Beat the Bloat: Herbal Teas to Help Digestion
Dr. Kara's Health Insights

Beat the Bloat: Herbal Teas to Help Digestion

by DK Kara MD on Nov 02, 2021

Nothing ruins a good meal more than feeling bloated afterwards. That tight, full feeling is super uncomfortable. You feel like you need to either loosen your pants or change altogether. Or maybe you feel like you need to take a walk just to relieve some pressure. 

Either way, you’re not the only one who experiences this uncomfortable sensation. Somewhere between 10% - 25% of healthy people (1) will get bloated from time to time. Those with health conditions like IBS tend to experience discomfort more regularly, and about 75% of women get bloated around their “time of the month”.  

Why Does Bloating Happen?

Your body has different ways of letting you know something isn’t right. If your digestive tract is off-kilter, one way you’ll know are those dreaded feelings of fullness and discomfort.

Bloating can be caused by quite a few things:

  • Gas: some of the biggest culprits (1) of bloat can be related to eating habits. Things such as fermented or undigested carbohydrates, unbalanced gut flora, parasites, and irritable bowel syndrome can all affect you. Food intolerances like dairy or gluten can irritate some.
  • Hormones: Monthly menstrual hormones can also disrupt the normal flow of things.
  • Stomach Contents: A sluggish digestive tract can cause foods and drinks to build up, causing gas, pain and bloating.
  • Other Reasons: In more serious cases, things like bowel obstructions, gut flora motility disorders, pancreas infections or cancers can be the reason you feel bloated.

How can tea help? Teas are a gentle way to help your body get things moving. Many herbal teas are made from dried leaves, stems, and roots from various plants. For thousands of years, people from all over the world have used teas to help with a variety of ailments. Bloating is one of them.

Here are some of the best herbal teas that can help your body find relief when you’ve got tummy troubles. 

Fennel Tea

Do you like licorice? This plant has a very similar taste to it, and has been used for digestive issues for a long time.

Fennel can be eaten fresh or made into a tea. Traditionally, this tea can help speed up (6) slow moving digestion, which can cause bloat.

Dandelion Root Tea

You may have heard that dandelion tea is good for detoxing because it supports liver function. Well, it also has anti-inflammatory properties that help fight cancers (11) and aid in digestion.

Drinking dandelion root tea has compounds that act as a diuretic, flushing out excess water. This can help stimulate your bowels, relieving constipation and bloat.

Ginger Tea

While this root is typically used for nausea, it can also help with bloat.

One study (5) showed that those who took ginger for 1 month had a decrease in stomach pain, nausea, and bloating. Making tea could bring about similar results.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint is one of the many plants in the mint family. The leaves of the peppermint plant can be dried and used for tea.

Researchers observe that peppermint contains flavonoids (2) that can help relax the gut. This could help with spasms and prevent bloating from getting worse.

Gentian Root Tea

Similar to wormwood, the gentian plant has bitter compounds that can help stimulate your digestive juices. It also has anti-inflammatory (7) properties that can help calm down irritated gut linings.

This can be helpful if your bloat comes from infection or a sluggish system. Some say it has a sweet taste at first, but afterwards tastes bitter. Sweetening the tea may help you drink it.

Hibiscus Tea

This tea can help with bloating in a way you might not expect. If you or someone you know has high blood pressure, feeling full can often be an unpleasant side effect.

Drinking hibiscus tea can help by lowering (10) blood pressure, which can help your body relax and function normally.

Lemon Balm Tea

Along with peppermint, lemon balm also belongs in the mint family and shares many similarities. But unlike the noticeable cool, refreshing flavors of peppermint, lemon balm has a more subtle flavor.

Lemon balm is shown to have antibacterial (3) properties, which makes it great for fighting any bloat-causing “bugs” in your system. Making a lemon balm tea can help reduce constipation, as well as other digestive issues.

Green Tea

For centuries, the leaves of green tea have been harvested, dried and used for tea. Green tea has many health benefits, including antioxidants (9).

When it comes to digestion and bloating, green tea contains bioactive compounds called catechins. These have been observed to help get rid of extra gas in the intestines. It also has caffeine, which can act as a stimulant.

Wormwood Tea

This bitter herb is not one that most would turn to right away. It’s an acquired taste, and some prefer to add some honey to a tea.

Wormwood is a great parasite cleanse, and can help reduce bloating if parasites are to blame.. Studies have also shown that taking 1 gram of dried wormwood helped to stimulate (4) digestive juices, which could relieve stomach upset and reduce bloating severity.

Angelica Root Tea

A member of the celery family, angelica root has been used to help decrease constipation (8). Bloating can be reduced by keeping your digestive tract moving regularly.

Due to its bitter taste, some people combine this plant with lemon balm in order to make a tastier tea.

Conclusion

Bloat is something that happens to everyone - some more than others. Whether you ate too much, need to make adjustments to your diet, or have a medical condition, the feelings of bloat are no fun.

Drinking herbal teas are a natural way to beat the bloat and feel more like yourself. And because there are many to choose from, you can experiment with different ones to find one (or a few) that are right for you.

Do you know someone who suffers from occasional bloat? If so, share this with them today.

References & Disclaimers

(1) https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/21740-bloated-stomach

(2) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16767798/

(3) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24283351/

(4) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26074998/

(5) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25954317/

(6) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25162032/

(7) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29034186/

(8) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26547528/

(9) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32143309/

(10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4621677/

(11) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5341965/

✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author