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Stomach is an integral part of the digestive system. It breaks down food into nutrients, which are used to generate energy for growth and repair of the body. Stomach gas is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders. It causes bloating of the stomach and abdominal distension, which results in increased abdominal girth. Most commonly, stomach gas occurs due to bacterial fermentation in the gut or on swallowing excess air. It may also be caused due to an underlying condition such as bowel inflammation or obstruction, bacterial overgrowth, renal stones or peritonitis, although, in a majority of the cases the actual cause is unknown.

Common symptoms associated with stomach gas includes passing gas, burping, bloating and stomach pain. A wide variety of digestive and carminative (relieving flatulance) herbs are used for the treatment of stomach gas which includes hingu (asafoetida), adraka (ginger), rasonam (garlic), jeeraka (cumin), jatiphala (nutmeg). Herbal formulations like deodarvyadi vati, hingvashtaka churna and triphala are also useful in improving digestion and providing relief from flatulence. Ayurveda describes consumption of pachana (digestives), along with specific treatments like seka (fomentation) and lepa (coating the affected body part with medications) for stomach gas treatment.

  1. Ayurvedic view of stomach gas
  2. Ayurvedic treatment for stomach gas
  3. Ayurvedic herbs and medicines for stomach gas
  4. Dietary and lifestyle changes for stomach gas patient as per ayurveda
  5. How effective are ayurvedic medicines and treatments for stomach gas
  6. Side effects and risks of ayurvedic medicine and treatments for stomach gas
  7. Takeaway
Doctors for Ayurvedic medicine, treatment and remedies for Stomach Gas

Stomach gas is usually characterised by a feeling of abdominal fullness, tightness, bloating and movement of gas. It is one of the most commonly occurring symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders and often results in extreme discomfort.

In Ayurveda, stomach gas is called adhamana, aphara or tympanites and is associated with vata dosha. Ayurvedic treatment addresses the cause of stomach gas, which is usually indigestion, over-eating or fasting. Apart from the general causes, stomach gas occurs as a secondary symptom associated with diseases like constipation, colitis, intestinal obstruction and amoebiasis. Bloating or distension may last for a few minutes or may even be experienced for an entire day. Abdominal pain may be dull, sometimes sharp and may also cause cramps. Bad odour associated with the excessive passage of gas is produced due to hydrogen, sulphur and carbon dioxide.

Ayurveda aims at building healthy gut flora and cleansing the digestive tract for preventing and treating. Enzyme-based dietary supplements, fasting and specific Ayurvedic procedures are usually recommended for treating stomach gas. Herbal medicines comprising of carminative and digestive herbs also play an active role in providing relief from stomach gas.

  • Pachana
    • Pachana improves digestion at both cellular and gastrointestinal levels.
    • Digestants (substances that promote digestion) and digestive juice stimulants are administered along with ghee (clarified butter) to aid the digestion process.
    • Hingvashtaka churna is a commonly used pachana agent that allows the undigested food to be processed without stimulating digestive enzymes.
  • Seka
    • It is a type of swedana (sudation therapy) that induces sweating to expel toxins and relieve stiffness, heaviness and coldness of the body.
    • It is a cleansing procedure recommended for vata-predominant conditions.
    • In this procedure, a heated cloth, metal object or warm hands are placed on the body in order to treat vata dosha.
    • Placing turpentine stoop on the abdomen is especially beneficial for stomach gas.
  • Lepa
    • This procedure involves the application of a herbal paste on the affected part of the body.
    • The pastes are beneficial in reducing vata dosha and also relieve pain associated with excess or imbalanced vata.
    • Applying darushataka lepa on the abdomen is known to improve the functioning of  digestive system, thus aiding in the treatment of stomach gas

Ayurvedic herbs for stomach gas

  • Hingu
    • Hingu is a hot and pungent tasting herb with anti-flatulent, anti-helminthic and anti-spasmodic properties.
    • Primarily used for treating vata dosha, hingu is known to relieve symptoms of abdominal distension, cramping, gas and pain.
    • It is a potent muscle relaxant, effective on smooth muscles.
    • Additionally, it also works on reducing bloating and tightness associated with stomach gas.
  • Adraka
    • This herb improves digestion by increasing the muscular activity of gastrointestinal tract.
    • Because of its anti-flatulant, antibacterial and antifungal properties, adraka is useful in the treatment of underlying conditions associated with stomach gas.
    • The active components of adraka increase gastric motility and stimulate digestion and absorption. Additionally, it relieves constipation and flatulence.
  • Rasonam
    • Bulb and oil of this herb have been extensively used in Ayurveda for the treatment of various conditions.
    • It works as a rejuvenator, carminative, digestive, anti-parasitic, anti-helminthic and anti-spasmodic agent.
    • Rasonam is administered in the form of a juice, infusion, powder or medicated oil.
    • Its ability to reduce acetate and methane production in the digestive tract is helpful in the treatment of stomach gas.
  • Jatiphala
    • Jatiphala is well known for being a good sedative in the spices family.
    • It acts as a stimulant, carminative and astringent (constricts body tissues).
    • Jatiphala seed extract is known to possess potent an antibacterial effect, which is useful in the treatment of various conditions that are responsible for stomach gas.
    • Jatiphala also helps relieve the most common symptoms of stomach gas including abdominal pain and distension.
  • Jeeraka
    • Jeeraka has deepana (appetising) and pachana properties.
    • It is useful in the treatment of stomach gas because of its carminative, anti-spasmodic and stimulant action.
    • Jeeraka is indicated in a number of digestive disorders like colitis, gas, abdominal distension and pain.

