Dr. Peter Swanz, ND, FHANP

Some patients are rattled during their first Naturopathic visit when asked questions about their digestion and bowel habits. Most patients loosen up and eventually share the information that is pertinent to their holistic health picture. I have observed that when a couple is sitting in my office together, the conversation can quickly jump to a discussion about flatulence. The reluctance to discuss our own digestive issues floats away when there is an opportunity to point the smelly finger at someone else. Partners like to describe with great detail each other’s gas patterns. Parents know which of their children are the tooters and which ones are not. “It’s just not normal” is a repeated phrase I hear in response to the flatus of patients of all ages. And sometimes the degree or severity of gas may not be normal. It could be an indicator of food sensitivities, a gut flora imbalance, low stomach acid and poor digestion, copious fiber consumption, or some other issues that require a more indepth exploration. The primary objective should always be to get to the underlying issue, to discover what the cause of the disturbing gas may be. I want to share a handful of remedies that may be used homeopathically to address gas and bloating in acute situations, while encouraging everyone to work with a Naturopath to heal the underlying issue.

Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the first remedies to consider for gas and bloating in a new born baby. This condition is commonly referred to as “colic” and is extremely upsetting to the young child. A keynote symptom for chamomile is that the pain or discomfort is extreme, particularly in relation to the cause. It may inspire the question, “How come the baby is screaming her head off when all she has is a little gas?” The child will want to be held and carried around the room. If the child is held without motion, it may kick and scream. Motion will often help the child to calm down. If an infant is troubled by colic and also cutting teeth chamomile may be very helpful.

Carbo Vegetabilis

Carbo Vegetabilis is a great remedy for excessive flatulence. There will be lots of passing of gas and also much distension in the stomach and abdomen. The bloating will often have cramping pains and the discomfort may cause the individual to bend forward trying to get some relief. Passing gas or belching may provide temporary relief, then quickly the discomfort will rush back. The Carbo Veg individual may feel worse when lying down, when becoming too warm even though they generally feel cold, and from clothing that is too tight around the waist. A consistent improvement may come from a cool air draft or from being fanned and also from loosening the clothes around the waist. There is great weakness and fatigue when Carbo Veg is needed.

Lycopodium

Lycopodium is the remedy to consider when the individual is suffering from abdominal distress and bloating that is relieved by a warm drink or a warm compress on the stomach. The individual may feel better when in a warm bed, the opposite of the Carbo Veg person that would feel worse from lying in a warm bed. The Lycopodium individual has a high degree of sensitivity – to noise, to smells, to the discomfort from the bloating and gas. Belching or passing will provide relief when Lycopodium is indicated, although the individual may have difficulty getting the belch or gas out.

Colocynthis

Colocynthis is another great remedy to consider for gas and bloating. The bloating causes great distress and discomfort and often the patient will bend forward trying to get relief. The pain feels like an intense cramp, cutting into the abdomen. In addition to bending forward, the individual may press into the abdomen trying to relieve the discomfort with hard pressure. The Colocynthis individual may prefer to rest in a warm bed lying on their abdomen.

These are 4 remedies to consider when searching the home homeopathy kit for a remedy to provide relief for gas and bloating. ~Dr. Swanz

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