It is normal to have some intestinal gas. But too much gas is definitely a reason for worry. Excessive gas causes distention of abdomen, pain in abdomen, excessive burping, pressure on chest and heart, elevation of blood pressure, headaches, pain in back and many other health issues. When the gas moves from the intestine to the blood, and get excreted through the lungs and pores of the skin it causes bad breath and malodorous sweat or body odour.
Three Sources of Intestinal Gas
There are three sources of intestinal gas. One is from, natural breakdown of certain undigested food by bacteria of large intestine. Some foods, especially those high in fibre content causes more gas formation. The example of such foods are tofu, soybean, legumes (kidney beans, black beans, Garbanzo/Kabauli chana, lentils, Dal), foods with complex carbohydrate and protein, dairy products (milk, cheese, ice-cream, lactose), onions, food difficult to digest, fermented products (dosa, idli), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), fruits (apple, pear), starches (corn, potato, wheat, noodles) etc.
Carbonated drinks are also responsible for gas formation as they contain lots of carbon dioxide. Soda and juices forms gas due richness of fructose. Sorbital (sugar substitute) is not completely absorbed and is fermented by intestinal bacteria to produce gas. In case of lactose intolerance, great amount of gas is produced inside body.
Second is, air swallowing from mouth. The air can be swallowed with chewing food, talking, drinking, chewing gums and burping etc. And the third source is, diffusion from blood. A small amount of gas moves from blood stream to intestine.
The symptoms of excess gas are
- Excessive belching (emit wind noisily from the stomach through the mouth)
- Soreness in throat and pain in food pipe
- Pain in abdominal region
- Abdominal distention, especially after meal
- Composition of Bowel Gas
Intestinal gas is made up of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and small amounts of methane. All these gases are odourless but flatus becomes malodorous due to presence of some trace amounts of sulfur containing compounds (such as hydrogen sulfide, methanethiol, dimethylsulfide). The main source of sulfur is from decomposing of ingested foods, especially high protein foods like meats, eggs and dairy products. Vitamins such as thiamine and biotin, and amino acids are also source of sulfur.
Ayurvedic or Herbal Medicines for gas
For treating gas problem, the first step should be to identify the reason for too much gas. The reason could be lactose intolerance, certain allopathic medicines (such as high blood pressure treating drugs. These medicines slow the gut causing entrapment of gas), intake of certain food items, lack of exercise etc. Once the reason is clear, treatment becomes easier.
Here I have tried to list few famous Ayurvedic medicines for treatment of intestinal gas. All these medicines are prepared from natural products.
This Ayurvedic powder can be taken in a dose of one teaspoonful (3g-5g) twice a day with hot water.
Kumari Asava is a famous Ayurvedic formulation containing aloe vera. It is an effective medicine for digestive complaints and liver tonification. Kumari Asav improves digestion and also gives relief in gas problem. This medicine contains self-generated alcohol. The recommended dose of this medicine is 15-20 ml with equal quantity of lukewarm water twice a day after meal.
This powder gives relief in bloating, flatulence, indigestion, and abdominal pain.
The dosage of Hingvadi churna is 2-4g, in morning and evening with hot water.
Lashunadi vati is Ayurvedic medicine contain garlic along with Shuddha Gandhak, Sendha namak, Dry ginger powder, Safed Jeera, Kali mirch, and Pippali. This is an excellent medicine for treating abdominal gas. It treats weak digestion, pain in abdomen, etc. Its dosage is 1-4 tablet, with hot water after meal.
Lavan bhaskar churna is a very famous Ayurvedic medicine for treating gastrointestinal disorders like digestive impairment, indigestion, constipation and gas. It contains many salts and other beneficial herbs. Its dosage is 1 teaspoon with water or a glass of butter milk after meals.
This oil contains castor oil as base oil. Castor oil or Eranda Taila is well known remedy for constipation. The other ingredient of this Taila are asafoetida, rock salt, and garlic. The oral administration of this oil improves digestion, sets bowel and gives relief in constipation and gas. Its recommended dose is 2 teaspoons once a day on empty stomach with a cup of hot water.
Gasex is an herbal medicine from Himalaya. It contains Triphala, Shankha and Cowrie Bhasma and other ingredients. This medicine is combination of natural products that improves digestion and gives relief in gas. The recommended dose is 1 to 2 tablets twice/thrice daily with water, after meal.
Ojus tablets from Charak Pharma is helpful in improving digestion and getting relief from gas. The dose is 1 tab, twice/thrice a day after meal.
Pudina ark is obtained from pudina or mint. It is a medicine for treating emesis, (Dyspepsia, Pain in the abdomen), Digestive impairment and excessive gas.
Gaisantak Vati is indicated in flatulence, gases, bloating, abdominal fullness and indigestion. It is taken in the dose of 1 tablet thrice daily taken with warm water.
Gandhak vati is also known as Raj vati. It contain Shuddha Gandhak (purified Sulphur), dry ginger powder, and Sendha namak. Gandhak vati improves appetite and digestion. It is excellent remedy for indigestion, anorexia, abdominal pain, constipation, hyperacidity and excessive gas.
Its dose is 1 tablet with hot water, after meal.
Important Note: Person suffering from Hypertension/High BP, hyper acidity, kidney diseases and people on low sodium diet, should not take the medicines that contain salt as an ingredient. In case a person in hypersensitive or allergic to certain ingredient, he/she must not take that medicine.