Medically reviewed by Onikepe Adegbola, MD, PhD
Bloating is probably one of the most common gastrointestinal problems faced by about 20-30 percent of people. A variety of things can cause gastrointestinal distress, some of which are related to the diet. The typical food items that cause bloating include gluten, high-fiber foods like beans and grains, and carbonated beverages.
In addition, certain medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, pregnancy, and menstruation can cause bloating. Although there is no quick anti-bloat fix, sipping a cup of tea may offer relief. To better understand what tea helps with bloating in your case, read the options available and try them as per your constitution.
Tea is probably one of the most common hot beverages devoured by many. However, the choice of tea varies from person to person and from place to place. Of the galore of variants to choose from, certain herbal teas can help in relaxing the intestinal tract, thereby providing relief from bloating.
Traditionally, people have resorted to natural remedies like herbal tea to relieve bloating. A study titled “Management strategies for abdominal bloating and distension,” published in Gastroenterology & Hepatology, suggested that teas can help soothe this uncomfortable condition.
How To Prepare Herbal Teas?
Herbal teas are distinct from black and green teas for various reasons. The latter teas, which contain caffeine, are derived from the same plant. They are steeped for not more than 3-5 minutes, as steeping them for longer can extract more tannins.
On the other hand, herbal teas can steep for at least twice as long, strengthening the flavor but not making it bitter. An additional benefit of brewing them longer is that one can extract more medicinal properties. Subsequent brews can be adjusted according to taste, letting them steep for more or less time.
There are many options for herbal teas, and it may raise the question: what tea helps with bloating? Some of the most beneficial herbal teas for bloating are:
Chamomile is a member of the daisy family. The herb is small, and the white flowers resemble miniature daisies.
Chamomile is primarily used to treat indigestion, gas, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and ulcers. A study titled “Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future,” published in Molecular Medicine Reports, has suggested that chamomile can prevent the growth of Helicobacter pylori bacterial infections, which are primarily responsible for causing stomach ulcers and are also associated with bloating.
Chamomile is also one of the herbs used to prepare Iberogast, a formulation used to treat abdominal pain and ulcers. Chamomile flowers contain the most beneficial medicinal value. Hence, one should ensure that the dried tea has flowers instead of leaves and stems.
The fennel seeds are often used to make tea, which tastes similar to licorice. In addition, the fennel seeds have been used traditionally to treat indigestion, bloating, gas, and constipation.
Since constipation is one of the most common causes of bloating, fennel seeds can be used to relieve the sluggish bowels, thus relieving bloating. Fennel seeds can be crushed and used directly to make tea.
Since ancient times, ginger tea has been used to treat stomach-related ailments. In a study titled “High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol, 10-gingerol, and 6-shogaol in ginger-containing dietary supplements, spices, teas, and beverages,” published in the Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, it has been reported that taking 1-1.5 grams of ginger can relieve nausea. Furthermore, ginger tea can aid in emptying the stomach, provide relief from digestive issues, and reduce intestinal cramping, bloating, and gas.
Ginger tea can be prepared using 0.5-1 gm of coarsely powdered, dried ginger root in a cup containing 240 ml of water. It should be steeped for 5 minutes. Alternatively, one tablespoon of freshly sliced ginger can be taken in a cup and boiled for 10 minutes. Ginger tea has a spicy flavor that can be reduced with honey and lemon.
Wormwood has a bitter taste and can be taken with honey and lemon. It is often used to make supplements to treat digestive issues. In a study titled “Artemisinins: their growing importance in medicine,” published in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, it was suggested that 1 gram capsules of wormwood could prevent or relieve indigestion or discomfort in the upper abdomen.
It is also used to make juices to help digestion and decrease bloating. However, wormwood should not be used in pregnancy as it contains a compound, thujone, that can cause uterine contractions.
The taste of lemon balm resembles lemon, but it also has hints of mint, as the plant belongs to the mint family.
According to a study titled “Herbal preparation STW 5 for functional gastrointestinal disorders: Clinical experience in everyday practice“, published in Digestive Diseases, lemon balm can decrease abdominal pain, constipation, and other digestive problems. In addition, approximately 3 grams of dried lemon leaves can be used to make a cup of tea.
The Gentian root comes from the Gentiana lutea plant. Gentian root is used for its medicinal properties and tastes sweet initially. Gentian root can be mixed with chamomile tea and honey to neutralize its taste.
Gentian root contains butter plant compounds like iridoids and flavonoids. These compounds can stimulate the release of gastric juices and bile to break down food and prevent bloating. However, this root should not be used in people who complain of gastric ulcers as it increases gastric acid secretion.
Angelica plant belongs to the celery family. It has a bitter taste and is combined with lemon balm tea to enhance its flavor. A study, “Efficacy and safety assessment of T. Angelica herbal tonic, a phytomedicinal product popularly used in Nigeria,” published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, reports that angelica root can relieve constipation. However, it should not be used on pregnant females as there is not enough information regarding its safety in pregnant females.
Peppermint has a cool and refreshing flavor and is widely used to treat digestive issues.
A study, “A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea,” published in Phytotherapy Research, suggests that peppermint relaxes the gut and helps to provide relief from intestinal spasms. It can also help to treat bloating and pain.
Going through this list should answer the question: what tea helps with bloating. Although herbal teas have been used traditionally to treat bloating, it should be kept in mind that herbal teas are not a substitute for medicines used to treat chronic health conditions. Herbal teas can, nonetheless, provide relief from the problems related to digestion.
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Foley, A., Burgell, R., Barrett, J. S., & Gibson, P. R. (2014). Management strategies for abdominal bloating and distension. Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 10(9), 561–571. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27551250/
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Lapina, T. L., & Trukhmanov, A. S. (2017). Herbal preparation STW 5 for functional gastrointestinal disorders: Clinical experience in everyday practice. Digestive Diseases (Basel, Switzerland), 35 Suppl 1(Suppl. 1), 30–35. https://doi.org/10.1159/000485411
McKay, D. L., & Blumberg, J. B. (2006). A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phytotherapy Research: PTR, 20(8), 619–633. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.1936
Schwertner, H. A., & Rios, D. C. (2007). High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of 6-gingerol, 8-gingerol, 10-gingerol, and 6-shogaol in ginger-containing dietary supplements, spices, teas, and beverages. Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 856(1–2), 41–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2007.05.011
Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future. Molecular Medicine Reports, 3(6), 895–901. https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2010.377