Flatulence, commonly called as Gas, is release of excessive gas produced in intestines and/or stomach with or without sound and with or without foul odour.
Flatulence occurs due to excessive collection of gas in the Gastro intestinal tract.
Causes of excessive collection in the digestive tract are:-
1. Swallowing of air – excessive air may be swallowed due to eating or drinking fastly, talking during eating, excessive chewing of gum, drinking carbonated drinks etc.
2. Excessive production of air – This may be due to improper indigestion of food. When food is not digested properly the undigested food particles reach colon, where it is fermented due to the intestinal bacterial flora leading to formation of combination of gases like Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen, Hydrogen, methane etc. which releases through the rectum.
Common causes include lactose intolerance, eating excessive carbohydrate rich foods (eg- Pasta, White bread, Potatoes, Candies etc.), excessive drinking of Beer or wine, Artificial sweetners, Malabsorption syndrome, Irritable Bowel syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel disorders, Hyperacidity, overgrowth of intestinal bacterial population, slow movement of intestines which leads to delayed emptying of fecal matter leading to constipation and gas production, Intestinal obstruction, and due to intake of certain drugs like Opiod derivatives or narcotics.
These include excessive passage of gas through rectum (14-20 times per day), excessive belching, heaviness in abdomen, Bloating, Protruding abdominal belly. It may be associated with Diarrhoea, abdominal pain, Nausea, Vomiting, Decreased or loss of appetite or fever.
In Ayurveda, this condition has been described as “Aadhman”. If collection and release of gas is accompanied with gurgling bowel sounds and pain in abdomen then it is called as “Atopa”.
According to Acharyas its causes includes:-
All the causative factors mentioned earlier lead to derangement of Agni (Digestive fire) of body and aggravation of Vata Dosha. Aggravated Vata Dosha accumulates in intestines and exits through anus.
If Kapha Dosha is aggravated along with Vata Dosha then it leads to accumulation of gases in the stomach which is called as “Pratyadhman”. This leads to belching and pain with distension in upper part of abdomen.
The main line of treatment is to correct Agni of body which will aid in digestion and to balance Vata Dosha in body. In Pratyadhaman condition Vata along with Kapha dosha should be treated.
Panchkarma procedures like Snehana, Swedana, Vaman, Virechan can be done for detoxification and improving the metabolism of body.
1. Single herbs – Pippali (Piper longum), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Hingu (Ferula asafetida), Marich (Piper nigrum), Shatpushpa (Anethum sowa), Nagkesar (Mesua ferrea).
2. Powders – Avipattikar churna, Lavanbhaskar churna, Hingwashtak churna, Tumberwadi churna, Shivakshar Pachan churna, kaparda Bhasma, Shankh bhasma, Akik Pishti
3. Tablets – Arogyavardhini vati, Chitrakadi vati, Lasunadi vati, Hingwadi vati, Maha shankh vati, Agnitundi vati.
4. Asava/Arishta(Alcoholic preparations) – Drakshasav, Kumaryasava.
1. Eat slowly and avoid drinking too much water in between and after meals. You can take few sips of warm water in between the meals.
2. 1 teaspoon of ginger juice with 1 pinch salt before meals helps in proper digestion of meals and prevents flatulence.
3. In case of bloated abdomen and flatulence, take 2 pinch of asafetida powder plus 1 pinch of rock salt and mix in ½ teaspoon of buttermilk; apply this paste around naval region for 10-15 minutes.
4. Boil 2 teaspoon of coriander seeds in 1 glass of water till half of the water remains. Coriander water helps in digestion and relieves from flatulence.
5. In case of heaviness in abdomen, belching and flatulence; take 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and boil it in 1 glass of water till half water remains; take this water empty stomach.
6. Never lie down immediately after meals. Opt for 1000 steps mild walk or “vajrasana” yoga position for 10 minutes.
7. Cinnamon mixed with warm water or a cup of chamoile tea helps in instant relieving of bloating.
8.. Eat 5-6 small meals daily. Avoid large and heavy meals.
9. In case of constipation along with flatulence take castor oil 10 ml at night with milk.
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