Ayurvedic medicines for stomach gas

  • Deodarvyadi vati
    • Deodarvyadi vati is prepared from the oil extracted from bark and stem of deodar (cedar) tree.
    • This medicine is available in the form of a tablet for ease and convenience of use.
    • It is known to alleviate vata and kapha dosha and is thus an excellent remedy for treating gastrointestinal disorders.
    • This formulation is especially beneficial for the treatment of stomach gas, constipation and worm infestation.
  • Hingvashtaka churna
    • Hingvashtaka churna is prepared from shunthi (dried ginger), maricha (black pepper), pippali (long pepper), ajamoda (caraway), saindhav lavana (rock salt), jeeraka and hingu.
    • Being a digestive stimulant, shunti is effective in preventing stomach gas. This formulation has pachana and deepana properties, which help in alleviating ama (toxins) from the digestive system, thus treating vata dosha associated with stomach gas.
    • It provides significant relief from agnimandya (reduced digestive fire), abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Triphala
    • Triphala is a combination of amalaki (Indian gooseberry), vibhitaki (belleric myrobalan) and haritaki (chebulic myrobalan).
    • This formulation is used as the first line of treatment for many diseases because of its actions as a laxative (regulates bowel movement), rejuvenator and detoxifying agent.
    • A decoction of triphala and trikatu (a combination of the three acrids – pippali, shunthi and maricha) taken twice daily is useful for treating stomach gas.

Do’s

  • Take light meals and add food items like mudga (green gram), old shali rice and rasonam in your diet.
  • Vegetables like karavellaka (bitter gourd) and shigru (drumstick) are beneficial for relieving stomach gas.
  • Leaves and fruits of patola (pointed gourd,), as well as, leaves of vastuka (white goosefoot) are recommended to improve stomach gas symptoms.
  • Maintain a good posture.

Don’ts

  • Tila (sesame) seeds; shimbi dhanya (legumes); and food items with katu (pungent), tikta (bitter), kashaya (astringent), ruksha (dry) and guru (heavy) properties worsen stomach gas symptoms and should, therefore, be avoided.
  • Avoid eating incompatible food items, and excessive sexual intercourse.
  • One should avoid the suppression of natural urges and emotions like grief and anger as they may worsen symptoms of stomach gas.

Clinical studies demonstrate the efficacy of deodarvyadi vati in relieving stomach gas due to bowel inflammation reported. In a study involved 22 participants who were given deodarvyadi vati for 4 weeks along with a review every 7 days, marked improvement was observed in abdominal distension stomach pain and gas in most of the subjects.

Another study conducted in a group of 74 participants reported the benefits of yavanakadi vati in the treatment of stomach gas. The participants were separated into two groups, group A was administered yavanakadi vati, 1 g twice a day for 1 month. group B was given shankha vati in the same dosage and for the same duration. The study reported significant relief and considerable improvement in stomach gas symptoms in all individuals in both groups. However, yavanakadi vati was found to be more beneficial and effective than shankha vati.

A clinical study conducted in India confirms the traditional use of triphala in treating stomach problems. Triphala was prepared in a lab and was given to 160 stomach gas patients, for a total period of 45 days. The study reported that triphala is an excellent laxative. It also reduces acidity and improves digestion, thus relieving belching, bloating and stomach gas.

Although Ayurvedic herbs and treatment procedures do not necessarily have any specific side effects, it is advised to take them only after consulting with a physician. A doctor would asses your prakriti and doshas along with disease symptoms and will prescribe the right remedy taking into account all the necessary precautions. Mentioned below, are some of the precautions that are considered before administration of a specific medicine to an individual: 

  • Persons with heart diseases and hypertension should not undergo seka. It should not be used for treating weak and debilitated persons.
  • Hingu is not recommended in persons having pitta conditions as it is known to aggravate such conditions. It should also be avoided by people who perform yoga or meditation.
  • Rasonam should be taken with caution by persons having hyperacidity, toxic blood heat, excess pitta and mental dullness.

Stomach gas is a common gastrointestinal complaint affecting individuals of all ages  equally. Abdominal distension and flatulence associated with stomach gas is a cause of extreme discomfort. Stomach gas is considered to be vata disorder in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic treatment for stomach gas works on the principle of fasting, detoxification and improved digestion. Carminative and digestive herbs can do wonders to heal the digestive system and provide relief from the discomforts of stomach gas.

Dr. Ravikant Sharma

Dr. Ravikant Sharma

Ayurveda
5 Years of Experience

Dr.Roomy

Dr.Roomy

Ayurveda
1 Years of Experience

Dr. Man Singh

Dr. Man Singh

Ayurveda
3 Years of Experience

Dr. Poonam Kalia

Dr. Poonam Kalia

Ayurveda
14 Years of Experience


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References

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  3. Waheed A, Sizar O. Meteorism (Tympanites). [Updated 2019 Mar 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-.
  4. Pallavi Kiradi. Flatulence Facts & Phytonutrient Cliches- A bird Eye view. DOI: 10.13140.
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  6. Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India. Ayush Research Portal. [Internet]
  7. Nishant Singh. Panchakarma: Cleaning and Rejuvenation Therapy for Curing the Diseases . Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Vol. 1 No. 2 2012.
  8. Hossain M.Mofazzal. On the determination of important plants for ayurvedic formulas in Bangladesh using unsupervised machine learning approach. Academia Journal of Medicinal Plants 7(2): 036-041, February 2019.
  9. Maleka Raisbhai Vhora. Management of Grahani Dosha in Children with Devadarvyadi Vati. Journal Of Research In Traditional Medicine, 2017; 3(3): 85-90.
  10. Pulok K Mukherjee. Clinical Study of 'Triphala' - A Well Known Phytomedicine from India. International Ayurvedic Medical Journal, 2006.
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