January 24, 2014

Memphis personal trainer Tonya Tittle of Energy Fitness tells you how to lose several inches in your waist by riding your body of gas with this simple herb.

Fennel, if you don’t know, is a green leafy plant that tastes an awful lot like black licorice. It’s related to parsley, coriander and tFennel_seedhe carrot. The plant itself is full of phytonutrients and it’s delicious – if you like licorice-y things. I do.  I know some of you are wrinkling your nose.

Fennel seed is a dried, aromatic, anise flavored herb that comes from the fennel plant. If you have eaten at India Palace in midtown or the Laughing seed cafe in Asheville, NC you may have notice the huge bowl of fennel seeds as you are leaving the restaurant. Chewing on fennel seeds as a digestive aid after a meal has been common place in India and many other cultures for thousands of years.

Fennel Seeds for Gas and Bloating

Fennel seeds are a natural carminative, which means they help eliminate gas. Chew on a spoonful of seeds after you’ve eaten a big meal to aid with digestion and to have fresh breath. Keep a small bowl at home and take some with you in a pill case or baggie for when you’re on the go.

As an aside, making a fennel infusion with witch hazel would be an excellent facial tonic for those of you who have oily or acneic skin. But we’re not talking about that right now.

If you don’t have fennel seeds in your spice cabinet, I highly recommend getting them – if for no other reason than these uncomfortable moments.

SO, while I’m NOT a doctor and this should not constitute as health advice (I hate having to cover my butt, but it’s necessary), here’s how I – I – used fennel seeds to get rid of uncomfortable gas and bloating. Ready?

I put a tablespoon of dried fennel seeds in a mesh tea infuser with 3 cups of water to make tea. I let them soak for five minutes then drink 1 cup and put the remaining tea in the fridge to cool.  (it’s great for congestion also). I drink this tea 2-3 times on the day in which my stomach in on the fritz or I’m feeling like I have a slight cough or congestion.


So, the star of this post is fennel seeds, but there are several things you can do when you find yourself in an uncomfortable tummy situation. Got gas? Try fennel. Don’t like fennel? Try this:

Other Natural Remedies for Gas and Bloating

In one of Dr. Oz’s episodes on health he had a recommendation  for daily/every morning consumption and whenever you feel boated. A pinch of caraway seeds. I haven’t tried caraway seeds for this (a strong herb much like anise), so I cannot attest to their efficacy, but there you go. Another option for when your stomach feels like it’s going to burst forth, straight through your bellybutton.

  • Lie on your back and with one knee up twist from one side to the other alternating legs.  This acts as a massage for the intestines.
  • Turmeric (great in soups, veggies, or eggs (There. Now you have another reason to keep turmeric around your house, as if cancer prevention and pain relief wasn’t enough.)
  • Clove tea (just pour boiling water over about 3 heads of clove and let it steep for 5-10 minutes)
  • Massage your stomach in a clockwise motion starting just under the ribcage.
  • Ginger tea, chewing on a piece of ginger … or massaging your stomach with 5 drops of ginger essential oil in 2-3 Tbsp olive (or other carrier) oil
  • Peppermint and/or chamomile tea
  • Squeeze a bit of lemon in any of the teas for a little extra gas-busting action

I’ve seen some people recommend baking soda in water for bloating and gas, but I think that’s an iffy idea. Baking soda will react with the acids in your stomach and just lead to more gas. Remember baking soda and vinegar volcanoes?

On one hand, you could build up so much gas that it HAS to come out (and quite unpleasantly). On the other hand, you could build up extra gas that just partners up and hangs out with the gas already there.

(Though, of note, baking soda water is can be a better nature cure as an antacid for heartburn … just not gas.)

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