Name: Jeetendra Chauhan
I am a manufacturer of electronic components. I have to travel a lot, meeting clients and I also entertain a lot. My problem is that unfortunately I seem to be passing a lot of gas! It is really embarrassing when this happens in the midst of a meeting or a dinner party. There is a moment of silence when I think that everyone staring is staring at me. I wish I could disappear when people start wrinkling their noses and looking the other way! Of late, these incidents have been happening more and more frequently, and the conventional remedies that I have been taking haven’t really made a difference. Recently, my partner and I were in Kerala on a business trip, and he suggested that I should try Ayurveda to solve my problem of flatulence. He explained to me that Ayurveda is the world’s oldest system of medicine, and that some of its finest physicians come from Kerala. I decided to take his advice, and consulted a very famous physician who belonged to a family that has been practicing this holistic system of healing for centuries.
My physician explained to me that our intestines cannot digest everything we eat. The leftovers are passed on to the colon. The processing or fermentation of leftover carbohydrates by the colonic bacteria leads to the formation of intestinal gas or flatulence that is called Aadhmaana in Ayurveda.
The causes for the excess formation of intestinal gas are wrong food habits, constipation, eating without chewing properly, eating and drinking simultaneously. Too much fried, spicy foods, non vegetarian and rich foods- all of which I love- also increase the buildup of gas.
Another cause is swallowing too much air while eating. There are several reasons why this might happen. If dentures do not fit well, the person tends to swallow more saliva, which carries air bubbles with it. If a person has post-nasal discharge, then he tends to swallow more often, carrying more air to the stomach. Smoking a cigar or pipe may also increase the amount of saliva produced and swallowed, contributing to excess gas. Some people have a habit of belching frequently. To do this, they swallow air, which they then belch. Unfortunately, the patient is never able to belch out all of the swallowed air, thus producing intestinal gas. Gum chewing, carbonated drinks and sucking too vigorously on hard candies can all lead to too much air being swallowed.
Precautions and Home Remedies.
First of all, my physician advised me to change my dietary habits. I was to avoid all gas forming foods like capsicum, cabbage, legumes and beans, fried or spicy food and fatty meats- even milk and some dairy products can cause flatulence. He told me to eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and to avoid gulping or talking while I eat. Food should be eaten in calm and relaxing surroundings, without the disturbance of television or loud music. Food should also be warm and freshly prepared and should be taken only when hungry. Sitting 5 minutes in an upright posture after every meal gives relief from gas or flatulence too.
My Ayurvedic physician suggested several home remedies in addition to specific herbal preparations that he prescribed after studying and determining what was best suited to my constitution. One very effective home remedy is to have 1 glassful of buttermilk with 1/6 teaspoon each of roasted cumin seeds powder and dried ginger powder with a little black salt added according to taste. Eating a piece of Jaggery after every meals helps to get relief from gas or flatulence. Having an orange in the morning cleans the intestine thereby reducing gas formation. You can also dip few slices of ginger in a bowl of lemon juice and chew them after every meal to get rid of flatulence. Dried ginger and ajwain in equal weights should be steeped in double the quantity of lime-juice, then dried and powdered. Add a little black salt to the powder. Two grams should be taken with warm water as and when needed.
In Ayurvedic medicine, fennel is used as a digestive aid. It is considered carminative, which means it soothes the digestive tract. Using fennel as well as asafetida, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, carrom seeds, garlic, and ginger regularly in cooking helps to overcome gas too. One thing to remember though, is that these are just home remedies. If your problem persists, you should do what I did- consult a good Ayurvedic physician so that he can give you a personalized diet and prescribe specific herbal remedies suitable for you. If you consult an Ayurvedic physician in Kerala, you can kill two birds with one stone- enjoy an unforgettable holiday in one of the world’s top tourist destinations and solve your problem of flatulence with Nature’s help, the Ayurvedic way!