due to ulcer or tumours. Visit a doctor immediately, if you are experiencing something like this.
Symptoms That You Need to be On the Lookout For
Repeated, uncontrolled, and frequent urge to pass wind. This is an urge that the nerve endings of the anus feel and gives you a single.
In case of excessive flatulence, sometimes the person mistakes the signal for defecation as the signal for passing wind leading to accidental defecation, something common when suffering from diarrhoea.
Foul-smelling gas as the gas contains methane, due to undigested food.
Passing the air is accompanied by noises, as the gas creates pressure over the anal sphincter.
Flatulence is accompanied with constipation or diarrhoea.
Ayurveda has effective natural remedies for treating flatulence. It recommends the use of some common kitchen herbs that work like magic when it comes to treating flatulence and its symptoms. Let’s take a look at them in detail.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Flatulence
Ayurveda follows three steps while treating flatulence viz.
Use of carminative for the treatment or Deepana
Use of digestives for the treatment or Paachana
Use of gas expellers for treatment or Vaatanulomana
Carminatives have antispasmodic properties and prevent stomach cramps and pain. It helps to reduce the pain while passing air.
Digestives break down complex foods and make digestion easier. Gas expellers, as the name suggests work by expelling the gas in an enormous quantity at one go.
Ayurveda recommends using a wide variety of herbs for treating flatulence. They are:
- Ajamoda or Celery is excellent for flatulence. A powerful carminative, the oil extracted from the seeds of celery helps in reducing abdominal pain and cramps.
- Dalchini or Cinnamon is another useful carminative. Soak cinnamon sticks in a glass of water for few hours and drink that water to take out the foul smell from your flatus.
- Ajwain or Bishop’s Weed is another choice that you have. One of the most remedies by Ayurvedic doctors, ajwain is an effective carminative.
Dhania or Coriander contains linoloom, a chemical that increases digestive secretion. It is an excellent gas expelled.
- Bahera or Belleric Myrobalan helps in proper bowel movements and helps indigestion.
- Haldi or turmeric is excellent for the stomach and ensures that it’s working correctly.
- Elaichi or cardamom reduces gas formation. Menthol or water extract of cardamom helps in eliminating the offensive odour from flatus.
- Kala jeera or caraway has carminative properties. On steam distillation, caraway gives oil called carvone, and this is what a carminative is.
- Harad or chebulic myrobalan has excellent laxative properties. It is a good carminative and aids in digestion.
- Lavanga or clove reduces the bad odour from flatus.
- Rusmari or rosemary is stomachic and carminative.
- Methi or fenugreek is antispasmodic and helps to expel flatus easily
- Saunf or fennel helps in digestion. It cools your stomach after a heavy meal and acts a mouth freshener as well.
- Sunthi or ginger helps in digestion and has anti-carminative properties. It works by stimulating the gastrointestinal tract.
- Sowa or Indian dill is another carminative. It also contains carvone.
Kesar or saffron is stomachic and is mild. So, it is used in treating digestive problems in children.
- Vacha or sweet flag reduces flatulence and helps in digestion. It is also an excellent carminative.
Some of the Ayurvedic preparation that helps in treating flatulence is Madhu YashtayadiChurna, Agastya Rasayana, AbhayadiModaka, and PanchaSakarachurna.
Prevention is better than cure. Let’s look at some effective tips that help prevent the formation of gas in the alimentary canal according to Ayurveda:
Avoid Food That Causes Flatulence: Some of the foods that you definitely need to avoid are beans, whole grain cereals, fatty foods, eggs, potatoes, dairy products, fermented foods like bread and dosa, fruits like prunes, banana, and apples, fried food, pulses like Bengal gram and black gram, sauces, and chutneys. All these increase the formation of gas in your digestive system.
- Chew the Food Properly: It is important to chew the food properly before ingesting. Foods high in carbohydrates get digested with ease, while you are chewing them.
- Say No to Slurp: Slurping while you are drinking tea or coffee results in consuming a lot of air. This air is expelled as gas.
- Do Not Use Straws: Straws also lead to intake of a lot of air with the liquid you are taking in, as it works by building suction pressure.
- Avoid Aerated Drinks: The sugar content is very high in aerated drinks. On top of that, they contain carbon dioxide that you took in and expelled in the form of gas. This is the reason; many people drink soda after a heavy meal to eliminate gas.
- Eat Slowly: Eat slowly and chew your food properly. This would help in digestion and make your stomach acquainted with the food you are taking in.
- Brisk Walk: Take a brisk walk or do some exercise after a heavy meal. This would help in easy digestion and prevent flatulence.
- Meditate: Meditate and keep your stress level down. Overworking can slow down the digestion process and lead to the formation of gas.
Diet You Need to Follow
Following the right diet is one of the most important things that you need to do, if you want to reduce flatulence. Keep the following points in mind:
Refer to the list mentioned above and make sure to avoid all the foods that cause flatulence. Eliminate them one by one. This would ensure that your body is getting all the required nutrients.
- Drink at least 2-3 litres of water in a day. Water helps in converting the gas toxins into liquid toxins, and this gets eliminated with urine or sweat. You can also add a drop of peppermint extract in the water you drink to eliminate the foul odour from flatus.
- Do not overeat. Do not eat to the full that your stomach can take in. This slows down digestion and causes flatulence.
- Eat little amounts several times a day, if you are suffering from excessive flatulence. This would ensure that your system digests appropriately.
Follow these to keep excessive flatulence at bay.