Natural Healing Omaha Blog

7 Natural Remedies for Spring Indigestion and Bloating

7 Natural Remedies for Spring Indigestion and Bloating

Yesterday, I felt like I was gonna burst out of my jeans. I’ve never felt so bloated and miserable without actually being sick. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about here – it was a fat pants day, all the way!

And you know what?

LOTS of people are having these kinds of problems right now. This week.

When Spring starts, all hell breaks loose in stomachs everywhere.

I see it every season, especially at the start of Spring and Fall. Patients who normally don’t experience digestion problems will start reporting heartburn, headaches, indigestion, constipation, irritability, and the queen of digestive distress – BLOATING.

Why is this so common this week? We can turn to Chinese Medicine for some wisdom on this weird seasonal phenomenon.

The Chinese tell us that the short two-week period between seasons is when the Earth Element is most active. Of the 5 Elements, Earth is the one that regulates digestion, keeps us rooted and stable, and makes sure we crave tonifying foods.

Maybe you’ve noticed you’re more hungry the past week or so? That’s your Earth element saying ‘feed me so I can keep you going’. Springtime demands nourishment for new growth. Not the kind of growth that puts on pounds or sprouts leaves.

You’re coming out of a dark, cold, inactive season into one that’s sunny, warmer and allows more movement and waking time. You’ll need more fuel for those more physical, energy-burning activities. A healthy digestive system will signal you to ‘load up’ for the work ahead.

The trouble starts as you give in to your bigger appetite. Your digestion says ‘whoa, hold on there, pal, I need to catch up’. Next thing you know, you end up bloated and stuck very quickly.

What’s the remedy for this temporary backup? Probably not extreme dieting or over-the-counter anti-gas products, which can throw a delicate system into even more imbalance.

Instead, try one or more of these Spring Bloat Busters:

  • Fennel seed tea – boil 1 Tbsp of fennel seed (yep, you’ve probably got this in your spice cabinet) in 1-2 cups water for 15 minutes. Strain the fennel seeds and drink the ‘decoction’ (tea). By morning, most of the bloating should be relieved.
  • Epsom salts – Run a bathtub full of warm water or fill a shallow bucket with warm water and add 1-2 cups Epsom salts (if you like essential oils, you can find lavender or eucalyptus scented salts in any pharmacy). Soak yourself or just your feet for up to 30 minutes, enjoy a good night’s sleep and feel relief when you wake up.
  • Digestive Teas – one of my all-time favorite teas is Eater’s Digest, created by a company called Traditional Medicinals and formulated by herbalists. This blend isn’t just delicious – it’s medicinal. With peppermint, fennel, ginger and other ‘carminative’ herbs [a fancy term for digestion-mover] this is the tea for ‘fussy’ tasters. My kids instinctively choose this tea in the evening, probably because it helps soothe their stomachs after a big meal.
  • Go Chinese – for stubborn digestive systems that don’t respond to simple remedies, Chinese herbal formulas will gently strengthen the Earth element while stimulating ‘chi’, blood and fluid to move. Many people feel a gentle bump in energy when they take the formula that’s right for their constitution. Ask an herbalist what formula is for you.
  • Eat green and bitter – pucker up baby, ‘cuz bitter, leafy greens like kale, beet greens, mustard greens, chard, spinach, dark salad lettuces contain digestion-stimulating elements that increase bile production. Bile breaks down stubborn food congestion, unclogs you and gets your gut moving again.
  • Hold your horses – pull back the reins on those heavy, winter-style meals. Load up instead on vegetables, berries and lighter fare like chicken, fish and meatless meals.
  • Move it – Expansion and contraction of muscle is a natural way to squeeze out gas and relieve bloating. Yoga, walking and simple stretching work equally well. I remember giggling in a yoga class when the ‘wind-relieving pose’ did exactly that for the guy on the mat next to me!

Without doing something radical, my jeans fit more like normal today. A few simple practices like the ones listed here, and a good walk this morning straightened me right out.

There’s no need to suffer with abdominal bloating and indigestion. Try a simple, natural remedy first. If the problem persists, get ahold of me and we’ll talk it through until we discover what’s best for you.

Find answers to more of your digestion questions in this related blog –  Has Your Digestion Taken a Vacation?

 

 

Comments (6)

    • Great question, Ken! The answer is YES, we’re entering the season of the Wood element, when the Liver and Gallbladder are most active. When these organs aren’t functioning at their best, you’ll experience some of the same kinds of digestive discomfort during the Spring season. A Spring cleanse can help relieve many of these uncomfortable symptoms. Readers of my March newsletter discovered how to cleanse for their personality type. Be sure to sign up in the right-hand column here and learn more! Thanks, Ken.

  1. I was going to my email to send you an email about my crazy gurgly, bloated stomach this week when, perfect timing, there was your article. Thanks for your great info Mo!

    • Chris, let us know if any of these remedies worked for you, or any other ideas you tried with success. Really, most herbs act as digestion soothers in one way or another, so you really can’t go wrong in the kitchen! Have a digestively-superior week.

  2. Dear Mo, So your blog offers me insight to what is happening with my digestion as the seasons change. Now I wonder how to support my gallbladder at this time? Any specifics to support this hard working digestive organ? I would like to do a Spring cleanse but have a great deal of stress in my life at this time and wonder if waiting till there is some resolve before taking this on. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom so generously. Bless

    • Karen, It’s wise to wait until your high stress life calms down and you feel rested before starting a cleanse. The Chinese say the Gallbladder is the ‘officer in charge of making decisions’ and that bile gives the ability to judge clearly and purely. Keep the Liver happy and the Gallbladder will flourish. And the best way to do that is express creativity and communicate openly without reservation. This balances out the stress and keeps it from tipping the scales. And eat your beets and bitter greens – the best Liver/Gallbladder foods around! Thank you for the question, Karin!

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