Occasional bloating is fairly normal, but constantly experiencing bloating and discomfort can be a real downer. Bloating is uncomfortable, makes you feel larger than you are, and hurts your self-esteem level. It can happen after certain foods, before your period, and pretty much whenever you need to fit into that wonderful, black slinky dress. I don’t know why it always happens then, but it does.
What Causes Stomach Bloating?
Bloating can have several causes, and often constant bloating is a sign of several underlying factors and lifestyle habits. A great place to start is doing some detective work by taking a look at the following list and starting to track how frequently you feel bloated and any triggers around the time of your symptoms to start getting to the root cause of your stomach discomfort. Combining a food log, and marking down anytime you have symptoms and bowel movements is the best option.
Some causes of bloating include:
- Overeating: Overeating is so easy to do. So reduce your portion size. If you are eating small portions but doing so continuously, it’s the same as overeating. Don’t eat just because “it’s time,” eat it because you’re hungry.
- Rich or Fatty Foods: Not the good kind of fatty foods (such as salmon) but the processed kind. Kick fast food from your diet, and you might want to consider removing gluten or dairy from your diet, as sensitivities can cause bloating – even if you’re not allergic.
- Eating Too Fast: This is a common problem in our new busy lifestyles. Set time aside to have a meal, not only is good to prevent overeating, it’s a great moment to take time for yourself or spend with your loved ones. This is part of “self-care”.
- Smoking: Smoking has been linked to bloating, heartburn, and other digestive problems (aside from lung cancer and emphysema)
Food sensitivities, unbalanced gut flora, and parasites can also be underlying causes. Read more here on common causes of bloating.
There are also foods you can eat that increase your chance of bloating:
- Beans and lentils (to reduce this, leave them to soak overnight)
- Brussel Sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, prunes and apricots (because of the high fiber content)
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Diary Products (not including raw yogurt)
- Whole grains (also because of the high fiber content.)
Note: Suddenly adding a lot of fiber to your diet can cause bloating, make sure to introduce more fiber slowly to prevent bloating. Also, ensure to drink extra water to help your body adjust accordingly.
Using Essential Oils for Bloating and Gas
To help with bloating there are four essential oils you can apply topically, or steam through your home, to help reduce the effects. Always use a carrier oil to dilute an essential oil before applying it topically. (Carrier oils include: jojoba, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and sweet almond).
- NEVER ingest essential oils.
- You can steam essential oils in a burner to keep the scent throughout the house.
- A drop of essential oil in a quarter size dollop of oil will effectively eliminate bloating.
4 Relieving Essential Oils for Stomach Ache, Gas, and Bloating
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil, diluted with a carrier oil, is one of the top essential oils for bloating. It can help with most forms of pain but can help eliminate symptoms of bloating as well. Peppermint calms stomach muscles, reducing pain from cramping. It also helps eliminate gas from the intestines.
You can also use peppermint tea (not the oil) in combination to help clear the symptoms internally.
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2. Ginger Oil
3. Chamomile Oil
Chamomile (mainly Roman) reduces bowel inflammation and eases the cramping pain, making it one of the best essential oils for bloating. It can also eliminate gas in the intestines. It’s also been noted (though scientifically unproven) that it helps rid the body of parasites.
4. Cumin Essential Oil
This oil should only be applied at night as exposure to sunlight can turn it toxic. Pregnant women should NOT use it.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Essential oils are very highly concentrated and potent and it is important to always check the specific safety data provided. Keep out of reach of children, the elderly, and pets. For external use only. Avoid contact with mucous membranes and eyes. If any essential oils have contacted your eye, wash out with a vegetable oil such as olive oil, not water.
Some oils may cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. It is recommended to perform a patch test before use. To patch test, place one drop on the back of your wrist and leave for an hour or more. If irritation or redness occurs wash the area with olive oil then cold water and do not use the oil.
We do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils except while under the care and direction of a qualified health practitioner.
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