Beating the Bloat

Posted by on Jun 29, 2012 in featured, General | 13 comments

Beating the Bloat

No matter how careful we are with our diets it is inevitable that on occasion we still have to deal with those nasty symptoms of IBS.  Life gets busy, you run out of time to plan or shop for your meals and snacks, or you just want to have a social life and go out to dinner with friends.  How many times have you tried to explain your good and bad food lists to restaurant staff that find it all just too confusing and difficult and then find yourself eating a meal that leaves you anticipating the uncomfortable after-effects?  Sometimes your body just has a bit of a meltdown, and despite you best eating efforts you’re dealing with a belly puffed up like a balloon or desperately searching for the nearest restroom.  These are the challenges of the IBS sufferer and FODMAP malabsorber, but surely there are ways we can deal with it, remedies to soothe the belly?

One of my favourite afternoon/evening drinks has become peppermint tea.  During my nursing days we would give patients peppermint water or tea to help ease discomfort of bloating and wind pain that often came after certain procedures.  When I had my first child I noticed that preparations for his troublesome colic included peppermint as an ingredient.



Enjoying peppermint tea has been a learning process for me.  You see, I am a coffee girl.  I have never been a tea drinker.  Although I love the aroma of tea and toast first thing in the morning I just can’t come at drinking tea no matter how I try it.  However, in earnest effort to cut back on the caffeine, and sugar for that matter, I made the decision to drink peppermint tea, and to keep drinking it until I enjoyed it.



It took time but I’m there now.  Does it help with bloating?  I can’t give you any scientific proof, although there’s research and anecdotal information easily found about the medicinal properties of peppermint if you want to search.  Some of it suggests taking peppermint prior to eating can help prevent digestive discomfort.  Perhaps it’s just the fact that I sit down and take a break from the busy day and give my body a few moments to rest, I find my peppermint tea a soothing treat to look forward to.

What do you do to soothe ?


  1. I, like you am a coffee girl, but have been drinking peppermint tea. It helps. I also eat peppermints when symptoms are bad, with good effect.

  2. Thank you! I will try it! My favorite way to sooth is rice water (used in Latin America), also called congee in China. I take 1/4 cup Basmati rice and about 3 cups water, bring to a boil and simmer until rice is overly soft and puffy (about 20 min); then while it is still hot, I place in blender and blend until very smooth and drink the whole thing. It’s delicious. It can also be refrigerated, just make sure to stir well before serving cold as the rice particles settle to the bottom. I’ve read some recipes that used regular long grain rice, but I prefer the nutty Basmati. This is also great when you have a cold & want to skip a meal…at least you’re getting some calories in the form of a warm porridge.

    I’ve read that Congee is considered a miracle dish in China for the sick and there are several recipes on the web that don’t require blending the rice (personally I like it blended, almost like warm rice milk). Finally, congee is used in China as a stock for soup, apparently they add chicken, veggies & herbs! Or so I read in the web. I think the use of food for healing is fascinating!

  3. I’m a big fan of peppermint tea – Nerada have an organic peppermint teabags (readily available at most of the major supermarkets in Australia) which are handy to tote around.

  4. I always keep peppermint tea, but another favorite is fennel tea. I learned about that when trying every IBS solution out there. It makes a delicious tea that is sweet on its own – you just slightly crush the seeds (I know I have done it enough when I can smell the fennel; it doesn’t take a lot of pressure) and continue as you would for tea. If you don’t have a tea ball, most of the seeds float so you can just skim them off. I have even gone so far on some days before to just chew on some plain fennel seeds (I have heard this is commonly done after meals in India, but it’s certainly not as tasty as the tea!). In the USA you can get fennel tea bags but most are mixed with other herbs, but the seeds are very easy and way cheaper than the tea bags. the tea seems to work very quickly, too!

  5. I also love pepermint tea I have found that Red Bush tea is also beneficial but is also an aquired taste!!

  6. Same story. Began with lowFODMAPs then Paleo. Cut coffee to one a day and had to investigate herbal teas. My saviour has been T2 teas (sorry to advertise). They have Liquorice Legs, and 2 types of Ayurvedic Chai teas with ingredients like liquorice,anise,fennel, peppermint.chamomile et. They are naturally sweet, satisfying and don’t cause me any bloating.

  7. I love peppermint tea and will certainly try fennel tea too. Many years ago, (28!) I gave my babies a weak, cool dill seed
    tea for colic. This worked very well and is an old remedy.

  8. I love peppermint tea, I drink it every day (mostly later in the day or evening also) I dont really noticed that it has helped with bloating or anything but I do enjoy to drink it. I also enjoy lemon and ginger too. I was told ginger is good to drink too to aid digestion.

  9. I drink a cup of peppermint tea each mid-mroning when all the colleagues are having thier caffeine break. I use it as the carrier for my Benefibre, it fully dissolves in the hot water and is tasteless, so I am getting my fibre and bloat-removing, colon-cleansing remedy in one! I love the way it tastes, peppy tea is the only hot drink I’ve ever become accustomed to (have never drunk coffee or tea) and I’ll even have it luke-warm.

    Fustrating, though, that many brands find it necessary to mix peppermint with green tea, which I do not like.

  10. Do any of you Fodmap folks suffer stomach cramping? I have found peppermint works very well for that. However, in time, the peppermint causes my acid to become a problem.

    Any hints on cramping?

    I recently saw a naturopath who started me on Ibergast Again any experience with that herbal remedy?


    • I have just started Ibergast which is why I have stumbled across this blog (As I was researching its ingredients and whether it is perhaps contributing to my bloat)… it contains Chamomile.. so a possible trigger and I really do seem to be EXTREMELY sensitive to anything FODMAP :(

  11. Dory, you might want to try coated peppermint capsules… they make sure that the peppermint only relaxes the lower digestive sections, without relaxing the top sphincter (whatever closes the entryway into the stomach) so much.

    And yes I sometimes have trouble with cramping. I avoid anything labeled as a laxative (e.g. psyllium, some herbal teas claiming to help “feminine complaints”) bc of some bad experiences along those lines. I am just beginning to try reducing fodmaps (but have been wheat- and dairy-free for years) to see if that resolves some remaining symptoms. All the best on your new experiments.

  12. Agree with the peppermint tea angle. I also find the a small glass of soy and almond milk will have a calming effect. This is good if time is tight!

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